Redefining “Christian” – sympathy for Britney

So the definition of being a Christian is what? To be Christ-like? Of course, we don’t really know what that means. My guess is that JC was a pretty good guy, though – seems to have been able to go through life loving everyone without judging them for whatever they did. Ok. Seems pretty simple. Go through life with sympathy & compassion for our fellow humans. Got it. So why, then, are so many people who call themselves Christians not doing that? There are ever so many examples of what I mean…I’ll do my best to trim this post to a manageable read. Today the topic was Britney’s meltdown. In my opinion, it’s tragic. She’s a scared little girl who never got a childhood & is in so much pain that she has broken. Literally. It’s terrible what she’s done in front of her kids. It’s awful that she’s messed up so bad in so many ways. But it’s just plain sad. I have no hatred toward her – she doesn’t seem to be an evil person. But I overheard a woman at work today say that she had no sympathy for that “crazy, psychotic b***h” because she has enough money to get the best help in the world & didn’t! What struck me about her saying this was that not 2 weeks ago this same woman was explaining to me how she had become quite active in her (Christian) church again and how important that was for her. HUH??? And then there are those who say that George W. is a “good Christian man” leading our country. Riiiight – the guy who hates gay people & started a war where countless deaths have occurred out of revenge for his daddy. Right – that seems like something JC would condone. Yep – I see it. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I don’t claim to be a Christian, but I do try to practice some of the lessons JC taught, as I feel that they are valuable tools for promoting peace in this world. I’m not perfect – I don’t always succeed. But I’m just tired of the sanctimonious BS I hear all around me from people who treat everyone that differs from them like crap. I try to remind myself that they, too, have pain & deserve sympathy – but it’s harder to offer that when they are actually causing others pain.

Sorry if this was too off-topic for this blog, but I just had to…

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4 Responses to Redefining “Christian” – sympathy for Britney

  1. ChrEliz says:

    As if money is the main thing that stops anyone from getting help when they need it. ‘Taint the case! I feel sorry for Britney too. And I feel deeply sorry for the kids. I hope they can all get help and heal. And I agree with the rant about sanctimonious people. A guy I used to work with had a killer way to stop people in their tracks. He’d stop, pause, look the person in the eye, smile, and say, “Huh. So you’re one of those people who thinks that ____ [fill in the blank.] He’d just mirror back to you exactly what you said, so you could hear it and see it held right up to your face, and he’d de-normalize your opinion by classifying you as “one of THOSE people who believes…” (“…that people who make terrible mistakes and get themselves into awful, desperate situations are not deserving of your compassion or pity because they have a lot of money. Hmm. Interesting.”)

    It’s a super-aggressive thing to do to people, putting them on the spot like that, but this guy used to do it with a smile and almost said it like he was joking, but it was no less effective. Really gave people pause for thought! : )

  2. Patrick says:

    I saw the link to this posted on Waldo Jaquith’s Cvillenews and had to check it out.
    You made some interesting points,said some really common-sense things.
    I cannot think of anyone who has been more cruelly treated by the media and who has done so little to deserve it as Britney Spears. She has not been arrested for driving drunk,unlike some other celebs. She has not made racial or homophobic slurs. I think she has been driven over the edge by this horrid custody battle with her despicable ex-husband and his lawyers, and by the neverending abuse and scrutiny at the hands of the media. She cannot even go out for coffee without photographers swarming, hoping she will make some sort of faux pas they can plaster all over the Internet and the tabloids. And “faux pas” is what describes some of the mistakes she has made, very mild stuff, not criminal or evil.
    I am a Britney fan. She is a great entertainer. Admittedly her music is not in the same category with say Joan Baez or Melissa Etheridge, but its fun and enjoyable.
    I write this from the perspective of a gay man who is a feminist and who follows a spiritual path called variously Pagan, Wiccan,or Earth Religion. What has happened to Britney is what patriarchy does to women.
    The anniversary of the death of a dear friend and mentor is approaching. A lady whom I met when she was opening a New Age spirituality bookstore here .
    Rosemary was a newly-divorced mom with 4 kids,struggling to find new paths after years of being trapped. Her feminism and her feminist spirituality kept her going. When we met I was looking for some answers myself.
    What does this have to do with Britney? I imagine myself sitting down with Rosemary and hearing her words of wisdom about the situation, of how patriarchal culture has operated to drive Britney to her state of collapse. Rosemary knew what it was to battle through the divorce court system, to fight to get her well-paid ex-husband to send child support on time, to hear people blame her for everything that went wrong. How dare she leave her husband? How dare she abandon Catholicism and start calling herself a “witch”?
    When she passed away, her son gave me some of her personal journals. When reading them its like she is there in the room ,saying “this is how it is.”
    I hope Britney finds the path and the healing that she needs, that she discovers the Goddess that is within herself .

