I am much too angry rage-y right now. If there is anything in the world that can set a person off it seems like Twitter will do it. Yesterday someone started calling out one of my friends for no good reason.  She was unapologetic & awful.  When I texted my friend to tell him how angry I was for him yet, I realized there was NO point in my addressing her tomfoolery via Twitter.

Would minds be changed? No.  Would I be helpful? No.  I was able to withhold addressing that situation only to later on allow myself to unleash an angry twitter rant about how upset I am that Dave Ramsey is getting lambasted by Christians.

anger

I was going to write this post about why I’m defending Dave Ramsey, and why as a person who grew up in poverty can appreciate his thoughts on financial management and why I don’t mind his sarcastic, condescending tone.  And why I think yes, he’s doing some unhelpful causation-to-poverty word jumbling, but why we need to partner with him not against him.  And how the people who are complaining about Dave are generally middle to upper class, white, female.  (<—- I haven’t seen much else, PLEASE tell me if I’m wrong on this one).

And I was going to write about how, FOR GOD’S SAKE PEOPLE, he is NOTHING like Joel Olsteen and why I can’t think of any single comparison for the ENTIRE LAST YEAR that has offended me so terribly much.  And how I think the people who have made that comparison have very little experience with ACTUAL prosperity preachers or have had to sit and trenches with or disciple people trying to break free from the EVIL of prosperity preaching & false gospels in general. And how if they had, they WOULD NEVER compare a man like Dave Ramsey who FREE’S people from the bondage of poverty & bankruptcy compare those two…or Dave Ramsey to ANY prosperity preacher.  As someone who’s discipled countless students away from the bondage of prosperity preaching I am repulsed by this unhelpful comparison.  REPULSED.

I was going to write all that today, but a dude I went to seminary with graciously invited me to share those thoughts over on his blog sometime soon, so Imma go head and wait and focus this little borderline ranty post on my racist, rage-a-holic ways.

I need to face my rage-a-holic-ness.  The problem with anger isn’t anger right? I completely believe that I’m allowed to be angry about junk, that I SHOULD BE angry about evil and injustice. I believe the God I serve is angry, gets angry and unleashes anger.

The big difference being God is angry but operating on a full diet of compassion, longsuffering & perfect love.  Not to mention the small fact that the full weight of His anger was fully unloaded on Jesus through the cross.  His anger has been once and for all satiated.

I, on the other hand, am spewing my mouth in defense of Dave Ramsey and swearing at my husband and beating pillows about seemingly anything and everything, sometimes not even knowing what exactly I’m so angry about and the best ways to confront said anger to satiate it properly.

Here’s the truth: yesterday I unleashed ALL THE ANGERS about the Dave Ramsey situation, but I was MORE angry about this chick going off on my friend, Micah who I love.  But I was more angry at what I perceived to be just another white, angry feminist woman going off on another random man.  Why?  Because she can.  Because she’s an angry, white feminist and they can do, apparently, whatever the hell they want to do.  They can say, whatever they want to, because they are angry, white feminists.

I AM SO CONFUSED about all this.  THAT is what I’m angry about underneath it all.  I’m angry that I can’t figure out how to address or touch on the fact that I’m pissed at OTHER people who are angry, specifically white feminists and I don’t know how to engage them and I don’t know how to make any difference.  I don’t know how to have patience.  I don’t know how to love them.  I’m afraid to start defending people like Micah because then I’LL BE DEFENDING THE WHITE MAN.

You know what?  That’s just funny to me.  But it’s true, as angry as I am right now about racism, I’m feeling ALL THE COMPASSIONS for white men, because they are getting raked through the freaking mud by who? Angry white feminists.  Why? Because they can. Apparently.  They can be angry, bitchy whatever and can take down GOOD MEN like Micah or Dave Ramsey and who the hell cares because they are angry white feminists.

The thing is. I freaking love Micah. Micah is my nigga.  And by nigga I mean, that dude is my homie.  He’s mine now, in a belonging sort of way. Ride or die.  So when an angry white feminists pulls out that card as a defense for being brutal and passive aggressive and awful to him then well, mug, you gotta deal with me.  This is my I-was-raised-in-the-hood-nigga mentality coming out and I cannot shake it.  IT’S CALLED LOYALTY.  It’s something (some of) my white friends do not understand the same way as my black friends I grew up with.

This is why I’m really confused about how to deal with this. Because seriously? NO, angry white feminists you DO NOT GET TO TAKE DOWN MICAH & DAVE RAMSEY or any other man doing ACTUAL good  in the world. No freaking no.  Because what the hell does it cost you? Nothing? But the people who need Micah & Dave Ramsey? Everything.  Go away, just go away.

As a Christian, I NEED to desperately invite Jesus more fully into this drama.  On some days, y’all I could seriously walk away from every white person and decide to be completely over it.  On other days, I’m ready to basically jump someone one for sending Micah an angry tweet.  Where is God in the midst of this confusion?  What does God have to say about this? I could pontificate all this in another post, because yes, I have some ideas.

