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Filtering by Category: John Hampton

Telling My Story

John Hampton

by John Hampton

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a blog post about how my church split, and it pissed off a lot of people. People I knew were reading what I wrote and talking about it on Facebook. Many of my friends were supportive of what I had to say, and that kind of validation was an amazing thing to experience. But not everyone was supportive. Lots of people didn’t like the way I talked about my experience.

They said I was angry.

They said I was looking for things to complain about.

They said I was just imagining things.

Not too long ago, I learned about Muted Group Theory, and something clicked. First developed by Edwin and Shirley Ardener in 1975 to show how white men create the dominant culture and in turn subjugate women through the use of language, this theory also accounts for the ways that dominant culture mutes people of color, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, and so many others.

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Homesick

John Hampton

by John Hampton

I’ve gone to one church every Sunday since the day I was adopted. When I was a kid, I was “forced” to be there – it wasn’t really how I wanted to spend my Sunday mornings, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world either. By the end of high school, however, I was showing up for people, people I liked. This church had become my home.

It felt safe.

And then it didn’t.

The church split, and suddenly I was an outcast. Granted, I have privilege because I’m a man and because of my last name. (My family has a long history in this church.) But I noticed some things. I’m almost always one of the only people of color in the room. I hear people say how safe they want to be for all different kinds of people. But people like me – and lots of other people who aren’t like me but who are also on the margins – they keep getting pushed out.

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Stop Telling People Not To Feel

John Hampton

by John Hampton

Stop telling people not to feel.

This last fall was the first election I’ve been able to vote in, and it was a doozy. It stirred up feelings for me, but everywhere I looked, people seemed to be saying, “Don’t worry, the world isn’t ending.”

Which stirred up more feelings for me: disbelief, disappointment, anger.

Because what I was hearing was, “Hey, I see how you’re feeling. But here’s why you shouldn’t feel the way you are feeling: (insert reasons for why people shouldn’t feel the way they are feeling.)”

You know what’s worse, though? People who invoke God as the ultimate emotional shut-down: “God is in control.” As if that’s even helpful.

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