  3. Jennifer says:

    This is a perfect topic for this blog seeing as all of us mothers need to hold each other to a lesser standard of perfection and give each other a break. Britney must be suffering from some post-partum, depression, or other mental illness followed by alcohol or substance abuse- she is literally sick, to fault someone for illness is despicable.
    As a mother I want to give other mothers the chance to just be themselves, not the maddingly perfect parent-I try to do that by being honest about my own shortcomings and not be judgmental (not very successfully all the time). When people are judging others around me I always have to remind myself (and sometimes the speaker) “there but by the grace of God go I.” On any given day my children could be the ones breaking down in the store, dressed in dirty clothes, snot dripping from their nose, watching tv, playing video games and eating McDonalds- or they could be perfect angels but more likely somewhere in between.
    We put too much pressure on mothers, Britney’s nightmare is one manifestation of it- she doesnt know how to mother, she didnt have a good role model, and she has committed the worst sin of all according to judging women and men- she lost her children. I can even feel the instant judgment in my heart when I think of how she isnt well enough to care for her children- luckily I have represented enough fathers, and raised by my own father (who had physical custody- not that my mom wasnt present) to know that there are two parents for a reason, thankfully the children’s father is present and available while Britney endures what must by any standard be a nightmare.

  4. ChrEliz says:

    Some days I feel like writing Brit a letter of support, not for the choices she’s making (if they are even really choices, given how out of control she is) but just to give her a warm sideways hug of support as a human being. I have no desire to meet her, I don’t care for her music, I am not attracted to or impressed by fame, but I just feel tremendous compassion for her as a person.

    When she wakes up from this cloud she’s in, I can’t even imagine the remorse and misery she’s going to feel at having lost her kids. I hope she can find a road to healing. I hope she gets a break soon and is able to connect with some good soul who can help her climb out of this whole. SO many hangers-on and slimeballs just want to take advantage. She needs an angel to step in and be there with her and for her. Fingers crossed. If she were able to turn her life around, perhaps she could end up as some kind of positive role model for recovery, for avoiding the pitfalls of substance abuse, for early intervention for postpartum depression, etc., whatever the issues are.

    Why am I (as a middle class mother, NPR listener, liberal-arts educated, not a fan of her music, not a People magazine reader, etc.) so interested in her story? Why do I keep up with her situation? I don’t know really. I think it’s partially because of what Jennifer said; there but by the grace of God go I. In the beginning for me it was a little bit of schadenfreude, because prior to her obvious downfall I had been, frankly, so judgmental about her sluttiness, her annoying music, her tasteless career, etc. But once it became clear that she really had a problem, I stepped off my judgmental high horse and found some real compassion for her. I shouldn’t have been so judgmental of her before. I shouldn’t be so judgmental of anyone.

    I like the quote that hangs in the women’s bathroom at Cville Coffee: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato
    The moms in this town (and in every town) need that reminder as much as anyone. I need that reminder as much as anyone. We all ought to support each other a whole lot more, and judge each other a whole lot less. I don’t mean support drug use, reckless behavior, etc. I mean let’s support the human being struggling inside that runaway train.

    Peace.

    ~Christine Gresser

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