I NEVER stop looking for God in the midst of my own racism and when I see it in others.  Otherwise, there is NO HOPE. If I didn’t believe in Jesus, white people & I? DONE.  Finished.  Micah too.  I’m just saying.  It is Christ’s love that compels me.

So, I’m pressing on y’all. I’m pressing in.  I’m just TIRED. TIRED. TIRED. TIRED. TIRED. So freaking tired.

There is no resolve for me.  I own no white privilege emotionally. I don’t shrug this off and go to another day as if the last one may or may not have happened.

IT IS COSTLY.

////

This post right here? Off the top of my head.  Not edited.  Written hastily at 6:15am, rushed to get ready to work.  IF I HAVE OFFENDED YOU WRITE ME AN EMAIL.  This is my raw emotions right here…. not doctrine, not theology and not claiming to be correct. gbiskie@gmail.com No excuses for broken relationship CONTACT ME, Mug.  I will call you if we need to hash it out.

Also, I wrote this as part of Heather’s Just Write, an exercise in free writing.

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  • http://kennethapettigrew.wordpress.com/ Ken Pettigrew

    Thank you. Enough said.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      weeeeeeeeellllllll… LOL

      • http://kennethapettigrew.wordpress.com/ Ken Pettigrew

        Haha!

  • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

    Girl, now I REALLY want to have that phone conversation! Would you DM me your number again? :)

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      of course, Sarah. =)

  • Abby Norman

    I am married to a white, straight, man who is specializing in race and gender rhetorical criticism. I have ALL the thoughts about this and am emailing you shortly (also because I also have a deep love for Detroit and think we should be friends).

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      oh you know I love fellow Detroit enthusiasts!!! =) Looking forward to your email.

  • Megan

    Grace, I love your honesty and vulnerability. You stick by your convictions while still wrestling with whether or not your responding the right way. If only more people would do that before firing off angry tweets. I’ll admit, when the criticism of Dave Ramsey started, I thought they were right. But it’s ironic that they wanted to stand up for the poor, and here you are saying that, having grown up in poverty, there was nothing offensive about his list. Maybe another example of how we need to listen better. Thank you for being a strong voice to listen to, even though it’s clearly a struggle for you. God is using you!

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Thanks so much, Megan appreciate the feedback!

  • Guest

    Oh boy! Does a self-identified white male feminist, stay at home dad, who is barely scraping the bottom of the lower middle class tax bracket – by virtue of his wife’s income – who nonetheless has some serious reservations with your friend Dave Ramsey’s ministry dare to comment on this one? Oh what the hell. First and foremost, I have grown more and more to appreciate your fierce, emotional and loyal voice (even though I have in the past questioned your vulnerability at times). I find it increasingly inspiring.

    For Dave Ramsey, the comparisons to Joel Olsteen are unwarranted and silly. They are obviously preaching different gospels about different gods. However, I do wonder if a Ramsey/Mark Driscoll comparison might be at least somewhat warranted. I cannot listen to either without feeling wounded, emasculated and second guessing myself. While I think Ramsey has better intentions, is less “theologically’ intense in his overall project and less offensive, they both share a pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality that lays a LOT of familial responsibility at the feet of men. I can’t list to Ramsey without feeling like he is constantly telling me I should have put of seminary loans and car loans and worked at a factory for 10 or 12 years to pay for my schooling in cash. But when you and your spouse both feel certain you are called to something, and you have absolutely not church or community support and you have good reason to worry you could die when you are 50 of a familial disease, it seems like wildly impractical advice.

    I don’t know your boy Micah. Never even heard of him. But I just checked out his two most recent blogs and I don’t get why the gals were attacking him for sticking up for “Jesus Feminism” Anyway, I will start following his blogs and tweets. Seems like a good cat.

    • Wayne Bowerman

      Sorry about the double post. Please feel free to delete this one.

  • Wayne Bowerman

    Oh boy! Does a self-identified white male feminist, stay at home dad, who is barely scraping the bottom of the lower middle class tax bracket – by virtue of his wife’s income – who nonetheless has some serious reservations with your friend Dave Ramsey’s ministry dare to comment on this one? Oh what the hell. First and foremost, I have grown more and more to appreciate your fierce, emotional and loyal voice (even though I have in the past questioned your vulnerability at times). I find it increasingly inspiring.

    For Dave Ramsey, the comparisons to Joel Olsteen are unwarranted and silly. They are obviously preaching different gospels about different gods. However, I do wonder if a Ramsey/Mark Driscoll comparison might be at least somewhat warranted. I cannot listen to either without feeling wounded, emasculated and second guessing myself. While I think Ramsey has better intentions, is less “theologically’ intense in his overall project and less offensive, they both share a pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality that lays a LOT of familial responsibility at the feet of men. I can’t listen to Ramsey without feeling like he is constantly telling me I should have put off seminary loans and car loans and worked at a factory for 10 or 12 years to pay for my schooling in cash. But when you and your spouse both feel certain you are called to something, and you have absolutely not church or community support and you have good reason to worry you could die when you are 50 of a familial disease, it seems like wildly impractical advice and you just go for.

