In The World, But Not Of It

I wish Bruce Springsteen had not cancelled his North Carolina show tonight due to his stance in favor of LGBT issues. I know I don’t agree with Bruce on many things, but I just would like to enjoy his music and shows. If he had cancelled in Dallas this week, it would have ended a love affair.

I wish the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas would not be political from the pulpit. He can write all he wants and appear on TV shows, because I do not watch those. But to start out a sermon with political anger interferes when I want to listen to his message about Christ from the Bible. I cannot be ministered to by a political activist.

I wish I could watch just one TV show without them having to weave a LGBT character into the plot – every single time. Even in a period show, can’t anyone write about a British/Scottish story two hundred years ago without including a gay issue? You see, I really don’t care until it gets shoved in my face. I scoffed at Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy a few years back.  But I actually do prefer it.

I wish the Pope had not continued to cave in with his recent position on LGBT issues. I am not Catholic, but I look fondly at the Catholic Church. Linda and I were once part of a huge Marriage Encounter movement that was started in the Catholic Church. We were involved with our wonderful Catholic friends to start the program in the United Methodist Church. But the effort to save a church by boosting the effort or making it obligatory to recruit the LGBT folks is what bothers me. I am okay with worshiping God with a gay person next to me. But the in-my-face stuff, even a desire to support a LGBT recruiting program, is where I stop.

Oh, you could say, then Lewis, don’t watch those shows and don’t go to those places where you are going to be offended. It may surprise you, but I am perfectly okay with me removing myself to a certain extent. I’m not interested in fighting. It’s not that kind of anti-LGBT thing for me. I just don’t like being compelled to be pro-LGBT.

But I like artistic things of all kinds. Brilliant acting. Dramatic plots. Rock ‘n Roll. I’m a little bit conservative and a little bit liberal. I can handle a wide range exposures. I just don’t like it when the LGBT message is the main message. How can People Magazine devote that many front covers and stories about the “woman” formerly known as Bruce Jenner?

This is not my world, but I am forced to live in it. “Of the world, but not in the world” as some Christians might say. I don’t want to convince anyone to give up their LGBT lifestyle and to be like me. I just don’t want the LGBT folks to proselytize me. I don’t see the movement as progress. If it is, I don’t want to be progressive.

If I am headed toward the life of a recluse, then I’m actually okay with that, too. If it weren’t for having grandkids, I would worry little about what is ahead for generations. The Greatest Generation was the one my parents were in, but I know that was lost a long time ago. And I’m okay both relishing the good parts of their generation and glamorizing the bad parts. Since I am in the second class of Boomers, I know my generation was the transitional phase. My generation managed to screw up and set the stage for what came afterwards. In fact, the early part of the Boomers is quite different from the middle and later part. But we managed to let go of something that is not likely to ever return.

I do know that if an organization, whether a business, church, military, education or non-profit, is to survive when there are Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials working together, it takes organizational and management skills beyond me. I’m okay with admitting a lack of patience or skills. I’m okay with turning all of it over for someone else who cares to fight and lead. God bless them.

I do have the skill of being able to filter at times. I’ve never agreed with Bruce Springsteen’s politics, but I only hear his music. I can still enjoy a Rock Hudson movie and not see him marching in a LGBT parade. Because he didn’t. It might have been just after his heyday that I stopped watching any of the awards shows. Now you have to endure everybody wanting to champion their political or social issue instead of celebrating the talent factor of the awards ceremony.

I no longer believe this is my world, and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. The pendulum has swung too far, and it won’t swing back in my lifetime. I hope it does by the time my future great grandchildren and beyond are here. But I doubt it will.

My statistical lifetime almost exactly coincides with the end of the next two presidential elections. I don’t see anything getting better and the probability of them getting worse is extremely high no matter the presidential candidate.

But I will be happy or at least content. The things I cherish in life: family, Christ and friends will stay intact. I can turn off the TV, and I do. I can pick and chose the music I listen to. We already carefully research the musicals and plays ahead of time. My analytical skills and tools I use continue to advance. I’m having more fun than I ever have had with my work. I can be in the world but not of it due to decisions I make and things I control. And I will not compromise on those. LFM



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