An Orderly Life in Amarillo
Jose was sitting in the corner of a coffee shop, waiting for a job interview next door when we accosted him with questions. From across the room, he looked like a native Texan. His accent betrayed a childhood lived in the cloistered oasis of a gated community in Guatemala City.
Jose considers himself American above all else. He has lived in the States for 18 years and been an acolyte of America for long before that.
Jose dreamt about coming to America and getting a 4 year degree in finance and working in investment banking but his financial sense held him back from taking on the debt for the degree.
Jose's political leanings defy the traditional dichotomy of American politics. He believes America is a Christian nation, one founded in faith, that should still be guided by faith in most if not all of it's pursuits. He feels economic inequality is a defining problem of our time.
At the same time though, Jose complains about the overregulation of the American economy in recent years.
As an immigrant himself, he has split opinions on immigration.
At one point in the conversation, Jose said he doesn't like promiscuity and homosexuality because they are against the bible and his concept of orderliness. He also said that he had a number of friends who were homosexual that are lovely people. He insisted he was an open minded person despite his stance on this. After we finished our interview, I sat with him for a while and spoke to him more at length about his feelings on the topic. We talked about the difference between sexual deviance and romantic love, his understanding of sin, the prohibitions of Leviticus, and the concept of changing what we can, and loving what we cannot.
Jose has a complex set of tensions in his identity, but it's a credit to his character that he's willing to assess and rethink his beliefs to come to what he feels is the most loving truth. His insistence of his open-mindedness may have been the truest thing he said in the course of our interview. That willingness to listen and reconsider is impressive and a model for how the country may be able to move toward each other.