^^ This is Papua New Guinea, where I grew up. I am often asked where and what it is, so I have created a geographical primer to dispel all future confusion.
I lived on a conservative, missionary center in Papua New Guinea for 15 years with around 400 American Republicans. I'm sure there were also liberal people there, but they kept quiet when it came to politics. We had no TV, radio or newspapers and slow, expensive Internet (which meant no YouTube); the result was my knowing virtually nothing about American government except what everyone said: Bush was good! Clinton was bad! Sarah Palin was doing the LORD's work! Was Obama the antichrist?
When I moved back to the States for college in 2010, I wasn’t dead-set on my political views, but virtually everyone I knew and loved thought the same way about government, so who was I to disagree? What I thought to be true was that American liberals weren’t Christians — they were atheists and baby-killers who wanted to give people money they didn’t earn. Republicans, on the other hand, loved God, babies and independence. Sounded good to me — I liked all of those things.
Ironically, it wasn’t until I began attending a Wesleyan-Arminian school in Kentucky (Asbury University, if you're curious) that my views were challenged. I met my then-boyfriend, now-husband Luke, who was passionate about racial equality. Having grown up in Alabama, he’d observed the effects of institutionalized racism (he is white). Luke showed me that treating everyone as your equal is essentially the core of the gospel (Mark 12:30-31). Not that I didn't think discrimination was an issue in America, but as a white girl who'd grown up in the jungle, I was far from an expert on the matter.Read More
“You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” —Maya Angelou
I recently watched “Garden State” for the first time. Don't get me wrong: I, too, laughed at the twee, wallpaper-matches-my-shirt scene and overload of Shins songs. I almost lost it at this navel-gazing interaction:
Andrew: “Good luck exploring the infinite abyss.”
Albert: “Thank you. And hey — you, too.”
*Andrew proceeds to toss his head back and drink in the raindrops*
So yeah, I get it. Garbage bags as raincoats? Natalie Portman wearing a weird helmet because of epilepsy? C’mon. But then, BUT THEN. I watched that scene in which Sam (Portman) and Andrew (Zach Braff) sit in an empty bathtub, and Andrew says, “When I'm with you I feel so safe. Like I'm home.”
And I entered a glass case of emotion.