Interesting phenom with people finding and owning their own victimhood this year in seminary.
I think it's healthy to find and recognize how a system excludes and oppresses people, no matter what! Issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, etc should be examined to the Nth degree. What I weary of is the Stockholm Syndrome.
The Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which they have been placed. What I mean in this context here at seminary is when people fall in love with their victimhood and wield their victimhood like a club.
as the saying goes, hurt people hurt people.
It's ironic that these people are now victimizing others with their victimization! they have become what they hate.
Bryce, my seminary library buddy, wrote in his review of James Alison's book Faith Beyond Resentment, "When we self-righteously occupy the position of the victim, demanding retribution and recompense for the abuses we have suffered at the hands of human authorities with their violent enforcement mechanisms, we are not able to move into the area of identifying with the oppressors as our brothers and sisters who are also trapped in the same systems that we occupy."
in other words, for full reconciliation to happen we must give up our victimhood. now this might look like a white male trying to keep his priviledge by dismissing people's experience due to racial, gender, or other issues... i assure you i am not. what I am saying is that if i'm to meet you where you are, i'd hope you'd respect me enough to do the same. no boxes or stereotypes... just two people with their experience looking for common ground.
using a personal example: i have been victimized and you didn't do it! the fact someone is Catholic will not color my opinion of them but i sure do have a slant on the Catholic church! i will share that experience and see if it matches/clashes with theirs. i've met some kindred spirits and i've met people who absolutely LOVE the Catholic church and i'm friends with both and we understand each other. shouldn't this understanding be what we're after in terms of race/gender/LGBT issues/cultural/geo-political/religious/etc. issues in general?!
how far off am i?
Thanks to Bryce for the link and being a sounding board... for a fuller, more thoughtful discussion, check out Bryce's post on Alison's book.