    I don’t know your boy Micah. Never even heard of him. But I just checked out his two most recent blogs and I don’t get why the gals were attacking him for sticking up for “Jesus Feminism” Anyway, I will start following his blogs and tweets. Seems like a good cat.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Wayne, yes of course, your voice is ALWAYS welcome my brotha from anotha mutha! =) Dave R. is going to have his set of haters b/c he’s a Christian. If he would just pretend to be an athiest it would make it all simpler. Seriously though b/c he’s a man of faith I think it’s easy to assume a lot about how he feels about the poor. I just don’t think we know, but at the same time I want to hear those who have the reservations and try and understand what they are getting at.

      I also understand by what you mean by your 2nd paragraph. I think for me, it’s easy to say he’s got a ton of financial wisdom so why not just eat the meat and spit out the bones?

      That works for me, but I’m a simple person. I think at least. =)

  • http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah | the smitten word

    well, i’m an angry white feminist who appreciates you and micah and all the other angry white feminists you threw some serious shade at. i do not appreciate dave ramsey at all, but i believe there’s room for all of us, and for seeing situations and people through myriad lenses. the tension is freakin’ hard and complicated, but there’s beauty here, too. <3

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      serious shade. yes. I hope I can write a thoughtful follow up. Here’s what I’ve learned in about one hour since posting this: 1) anger (of all sorts) has given angry white feminists a voice they didn’t have before. Awesome. amazingly awesome. 2) Anger by anyone can lead towards hate, otherwise it’s useless. Good reminder for me. 3) There’s a place for angry white feminists to be angry & it’s needed. 4) There’s a place for me to call out injustice too, as whoever-whatever-I-am. so, yeah, there’s both going on here. complication. beauty. pain. ugly. i agree. <3

  • http://www.natureofaservant.com/ Andee Z

    It’s the Twitter, I tell ya’! I swear, I can’t do it anymore. People who would normally get along in the same room and fight for social justice and love their neighbors argue over Ev. Ery. Thing. It’s just one big scroll feed of anger…and this just from my Christian brothers and sisters. I’m not expecting everyone to be lovey-dovey all the time – but at least be respectful and do your research. That doesn’t happen in 140 characters.

    I don’t know the people you speak of in your post personally, but I do watch the Tweets and the responses. I am confident in my faith…but what about those who aren’t? If I had stereotypical views of “Christians”, this would just re-confirm those views. I’d stay far away from the “Jesus followers”.

    Thanks for speaking your mind.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Whew, that’s challenging. Yet a GOOD reminder to be loving and kind and perhaps not as emotional in my twitter feed. =)

  • Tamara

    I’m confused about why you’re so confused. All injustice, prejudice and sin is nothing more than part of the whole depravity of man and is ALL accounted for and predicted by scripture. And I’m sure you know this, but you’re taking liberties to say whatever comes to mind. Why? Because you can. What’s the difference between you and the “angry white feminist”?

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      I’m not using it to justify being hateful. I’m not using who-I-am to justify treating people poorly. I’m not using it to justify taking folks down in one fail swoop. That’s a big difference. If you (or anyone else) ever hears me say (write, tweet, etc.) that it’s okay for me to be hateful or treat people poorly or hurt someone intentionally than I’m WRONG WRONG WRONG. As it is, I confess in this post my anger that leads to hate & racism IS NOT OKAY. IT’S NOT OKAY. I need to deal with that shit. I need to deal with it ASAP. It’s not okay. But that is really different than someone being like, ‘well, I’m an angry feminist so I say whatever the hell I want to & I don’t care who it hurts because I have a voice.’ THAT SHIT IS NOT OKAY. Not for Jesus followers at least. We need to be better. I need to be better. We need to do better. There’s a place for anger BUT IT IS NOT A JUSTIFICATION.

      • Diane S

        Amen Grace! I have struggled with this angry white feminist crap for soooooo long. So much so, that I will not call myself a feminist EVER! Unfortunately, it is the angry white feminist who is doing more damage than good for confident women of strength that don’t have a chip on their shoulder about some injustice regardless of whether it is perceived or real. Also, having come from poverty and now live comfortably because of hard work and frugality, I see things much more differently than someone who grew up middle class and has now found themselves, for whatever reason in a poverty situation. It seems the perspective from growing up in poverty has fewer expectations of being taken care of by someone/entity than the perspective of one who grew up with luxury and now expects to still have it (somehow) although it is unaffordable.

  • Aaron

    Ramsey seems to have some very sound recommendations about controlling spending, and that’s advice that people in poverty can greatly benefit from. What strikes me as problematic, though, is his turning a blind eye to how some (not all) of the “winners” got to be where they are. He talks about Toby Keith a lot, and I’m sure he’s worked as hard as Dave says he has. But he’s not the only type winner in society. I really don’t think there’s a strong case for the large payouts made to bank execs in the years where their banks failed, for example. Nassim Taleb, certainly a pro-market guy, comes out strongly against the current state of affairs (one example is here: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/02/the-great-bank-robbery/). That’s only one example Ramsey came out against ACA (Obamacare) in a commentary on his radio program that didn’t describe the plan correctly. It’s not a problem that he’s against ACA, but he has an obligation to describe it correctly. These biases always seem to slant Republican, as does his appearances on Fox news. Not a problem that he’s conservative, but it’s always come across as the type of unquestioning conservatism that leads to blind spots to how the system itself may be causing inequalities. I think Ramsey’s message wouldn’t suffer a bit if he was honest about the dishonesty and inefficiencies.

