Why I Am Just Like Christians
5 Things To Consider
Unlike most people, I absolutely LOVE getting flaming hot hatemail. There's nothing quite like the smell of a nice spicy email in the morning to go with my coffee and bagel.
(Yes, I know I'm a Southerner.... So I like bagels...J Sue me...)
Recently, I received a comment from a gentleman. He made the assertion that, "You and I are just "Different" in all respects..." He continued to list all the ways in which we differ; my FreeThinking attitude and his Christian-based system of reference had no common ground and no equal comparisons could be drawn between the two.
So I am replying to this fellow, and all religious folk, and Christians in specific.
I will have this explanation, this conversation, with this fellow, as if he is my neighbor. And I will tell him, my imaginary neighbor, as if we were having a chat across the backyard picnic table, something that might surprise him....
"I want to explain just how I am just like you. That is... If you are really a Christian, that is, and not a self-absorbed, brain-dead automaton merely mouthing words you've heard all your life. If you are actually devout and you actually are not a hypocrite and a future sword-bearer.
1. The first common ground we have, and should be, I believe, our kids.
Simply put, we both want the best for them. We want a bright, optimistic, challenging future for them, and we both wish them health and happiness.
I see them play together in our backyard all the time, yours and mine.
They are busy building little dirt roads for their trucks and their racecars and they are laughing and they are at peace with the fact that today is the best day they have ever known.
2. We both want our kids' education to be based on fundamental studies such as reading and math and science. Basket weaving is an art, not a high school third-period class. We both want our younguns spending time with BOOKS and NOT sucking up drivel from the TV like, oh...maybe...."Friends" and "Sex In The City". (Although, I must admit a small guilty and thoroughly adult pleasure at the thought of Ms. Parker...J)
3. We are also commonly bound together by the love for our country.
We are both patriots at heart. We both have had forefathers that fought and died and bled for the right to be free men. We both have friends that have marched across that bridge in Selma, Alabama and we both know people who stood up to the tyrants and the users and the bullies, whether they be from the playground, the local school board, or the Federal government. My forefather fought the British alongside yours, with flintlock, percussion, and knife. My forefather's daughter is buried in New Site, Alabama, a Daughter of the American Revolution. She is my grandma. She is lying next to yours, maybe.
Even then, as those men raised the rifles and fired, they looked into the British eyes of their cousins... their brothers. And they wept at the tragedy of this. "Insanity!" they whispered to themselves.
Neither you nor I asked to be born when and where we did. We are here now, however, and sometimes you and I and our families have a weekend cookout and we let our hair down a bit and we laugh like small children ourselves as we watch our kids play in the sprinkler in the hot afternoon.
Both you and I will pick up our guns again, though, if need be, to protect our precious burden. Our kids. Their future. Those children and their right to proceed peacefully through life without tyrants and swords.
Yes.... We will do it again at some point; you the religious person, and I the Free Thinker. When we are in the same corner.
My forefather and yours saw each other across the Hornet's Nest at Shiloh in Tennessee and again at Vicksburg, and again at Gettysburg, and they both wept quietly at night to themselves at the stupidity, the tragedy. "Insanity!" they whispered.
Our fathers and our mothers held each other at night shrieking as the bombs fell on London and Dresden. They watched as evil men became gas chamber lords and they worked in the smoking, sulfuric factories and created bombs and bullets and bayonets in a belief that they were going to contribute toward the gaining of...freedom.
Our fathers and our mothers also turned their backs at times and refused to see the atrocities occurring in their backyards.
Our Dads, our big brothers, our uncles and our aunts and sisters and cousins slogged through the frozen gravel of Korea and the tepid swamp-water of Vietnam, and lost their legs. They lost their arms, their balls from Bouncing Betty's, and they died in Asia with the soft whisper bubbling from their bloody lips: "Insanity!"
You and I, religious brother, sit here on this spring afternoon in April 2001 with much more in common than you think. We want the same things. The things that really matter.
We cannot stand the thought of losing our freedom to think and feel.
We are Americans. We are Germans. We are British. We are Chinese and Russian and we are ALL people who have any decently firing synapse in our brains.... We KNOW that we have much in common. Freedom is a powerful concept, and we both treasure this.
4. It's not important to which religion you subscribe.
Neither of us will steal.
Neither of us will lie.
Neither of us will kill our neighbor.
5. You and I both look at the same blade of grass, and we've seen the exact same night sky of stars and wonders.
We both see something awesome in place and we both agree this is NOT accidental.
We have differing perspectives on this miracle.
I simply don't know, nor pretend to. I study and read and I quest.
You, on the other hand have a ready-made explanation for all of this.
That's ok by me. So long as you are not a hypocrite and a sword-bearer, so long as you are a real Christian, then you are always welcome in my house."
I will always tolerate good values and the quest for freedom. I may not always agree with your reasons for getting there.....
So what? I'm still not really happy about the idea of yogurt, either....J
".... Because we want to see our kids build lots more of those little dirt roads for their trucks......" MikeM
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