Why Are You Still Shocked?

By Joel Hess

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Every week we are shocked by something new. The press goes into outrage mode. Talking heads on right and left grow red in the face. The president makes a statement to demonstrate he cares and will do something about it! Every week we pretend to be shocked.

Please stop it.

When fraternity dudes on a party bus use the “n” word and compose a clever chant excluding certain people from their little orgy, don’t pretend to be shocked.

$100 says they listen grew up listening to Waka Flaka Flame while pretending they were ghetto, dancing in their mirrors before the big game. The same Mr. Flame who was so shocked by these fellas and the university that produces such sardines (that’s what universities do by the way) that he cancelled his concert of hope, like MLK in Selma. The same Mr. Flame who perpetually pens positive lines like, “got bitches by the pair, I’m baller of the year” in his cute song “I Don’t Care”. The same Mr. Flame who is offended that some kids would put down black people but has no problem inspiring those kids to treat women like animals.

Please don’t be shocked.

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When your daughter is sexually assaulted on campus after she drank too much, brought her lover home, played around while listening to Mr. Flame, got out the condoms provided by the university, while watching the new funny T.V. show called “Shuttle of Shame”, which brings laughter to the hookup gone bad. Don’t be shocked. Yes, it’s wrong. Yes, the man should be punished for not being a man; perhaps even have a particular part of his body removed. But don’t be shocked. Just turn up your radio, laugh at Modern Family, and go to sleep.

Just stop pretending to be shocked moms and dads.

When a poor woman, Melissa Mitin, kills her newborn baby by shoving her face-down in a trashcan, don’t pretend to be surprised. The prosecutor working on the trial said, “If that is true, she has some major psychological issues.” Really? Her whole life she has been told to do what she wants with her own body. Her guidance counselor encouraged her to “not let pregnancy stop you from being happy”. If she would have let a professional (hit man) kill her baby seconds before she was born, Ms. Mitin would be a hero and a guest on Ellen. She doesn’t have psychological issues. She’s normal. She is the perfect product of our culture. She “gets it”.

Keep drinking. Don’t raise an eyebrow. This is the world we have created. These are our Frankensteins.

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And when they are left for dead, feeling empty inside, and can no longer pretend it’s all OK, we will be there. Jesus’s Church. Jesus will run to them with the pods meant for pigs still clenched in their hands. He will hug them, not like a puppy, not like a whore, not like a consumer or product, but as a person, made by God Himself.

When Jesus hangs out with the down and out racist, the frat boy with HIV, the woman in prison, don’t be shocked.

When the only innocent one dies and the guilty fools go free, don’t be shocked.

When the black hole of the grave blooms with the firstborn of the dead, don’t be shocked.

We have made this world into a shit hole. But He shall make all things new. Even you.

When He is revealed and we are too, don’t be shocked. Peace.

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