GAPnotes: Totally Like Whatever


By Viktor

Oh politics. I’m so looking forward to this political season being over on Nov. 6. Don’t get me wrong, I love following politics, but the first primary debate was way back on May 5, 2011 (really), so I’m ready for this round to be over.

That being said, there’s one thing about the political season that I really appreciate…conviction. You know, all those Facebook posts and twitter tweets that turn into epic internet arguments? Love em. Yeah, sometimes it’s a bit much, but it’s nice to be reminded that people have actual opinions about ideas that matter.

Take 3 minutes to watch this video on Taylor Mali’s poemTotally Like Whatever.

Seriously, watch the video. It’s incredible. Taylor Mali isn’t a Christian, but his challenge is especially relevant for us as we see in 1 Peter:

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15

I love the seeming paradox between defending what you believe and doing so with gentleness and respect. This has been on my mind a lot recently…  How do I speak with both conviction AND gentleness? What does it look like to live this verse out in my own life? I encourage you to think about that too. Remember, it’s ok to believe in something. So speak with conviction. Say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it. And in the time between now and Nov. 6, let every political post or tweet be a reminder for you. To speak with both gentleness and conviction about the hope you have in Jesus Christ.


Totally Like Whatever –by Taylor Mali

In case you hadn’t noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you’re talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you’re saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)’s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren’t, like, questions? You know?

Declarative sentences — so-called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
as opposed to other things which were, like, not –
have been infected by a totally hip
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don’t think I’m uncool just because I’ve noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It’s like what I’ve heard?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I’m just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally…
I mean absolutely… You know?
That we’ve just gotten to the point where it’s just, like…

And so actually our disarticulation… ness
is just a clever sort of… thing
to disguise the fact that we’ve become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since…
you know, a long, long time ago!

I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.