The only reason Jessi Bohon didn’t get a Blue Ribbon yesterday was because I knew I wanted to feature her story today:
“As a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is pull up the unfortunate.”
I am surprised that line from Jessi Bohan’s viral video did not get even more attention.
People are saying Bohan is a Republican, and that may be true. She does live in a very red state. But Blue Drops are everywhere, and other reports say she voted for Hillary, without explaining whether Bohan was a Republican crossover vote for HRC or whether Bohan is a Democrat.
On one level it doesn’t matter. In politics who you really are is always less important than who people *think* you are.
Jessi Bohan’s comments went viral for many reasons. I believe it was effective because she has several identity hooks that made her a credible source for a demographic where Dems have few credible voices. I personally was thrilled just to see someone in a red state use Christian compassion as a reason to support a cornerstone Democratic issue.
We need to do more of this. We need to show the same outpouring of social media support to the next person who says what Jessi Bohan said. It would also be helpful if we took steps to identify more Jessi Bohans and encourage them to speak up.
We need to give a bigger megaphone to the churches that teach the kind of justice theology Ms. Bohan expresses here.
She did not pull out any scripture quotes because she didn’t need to. Even people barely familiar with what Christianity is supposed to stand for knew what she meant: Providing for those who have little or nothing. Caring for the sick. Lifting up the lowly. Showing hospitality to the outcast. Loving your neighbor as yourself. This is what Christianity in general is supposed to be about. But conservatives are fond of calling themselves Christian while rejecting some of the most basic themes in salvation history.
In about a minute she explains the importance of the individual mandate, unmasks a major lie about why some companies pulled out of the exchanges, and makes the case for universal healthcare.
The congresscritter regurgitates the same old talking points in response and Bohan isn’t buying it. She states boldly that some states played a political game with people’s lives, and it is enough to push the exasperated Rcon over the edge.
If we had more messaging that clear from messengers that authentic, then support for Ocare would start to match the high percentage of people who actually like what is in the program!
You may have heard of bibles where the words of Jesus are printed in red: to make them easier to find, to make it easier to see just how many sayings of his have come down to us, and to help highlight the themes he spoke about most.
The Poverty and Justice Bible has an interesting annotation twist of its own.
All the words in scripture that have anything to do with poverty and justice are highlighted in ORANGE.
Orange! That’s our DK color! That’s the Golden Gate Bridge color! That’s the Deaniac hat color! At this point, orange is second only to blue as a Democratic identifier.
One point of the poverty and justice bible is to visually indicate that justice, and kind treatment of the poor, are threaded throughout whole huge sections of the First Testament, as well as the gospels and epistles. Some of the prophetic books have chapters that are practically all in orange.
The other amazing learning is about volume.
Sometimes when newcomers to Christianity see one of those bibles with Jesus’s words in red, their first response is: “is that all of them? Doesn’t seem like very many.”
People have the opposite reaction with the Poverty and Justice Bible. They are usually shocked to see the sheer number of verses in orange; approximately 2000 verses depending on how you count.
Sometimes people look at the Poverty and Justice Bible and realize for the first time that the Johnny One Note Angry God they have heard about is not the full picture.
And if we could have just a few more people making statements like Jessi Bohan’s, we could flip prevailing public opinion of Obamacare from negative to positive long before Rcons have a chance to come up with a credible “replacement plan”.
In fact I saw a poll recently where the flip is already well in progress. Concrete proof we outnumber them.
So if you are a believer in a situation where you are explaining in a public setting, to a group of friends, or even to one of person why you support the ACA, or oppose the wall, or care about immigrant rights, please use that opportunity to connect your views to Christianity in the same matter-of-fact way Jessi Bohan did.
Shout it to the rooftops until the culture at large starts to make the connection. It blows conservative minds, makes persuadables go “huh? there are liberal Christians?” and attracts the kind of trolls you wear like a badge of honor because you are pissing off the right people.
Connecting progressive political beliefs with progressive religious beliefs is a tactic that definitely draws attention to the fact that we are out here, and also has the potential to open some eyes and change some minds.
Previous TRUE BLUE REPORT diaries
Feb 11: Blue ribbon winners: Swastika removers, Ninth Circuit Panel, and the Persisterhood!
Feb 10: The first three words of the Constitution are “We, the People” not “I, the President”
Feb 9: Who first inspired your political activism? Who inspires you now?
Feb 8: We cannot and will not be silenced—Here’s what to do if they try to silence you
Feb 7: Plain Talk Tuesday: Tell people the Affordable Care Act is the same as OBAMACARE
Feb 6: Interview Skills 101—Internalized oppression and what Ryan Lizza did right. BRAVO!
Feb 5: These protest signs with Bible cites will confuse and befuddle RWNJs
Feb 4: Blue Ribbon Winners: Temple B’Nai Israel, Judge Robart, CNN, Senate Phone Callers
Feb 3: Not rich, not smart, not a good businessman, not a winner—DJT is NOTHING he claims to be
Feb 2: Thursday action—Encouragement, thanks, and apologies (pick one or more)
Feb 1: July 7, 2009 to August 25, 2009 and September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010
Jan 31: If you’re on overload that’s part of their plan—there’s more than one way to #resist
Jan 30: Interview Skills 101 for reporters attempting to interview KAC and other Rcons
Jan 29: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness
Jan 28: Blue Ribbon Winners: Women's March participants and #NoMuslimBan demonstrators and...
Jan 27: I wish Steve Bannon would tell me to keep my mouth shut
Jan 26: Thursday Action—Have you ever written a letter to the editor? Here’s how to start
Jan 25: The Asch Conformity Study, inauguration crowds, and the importance of speaking out
Jan 24: #ResistTrumpTuesday—good news day or another paying dues day?
Jan 23: Spy the Lie 101: How to enjoy watching Rcon spokesbot interviews, even KAC!
Jan 22: Why I prayed for the President* today
Jan 21: The only silver lining in the midst of these clouds
Inaugural (!) diary: Stop expecting Republicons to make sense