    This video on wealth inequality (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM) seems to be a real Rorschach test for how wealth is viewed in the US. I think Ramsey sees this as the outcome of a basically fair market, whereas others see the market’s unfairness leading to this outcome.

    P.S. Hopefully this doesn’t come across as confrontational. I’m really not trying to cause endless debate, and I do think one of the best things people in poverty can do is control their money. My hope is the people are more conscious about what spending is at every level. I’m as guilty of being unconscious about what my spending habits can me in terms of bad working conditions, poverty level wages, etc. And I’m even pretty pro-market, and don’t trust the government to come up with everything. But I do think there are things going on in the background that aren’t necessarily in the best interests of the average Joe and Joanna out there.

  • http://www.bethanysuckrow.com/ Bethany Suckrow

    So as a white, female (sometimes angry) feminist and as someone that loves you and calls you friend, I just want to chime in here for a hot second. I hear you. I get your frustration, especially about the whole situation with Micah. I appreciate him and his voice so much and I support him 1000%. I also understand your frustration over this issue with Dave Ramsey – he’s helped you. And apparently, he’s a lot kinder one-on-one in a PM than he knows how to be in front of thousands of people on Twitter and on his radio show. Who knew? I’m glad you connected with him and I hope that it’s an authentic relationship for you. But I don’t think that the situation with Micah and the situation with Dave Ramsey can be considered a parallel. I think you draw some really harsh comparisons between people that have legitimate concerns and constructive criticism for a public figure, and one white, female feminist that took undue aim at Micah on Twitter.

    We’re not all angry just to be angry. We’re not all just throwing our anger around because we can. Some of us, despite our white, middle class facade, have been through our own ish, and have something to say about it, you know? I’m not trying to appropriate “oppressed” as a label for myself, but honestly, my life wasn’t easy growing up. I grew up in a lower middle class family with a mother that had terminal cancer for 14 years and a father that was laid off or fired from his jobs no less than 6 times during that same period. My parents were hardworking people that tried to provide for us and create a stable financial environment for us and a lot people looked at our “middle class” life and thought we should be able to hack it, but you know what? Sometimes life is hard on you no matter how hard you work, and your finances deteriorate anyway. My parents tried Dave Ramsey’s FPU but their life circumstances were working against them. I will never forget sitting in the hospital cafe 6 weeks before my mom died and sorting through my parents’ bills and handing them to my pastor so that the church could help them pay things with donations. And by Dave’s standards, because my parents didn’t save for my education, my parents and I were “stoopid” for choosing to send me to a private Christian college. So it’s not bad enough that my mom died and my father was unemployed, I didn’t deserve the college education because I couldn’t pay for it with cash?! Eff that BS.

    This is the reality that Dave Ramsey ignores when he conflates correlation with causation, and for some of people, his shaming tactics on top of all that grief and frustration IS JUST TOO FREAKING MUCH. So maybe he helps some people – like you – but for me, I’ve had enough. And maybe for some people – like you – you’ve had enough of some of the angry, white feminism, but for me, it’s helping me shake the shame and fear that crippled my family for so many years because we felt like our financial failures were our own fault, that it was a sign of God’s punishment for not “hacking” financial stewardship that white, middle class people like us “should” be able to. Like it or not, some of Dave’s messages are perfectly parallel to the prosperity gospel that people like Joel Osteen purport. Both of them are saying that if you just follow steps A, B, C, (pray, tithe, plan) then you will have financial peace, your best life now, favor with God, blahblahblah. Dave Ramsey wrote that himself in his follow up post last week: “There is a direct correlation between your habits, choices and character in Christ and your propensity to build wealth in non-third-world settings.”

    NO. It doesn’t always happen that way. But the prosperity gospel tells us the that there’s this clear cause-and-effect, and it goes both ways, a.k.a. if you’re poor, it’s your own fault. Not helpful. Not constructive. Not true. Not Good News. I don’t need a classist Gospel, thankyouverymuch.

    And I hope you understand that some of us white feminists are trying to have discernment over where and when to place our anger. Some of us are trying to partner with you in that. The love of Christ compels us to. Love you, friend.

    • http://www.bethanysuckrow.com/ Bethany Suckrow

      P.S. SO SORRY this little diatribe of mine is the length of freaking War and Peace.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      thank you thank you thank you for your response & I can’t wait to respond to it…you know, in a lengthy way it deserves….at work… but know that I love you too & appreciate it this & want to say more soon!

