This is not a political post.
This post is about character. It’s a post about the way people treat other people every day in Alabama.
This post is about bigotry and poverty and hate. It’s about power and religion and hypocrisy.
Most of my family has lived in Alabama for around one hundred years. Some of my family has been here much longer than that. This is my home. It is the stuff I am made of. My family were farmers and entrepreneurs and teachers and lawyers and slave owners.
My children are still young. They are sweet and beautiful and mischievous and caring and I am teaching them one guiding principle. Respect. I am teaching them to respect themselves, to respect other people, and to respect the natural world. I’m trying to keep it simple and we all know what the concept of respect means from a young age. Do the right thing. The thing that little scale in your soul feels naturally when you make a decision. It’s purely human, and it is what makes us incredible. We innately know what is “right” and what is “wrong”.
But sometimes our internal moral compass gets corrupted. Sometimes we are taught by our culture that what is wrong is right and that what is right is wrong. I believe that as human beings, even if our intuitive ethics get confused by the noise of the crowd, deep down we still know what is truly right. The actions we undertake that are intuitively wrong will slowly degrade our sense of righteousness, and self-worth, and make us angry and petty and mean.
In Alabama, we’ve become mean. We’ve become complacent and angry and our culture is poisoned. Our communities are broken, and we refuse to acknowledge the fear and separation and bigotry that permeates each day of our lives. Like all people, we’re doing our best to just get through every day the best we can, but we know that we are hypocrites. We have very little love in our communities for those who don’t look like us, or go to our churches, or believe in the same political ideologies we do. I’m not talking about each individual. We all feel something when we see an uneducated, malnourished, disheveled human soul. We all want to help in a crisis. We all know what it feels like to be scared and alone and to have no idea if anyone cares enough about us to reach out a hand to help lift us up.
But in Alabama, we still elect leaders sometimes for no other reason than because they are bigots. Because they can hate the loudest. We still poison our communities with exposure to the idea that some of us are better than others and it’s usually because of the color of our skin or the religion we follow. It’s anathema to the scale of justice that lives inside us all and that tells us that hungry, uneducated children and people who are sick or disadvantaged deserve our respect too. They deserve our love and they need it more than anyone else. We all know that this is the truth. All religions teach it, because it is the thing that makes us human. We can feel each others pain. We are all connected spiritually and emotionally and physically and everything matters.
Roy Moore is a bigot. He covers his petty, misogynistic, racist, hate-filled meanness in a cloak of religion and we all know that he is a hypocrite. He is a false idol who has built his career and his fortune by being the loudest voice among the meanest parts of our communities. His voice and his views are oppressive and they are hateful and they are un-American. He seeks to separate our communities in order to build his own power. He ignores the gospel of love and instead shares only a message of spite and fear and anger and hate.
This post is not political. This post is about our character. This post is about the idea that the voice of Roy Moore doesn’t have to represent the people of Alabama to the rest of the world anymore. We can break the cycle of hate and hypocrisy and we can send a message to the rest of the world together. We can say that we are ready to embrace the belief that we not only can, but that we will do better by each other. We will listen to the little voice inside each of us that knows that we are made to love each other. We are formed to protect innocence and to fight injustice. We all know that when four little girls are killed by a bomb planted in their church by hate and bigotry that we have not regained righteousness until their killers are brought to justice. We know that a man who fights for that part of our communal souls is a man that is worthy of our respect.
That little voice inside each of us knows the right action to take on December 12. If you let the voices of our poisoned culture tell you otherwise, you’re not just perpetuating that culture of fear and hate but you’re also hurting yourself. Roy Moore is at best a pandering charlatan and at worst a predator that targeted innocence as his prey.
This is not a political post. This is a prayer for the soul of the state from which I am formed. It is a prayer for the future that I hope to create for my children. This is a plea to the people of Alabama to be kind to each other, and to believe in each other, and to listen to the voice inside you that knows that bound together with love and trust we are stronger than the hateful, bigoted poison that still pollutes the culture of our state.
Choosing not to vote makes you complicit. Voting for a man filled with hate and driven by ego and hypocrisy is cruel. Choosing not to share the things that little voice inside your soul is screaming loud and clear that this is not ok and that Roy Moore is not the image we want to represent us to the larger world is not an option.
Please vote for Doug Jones on December 12th, and encourage everyone you know and love and care for to do the same. He is a good and decent man who has fought for justice and for the rights of others his whole life. His platform is to tend to the wounds of division and poverty and injustice that still exist in our state and in our world. Doug Jones is a good and decent and caring human being and Roy Moore is not. It really is that simple and every single one of us knows it.