Please Say You Hate Me

A Saturday Song, with Nataly Dawn

I don’t know why I have not shared this song with you before. It’s probably my favorite by Nataly. She’s been doing some gorgeous work, both on her own and with her hubby Jack, co-creator of Patreon and the other half of the fun and innovative group called Pomplamoose. It was over three years ago that I shared a post by my son, Micah featuring two of her tunes, but I’ve never shared her on my Saturday Songs or Music Monday features. Time to correct that! The title of the song is “Call Your Love,” from the 2016 album, Haze.

Let’s Get to the Point

Friends, this video might be about you. But then again, it might not be at all. Please do not lash out at me for sharing it. For some of us, these lyrics cut to the bone because we’ve lived and felt them. In many cases we still are living them. For me, this brought back so much from my past that I had had to overcome that it brought me to tears.

I grew up to believe in a certain kind of faith, a very evangelical form of protestantism that I eventually outgrew. Many of the people in the churches of my youth were good people. Most of them were just people. That means some of them were also assholes. And some used their religion as a way to mask or justify their prejudice, fear, or hatred.

Many of my friends still face this prejudice from family and past or present church associations today. Even those who don’t do it consciously, may find it easier to avoid thinking too far outside of their prescribed world view: “The Bible says it and I believe it!” Forget about the possibility of an alternate interpretation. I say this from experience. How do you think I hid from myself for so long?

Again, please understand, I’m not saying  that every believer is like that. But there is a poisonous dogma out there that even otherwise good people fall for. And it’s the resulting alienation and stress, rather than any sin or wrong doing that leads to separation, depression, anxiety, and suicide. So maybe this song isn’t about you. Maybe it’s not the attack you think it is. If it strikes a nerve, ask yourself why. Ask yourself not “Why am I being attacked?” but “What are these people feeling?” And then maybe, “Am I misunderstanding something, and therefore contributing to that feeling?” And finally, “Is there anything I can I do to better understand?” That might call for some long listening on your part. Not listening for your turn to talk, but openly listening, prepared to hear things that are far outside your experience and perspective, in the hopes that you might learn something.

I know, it’s a tall order. But what’s the alternative? Continuing in the habit of professing and not processing?

Oh, and no matter what camp you see yourself in, maybe reconsider making an offer to pray for someone who doesn’t believe what you do. Such an offer has often been used as a passive aggressive way of saying “You’re wrong.” It can be an easy out, offering to do what sounds good, but not really doing any personal work to understand the other person at all. My suggestion? If you’re going to pray, just do it, don’t announce it. You most likely won’t earn any gratitude points. And please, start off by praying for yourself, for understanding, compassion, insight, and empathy. That would be a really good start. Thank you for listening.

Please say you’re angry
I’d rather know you’re angry
Than know you’re praying for me
Cause that’s just how you ignore me

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