    • Davidicus

      I think there are significant differences between Dave Ramsey and prosperity preachers. One is that Dave’s general principles for wealth building reflects the wisdom of the book of Proverbs: flee from debt, use your resources generously, save money and, as you do, you will be preparing now to enjoy your coming years. The trick is that we need to be careful in how we interpret this kind of wisdom: Proverbs was meant to be wisdom that can be applied in most situations; it was not meant to be used as a blanket statement of how things will always work in all situations. For instance, the proverb about the results of training up a child in the way he should go is not to be taken as a promise, but a general rule of thumb that if we want a child to follow God’s way in the future when he or she is grown, then we should teach them how to trust and follow God when they are children. Similarly, like Proverbs, Dave Ramsey does not give us guaranteed formulas that always work but a rule of thumb for wise living in many situations.

      In contrast to Dave Ramsey, prosperity preachers give formulas that have little or no biblical support, if a person is careful in interpreting scripture to look for clues about the author’s intended meaning for his intended audience.

      Prosperity preachers often, in essence, advocate having faith in your faith: if you believe something strongly enough, it will happen. They also break from every recorded example- that I’m aware of- of prayer in scripture by having their followers follow a model that scripture does not advocate: speaking things into existence. Things like, “Money come,” and “I speak financial prosperity over my life.” Their formula is often something like this: believe it, say it, do it. It makes our belief and our words the things that provide for us, rather than God himself. It makes God our cosmic bell boy who, if we sound the right signal, will always come and give us what we want. Prosperity preachers promise God’ will for all is wealth; Jesus promised suffering in this world, warned against the dangers of wealth leading people astray if their hearts value money before God, and called us to be good stewards of every cent that we possess. Dave Ramsey offers a lot of Biblical wisdom about good choices we can make as stewards of what God gives us. I’ve seen many follow prosperity teachings to terrible ends, I’ve not seen anyone follow principles of good stewardship to terrible ends. (Though, depending on life circumstances, it may not lead them to wealth or anything near it)

      • http://www.bethanysuckrow.com/ Bethany Suckrow

        I hear what you’re saying, Davidicus. I get that he’s helped people, and I am definitely not arguing against his intent to encourage financial stewardship. I really appreciate you taking to suss out what prosperity gospel is, but instead of convincing me of the differences between Ramsey and Osteen, your points only served to draw a stronger comparison for me.

        I’m not saying that Dave Ramsey and Joel Osteen are exactly the same, but there are some strong parallels that can’t be overlooked. While Dave Ramsey’s teachings may reflect the wisdom of the book of Proverbs, his ideas about the connections between poor people’s habits and their poorness is what I take issue with, because it doesn’t reflect Christ’s wisdom and care for the poor in the rest of Scripture. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater here – I get that he’s helped people, and I’m not trying to argue that. But the part that I quoted in my last comment from his follow-up post very directly ties our character in Christ to our propensity to build wealth, and that is totally prosperity gospel because it conflates God’s blessing with our financial well-being. It is the American Dream cloaked in spiritual language, straight up.

        Osteen does the same thing, and likewise cherry-picks certain Scriptures to back up his ideas about how we reap what we sow. In fact, the whole idea of “reaping what we sow” is a cornerstone for both Osteen and Ramsey’s ministries. It makes our faith and our hard work the things that provide for us, rather than God himself … sound familiar?

        • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

          I think the term “prosperity gospel” needs to be defined in these convo’s. Just realized the way you are using it & Davidicus is using it are different. and me too I think. More later when I have time to comment more.

  • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com/ Melody Harrison Hanson

    So, so very grateful for your honesty. I’m a white feminist, but. Damn I love you and these have no bearing on the fact that the world needs your perspective Grace. Keep screaming when you need to. And feel my hug.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      well thank you so much, melody. I feel it & receive it!

  • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com/ Melody Harrison Hanson

    P.S. Ramsey’s debt management is brilliant, helps more than those in poverty. Helps middle class folk addicted to stuff, in credit card debt and his approach cannot be discounted just because he doesn’t know how to use social media (though that’s disappointing.) I’ll bet most Christians live with credit card balances. He helped us get rid of ours which had accumulated to $30,000. I was and am embarrassed on the emphasis on accumulating wealth. That’s my two cents having taken the class.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      us too!

  • kt_writes

    I am so grateful for your honesty, and the courage it takes to put it out there.

    This sentence stood out to me, for some reason:

    “And why I think yes, he’s doing some unhelpful causation-to-poverty word jumbling, but why we need to partner with him not against him.”

    I think it strikes the balance we’re called to strike as Christians. It is humble, compassionate, grace-full, and constructive—it acknowledges his flaws but seeks a redemptive work through those flaws, rather than mere nit-picking and arguing. Can you imagine the powerful work Christians could do if we all could start in that place and work together from there?

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Thanks for noticing that, K! And it’s true there is a balance in my head for him and not so much for others, so I’m learning to deal with all of this better, but it’s tough. It’s really tough. I wish though that we could all start from what you mentioned.

