Wordless Wednesday: Self-Flagellation
Saturday 9: Happy Holidays

The Reluctant Christian

[This blahg is my platform. Understand that this is MY space to express MY views, and I am exercising that right and privilege right now. If you want to disagree with me, feel free to do so, but do it in a respectful, intelligent manner. If you can't, please save your comments for another time, another place.]

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First, let me say this: I am Christian. I have always been Christian, and I will always be Christian.  Despite the fact that I have been through some pretty tough stuff over the course of my life, my faith in God and acceptance of Jesus the Christ as my Lord and Savior have never wavered.

Now, the title of this post is something of a misnomer. I'm not a reluctant Christian, truth be told. I will never deny my faith. Doing so would be wrong, and I hate being misunderstood.

What I am reluctant about, now and not infrequently, is associating myself with Christians who represent Christiandom so differently from the way I choose to do it. It is that reluctance that compels me to write what I am going to state here.

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Second, I hate it when people say "Merry Christmas" in a negative manner, in a way that is meant to cause offense to those who they are intentionally trying to offend.

What? Huh?

Let me explain.

I don't have a problem saying "Merry Christmas," and I will say it on Christmas Day to anyone and everyone except those who I am sure do not celebrate that holy day.

However, I will not say it on other days, choosing instead to use the more lovingly inclusive, "Happy Holidays!"

I have no problem being wished a merry Christmas, and I have no problem with anyone saying it. What I do take issue with is being so in-your-face about it. There are posts and people everywhere who say things to the effect of, "You won't get a 'