Political Correctness for Orthodox Christians
Being PC… a Patient Christian, by Vicki Toppses
A few weeks ago, the college in which I work was caught up in a fervor of contentiousness, just because we share the same name with another college, 1000 miles away. Calls, emails and angry threats poured in to our offices because of an administrative decision to terminate a Faculty member at the other college in which was seemed to be extremely controversial. Even though these callers contacted the wrong school, the hatred and evil in those messages showed a much larger problem in this world of Political Correctness. I think something is happening that goes beyond the conflict of ideology in today’s culture. It’s the idea of acknowledging the climate of bullying in all areas of debate; whether it be in discussing politics, religion, social convention or ideology. We focus so much on teaching and redirecting our school children on the basis of bullying; identifying and teaching them what it is and how to deal with it and yet we continue to tolerate it and sometimes cheer these behaviors in adults. We need to change and be PC- a Patient Christian.
At your work, whatever it may be, you can become a saint through meekness, patience, and love. St. Porphyrios, Wounded by Love
You see, working in the Liberal Arts College world for the past 9 years has given me so many blessings but also has challenged me and my Orthodox Christian faith in so many ways. I have met and worked with an amazing array of talented people. I am also constantly surrounded by the “Ideology of Diversity” and yet many times see the same behaviors in which those individuals protest about are used against others because of their differences. I personally have been questioned, challenged and even mocked because of who I am, my lifestyle and who I have married. As a response, I have humbly attempted to offer back the love to each of them and to identify the image and likeness of our Creator in those who have confront me. As Christ shows us by eating with the tax collectors and harlots (Matthew 9:10), we don’t have to agree with a behavior or a lifestyle of an individual to be present in their lives and share with them the Divine Love.
“Wherever God is — there is peace. And the opposite is self-evident: where there is envy, enmity, impatience, self-love — there is the devil. Wherever the devil is — there, everything is ruinous, proud and hostile.” + St. Anatoly of Optina
In today’s tumultuous world, we go about our day concerning ourselves with temporal things; the things that “moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). We lack the humility and grace of knowing that what blessings we have is not obtained by our own doing but given to us for a purpose. When we focus away from God, the hatred and bickering pollutes our souls and destroys God’s creation. Love is what St. Paul has written: … patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) We all must focus on the image of Christ in each other, and forget about insisting and forcing others to agree with us.
We don’t have to agree on everything….. or anything for that matter socially or politically… we just need to be a civil, Patient Christian with each other and through respect and Divine Love, acknowledge each other’s differences.
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