  • Chris Godar

    I really appreciate your honesty Grace! Just thought I’d share a pearl I picked up about anger when I thought it was a useless and scary emotion for broken-fallen me. A wise man said ‘anger is the energy one needs to make necessary change’. -Daniel Green PhD. The tough part is where does the change need to happen? In me? In the other guy? In the world? Almost always me as changing stuff I don’t contol, I have found, to be an exhausting and fruitless venture (though I am convinced I know just what the world needs).

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Thanks Chris. I recognize & see that. I believe that I need to make changes & primarily in how I love those that are very angry white feminists. I need to be loving, kind, challenging, etc. but NOT merely an anger spouter. I’m still learning. Thanks for that pearl of wisdom. =)

  • http://www.WestCoastPosse.com/ @KimJGaneWCPosse

    Ummm, I could be called an angry white feminist, I suppose…but please don’t lose faith in all of us on our quests to live life. I also wrote, “Am I the Only White Person in America Offended by Racism and the Tea Party?” It actually got published on Yahoo. And one of my most popular posts ever on my site, is “What if I’d said, Just Drive…?” It’s about my struggle as a poverty-stricken single mother in my affluent Michigan small town. So, a big high five to you, beautiful lady, from the Mitten!

    I’m with you on some things, but I’m afraid I think organized religion has totally messed with and bullied a huge number of us, in a vast array of ways. And my problem with Dave Ramsey is the imbalance in his perspective. As discussed below, the blame game that is placed on male heads of household in middle American families, and the blindly chauvinistic sneer he has toward women with his drawn out, “Honeeeeeyyy,” is destructive. I was a stay-at-home mom for ten years, and that put an almost unbearable burden on my husband. We’ve struggled valiantly ever since the post 9/11 economy closed our restaurant, through six years of infertility, my husband has lost two jobs in the last seven years because he’s a white male in his 50s (now, and because he’s at the top of his game in his field as far as his knowledge and experience, he’s just managed to support us via consulting), two cross-country moves in less than two years (chasing money)…. I was a SAHM because, well, it took our son so dang long to get here, and he has/had food/behavior issues. We chose to manage those through diet and alternative therapies vs. throwing a pill at it, for which I had to BE there, because that’s the way I healed my infertility.

    It’s worked. But I’ve always felt this niggling that I’m the key…actually that my husband and I working together and being a TEAM is the key. I can’t let him take full responsibility for our family’s success or failure. That pressure has landed him in the hospital twice. But I also don’t want to do it waiting tables or tending bar, though a ten-year hole in my resume makes it challenging to do otherwise. So this is me, using my words, and trying to make something of myself, to create something for my family, back home in the state I love, because life is about so much more than money, and yet money is everything in so many ways.

    That’s all any of us are trying to do here. I just wish we were so much better at supporting one another and choosing to look for the good in one another vs. assuming that because we have a different view, we’re bad. We all have our own head shit. I grew up in a town that was 98% white with a river dividing us from our sister city, which was 98% black. Thus, I’ve battled my own inherent racism, and that which I’ve witnessed, my entire life. Btw, our restaurant was loved equally by the Benton Harbor reverends and the St. Joseph (and Chicago) boaters for three years in downtown Benton Harbor, Michigan, and was culturally one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It was one I was so proud to share with my daughters, even though it ended in heartbreak.

    Anger doesn’t help people find common ground. It only divides us, a la Dr. King. I’m trying really hard in my old age to have compassion for those with whom I disagree, or whose faces look different than mine does, to see their souls. To listen, to understand why they feel the way they do, and discover together how we might meet somewhere in between to work things out and achieve what’s truly best for all. Twitter is a wasteland for those with phones that are smarter than they are, but it’s also a wonderful land of support and collaboration. I try to ignore the dumba$$es and their pathological need to contribute their idiocy, er opinion, to every conversation. *ahem* Bless your beautiful soul, Grace. It’s nice to “meet” you.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Kim, thanks so much for sharing all of that. You have quite the interesting perspective as well! Wow. I think anger + rage + mean behavior is the problem. Not merely anger & I think we need to be angry about some things in order to get off our heiny to do something about it (ala child sex slavery, etc.). But I understand what you are saying and I myself need to learn to tow the line so that I don’t become ragey toxic. That will be a consistent struggle for me even as I pursue hope and healing. Thank you for never giving up on your journey! Nice to meet you too! Where do you blog at?

  • Johanna

    Grace! First, how awesome that you are doing and sharing this train-of-thought writing! It has to feel insanely vulnerable to do and I, nowhere near that brave, hold that ability in such high regard. Sure, there is something good to be said for the post-writing pause/edit prior to publishing/sending/etc., but I still think the rawness of the above carries an impact – one that doesn’t shield us from your truest of feelings (or some of them, anyway) – that might not otherwise have been felt. We can all benefit from this.

    Second, I’m sorry that you are feeling so stuck (not sure if this is the right word?) in some of these feelings of anger…that’s a crappy way to feel, for sure. That said, your measuring stick is a mighty tough one to live up to – and I know that you know this – so I hope that you’ll continue to cut yourself some slack for not having all of this resolved (again, not sure about this word here). I myself can err on the side of anger-squashing so as to feel “better” but, as we all know, all this really results in is super condensed anger that hasn’t actually gone anywhere. You’re owning and dealing with yours and, again, I commend you for it.

