Recently, we released a couple of episodes where two of our friends discussed their differences politically. In these episodes, both used the phrase “my hill to die on.” To be honest, that was the first time I had ever heard that phrase, and I found it interesting that both parties used it at different times. At the time, I must confess I just could not figure out why both of them would use this phrase. I mean, why such a violent metaphor to discuss whether or not a certain issue in politics is a person’s final stand?
A couple of days ago, I was speaking to a minister friend of mine while I was at my church. The conversation started innocently, but soon more complex topics began to come to the surface. As we were discussing these topics, my minster friend told me “You are very opinionated.” If my memory serves me right, we were discussing white privilege, mass incarceration and the reality of race in America – all topics that I care deeply about. In the moment, I brushed past the comment as I have been told this before. Most of the time this phrase is used in a way to almost belittle me into thinking I am too emotional about the topic. But I do not think that my minster friend meant it in this way.
So, it got me thinking. What is my hill to die on?
Before I go any farther, I would like to confess something. I am not the most intellectual person you will ever meet. I am not a Bible scholar. I am not a theologian. Until recently, the Bible was confusing, infuriating and depressing to me. But after having my eyes opened to the many levels the Bible possesses, I see it transcends time with some of its themes. One of the main ones is love.
So, when my minster friend told me I was very opinionated, I actually took it as a compliment. I had just got done saying I would fight for those who are being oppressed, even if (or especially if) they are being oppressed by the church. The conversation had covered topics about the LGBT community, minority children who are told they are nothing by their jerk of a teacher, and more. I got emotional multiple times, almost crying on more than one occasion, and I realized something…
THAT IS MY HILL TO DIE ON!!!
I will fight for those that others say are not worthy. And that especially is the case if the Church is saying they are not worthy. I am willing to be asked if “my faith is wavering” if that means I am standing up for those that some say are out of the tribe. As I have studied more of the Bible and tried to understand the arc of most of the stories, one thing has jumped off the page to me: Love. If anything is used to discriminate against others, I believe it is not of Jesus. Jesus never turned people away. He was about inclusion, not exclusion, and I pray that I may be about the same things.
The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels by Thomas Cahill
written by Brad Stair