    Last, I would like to offer myself up as a coffee date some time to possibly be the “white feminist woman” to your (fill in the blank). While I don’t for a moment suggest that this would solve or change anything for you, it still might be interesting for us both and lead to some more dialogue or even – dare I dream it? – healing. Who knows? We’d probably just end up talking about the kids and neglected households but it’s worth a shot.

    ‘Til then, keep writing!

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Johanna, oh my gosh, I would love to talk this through with you. It is always helpful for me to hear from a diversity of voices & I always benefit from IN REAL LIFE interactions around almost any topic but especially hard ones. YES YES YES, let’s do it!

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ Leigh Kramer

    We might not always see eye to eye, Grace, but I am ever grateful for your honesty and willingness to press in. There are no easy answers here. Hoping to find time to email you a few thoughts later.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Thanks, Leigh. I’d love it. xoxo

  • bach rattler

    Your hood poverty black card is well played. Whack. .. Real people who are and come from poverty would not accept you and you know it . playing the poverty race card is all you got to play sounds like a victicrat. Get over it your evangelical feminism is whack.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      What are you talking about, Bach? I actually am from poverty & I’m still friends w/ many of the folks I grew up with from Detroit. And of course they accept me. And why wouldn’t they? What in the world? Why would you presume to know anything about my current friendships, life or upbringing? Also, I AM NOT A FEMINIST. I’ve made that pretty clear. Also, I’m not playing any poverty race card. That I’m black & grew up in poverty is my reality. If you don’t like it… peace.

    • Davidicus

      Bach,
      Please back up your claim with evidence: why would people in and from poverty not accept her? What assumptions are you making to draw this conclusion? Or are you using broad general statements as a weapon in the same way you accuse her of using the race card?

      • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

        Thank you, Davidicus. =)

  • Rachael Brzys

    Way to go, Grace. That was the most coherent and organized rant I’ve ever read. Once again a great reminder of how fun and therapeutic (I hope) bloggin can be.

    It made me wonder about the points of view of all the people involved in the narrative. I don’t know anything about Dave Ramsey, but it did hurt a little to read that it’s never ok to criticize men who are doing good in the world, because that thought has caused me a lot of harm.

    There have been several men who were awful to me–asking me for help, which they got, but never following through on helping me or keeping promises, lying to me regularly, asking me to wait for them to do something important, then changing their minds and never showing up or telling me, coming to my house and doing obscene things (like naked stuff) in front of me then laughing when I told them it was inappropriate–just a whole bunch of lousy guy stuff.

    I would never call them out on twitter, or at least I hope I wouldn’t–but I wouldn’t put much past myself when I’m really, really mad. I did call one out when he offered at the last minute to speak in church. I thought he shouldn’t be a role model because as far as I could tell, he wasn’t a Christian. I told him he couldn’t do it because he’s no blessing.

    Don’t worry, anybody, I was thoroughly punished saying how I felt. Someone said to me, “Well, that’s wrong. He’s a blessing to his students and his girlfriend and the rest of us.” No one wanted to hear my side of anything that had happened.

    Also, the entire Christian community stopped talking to me.

    I did try talking to him about it later and all he had to say was, “Uh, I didn’t do anything wrong. You should seek professional help or something. Byee.”

    It was one of many things that made me feel like many things are sins if done to other people, but not to me. That many other people have rights, but not me. I ended up thinking, “maybe he is a great guy and keeps his promises, just not to me. Maybe I just don’t count. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I count?”

    I don’t know your friend Micah or the woman who tweeted at him, so I don’t know what their motivations could possibly be. That’s just my free-association, which is therapeutic for me.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Oh Rachel, wow. that is messed up. That is crazy, and sad & I am so sorry that happened to you! What you did was right & I in no way mean to imply that angry people (of whatever variety) shouldn’t call out folks (or men or whomever) who do wrong, but that we should not justify when we mistreat them. That was my whole point, don’t point back to something (well I’m this _____) as a means to an attacking end. What happened with you was totally different and I’m so glad you had the courage to speak out. The way that you were treated was maddening. That is awful, awful, awful. And I’m so sorry for the conclusions it led you to! I just want to give you a hug right now.

      Also, Micah’s tweeter friend apologized. which is great.

  • http://www.shaneraynor.com/ Shane Raynor

    Great post, Grace. I’ve become irritated at the Christian blogosphere as a whole these days. It has become a negative, bitchy place—and so has social media. There’s so much outrage that I’ve gotten outrage fatigue. Years ago, my pastor told me, “If you make everything a big deal, no one’s going to know when it’s REALLY a big deal.” I feel like that’s where we are now. Outrage and controversy draw readers. Being positive and encouraging doesn’t. It’s sad.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Shane, I agree, which is partly why I feel badly about my ranty post…but also, I know that a lot more of what i write is in general (more often that not) not in this tone….this is my anomaly. hopeuflly. =) but yes, I agree with you. it can be exhausting!

      • http://www.shaneraynor.com/ Shane Raynor

        My comment definitely wasn’t aimed at you. You’re one of the more positive Christian bloggers—and you use some humor and don’t take everything so seriously. Some bloggers just seem to be becoming bitter and overly critical. It’s easy to do… I have to keep myself in check too… which is probably why I don’t write as much as I really want to.

        • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

          It’s a tough battle though right? When I’m angry enough to write a hot mess post like this I’m more motivated to write, to get it out. When I’m feeling happy & blissful, I’m like “oooh I should watch 30 Rock! Who needs writing?!” =)

  • emmillerwrites

    I missed whatever happened with Micah, so I got nuthin’ there.

    But I did read Dave Ramsey’s post and then his follow-up comments on it, and I had several good conversations about it with my husband and other friends, both online and off. I didn’t get the prosperity gospel connection either — I don’t really think he believes that from his body of work, and it’s a bit of a stretch to get that from his post (at least, in my reading).

    I do think it seems like he may not understand some of the systemic issues that cause poverty. And it’s funny because it’s right there on his list: “84 percent of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck [sic] vs. 4 percent of poor.” It’s clear from this list he also believes good habits create opportunity, and certainly, good decisions will take you far. I agree with that. But I think he’d do well to ask why 96 percent of the poor do not believe this. What other systemic issues exist that keep them from financial stability despite their good habits and decisions? It doesn’t make me feel angry; just a little sad about the whole thing and mostly very blessed by the people in my life from all economic backgrounds who have had the hard conversations and helped me understand that life unfortunately does not work the way it does for me as it does for everybody else.

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      Emille =), yeah I hear ya on that. And I’ve thought of all that too, I just don’t agree with saying “now let’s throw him under the bus!” Which, maybe I’m perceiving what happened wrong, but that’s what triggered the bigger discussion.

      • emmillerwrites

        I’m never much of a thrower-under-the-bus. I’m more of a sitter-with-each-other-on-the-bus-and-talk-about-what-we’re-missing-in-what-the-other-is-saying. ;)

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  • theblackcommenter

    this post is on-point sis

    • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

      thanks bro! I’ll wait to you get home from NashVegas to visit. =)

      • theblackcommenter

        shhhh!!! ain’t nobody supposed to know who I’m is…

        • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

          oooh. sorry. LOL

          • theblackcommenter

            just being incognegro

            • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

              ha! you a mess!!!

  • Pingback: My Response to my Friends Response to Rachel Held Evans Response to Dave Ramsey (or Reason No. 145 why RHE annoys me…) | InterSection

  • http://www.tanyadennisbooks.com/ Tanya Dennis

    First, I love stream-of-consciousness posts. They’re so real and way more effective and courageous than the overly edited stuff we writers usually put up. I hear you. Yes, this is a HOT. MESS. I want to respond fully, but … well, I’ve got a deadline and you’ve already received a bundle of great comments. Just let me say …

    It’s not about defending “the white man,” but about defending TRUTH and what is RIGHT.

    We are all more than one aspect of ourselves. Light, dark, male, female, old, young, feminist, conservative, gay, straight … whatever. One element of us should never strip the other parts of us from the right to defense. One element should never negate the validity of the others. I cannot agree with you on all elements of your doctrine, but then fail to support you in that doctrine because an unrelated part of you offends me.

    I think when we get down to it, racism isn’t about race at all. It’s about upbringing and ignorant cultural training. You may be prejudice against me because I’m pale-skinned, but that’s not because you know anything about me. It’s because of what you know and have experienced from other pale-skinned people. My appearance says nothing about my negro family ties or the fact that I went to school in South Philly as one of only 10 white kids in my entire school. How you and I look on the outside says nothing about who we really are.

    Social media makes it far too easy to respond based on appearances. We don’t take the time to get to know people before we attack them. We have this shield of monitors between us and too often forget that, on the other side of that tweet, on the other side of the digital debate, are real people … people whom God created and loves and people who probably aren’t all that different from us.

    Love and peace to you.

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  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    I may not be following all of the same conversations on the Twitter, but I just wanted to ask point blank: Are you referring to Rachel Held Evans’ CNN piece?

    If so… I don’t think anyone would criticize Ramsey for helping families get out of debt. My church uses his curriculum, and people dig it. Fine. No worries. However, there are other issues that he addresses (touched on in Rachel’s article) where I think we need to have a more robust discussion about our theology. Should we desire to build wealth? Is wealth a sign of God’s blessing? Should followers of Jesus seek to imitate the 20 things rich people do? These are larger theological discussions that, if anything, we’ve had too little of in America. I think it’s totally fair within the Christian community to ask whether a public figure’s online content makes some missteps. I’m not interested in trashing Ramsey or anyone else associated with him. Character assassination is never a good thing, whether that’s people trashing Ramsey or Ramsey calling honest critics guilty of slander. But a frank discussion about teachings that lead to building wealth can only do the Christian community good.

  • mongupp

    Wow. I kinda feel the same when I hear “Christmas” and “shopping” in the same sentence. :)

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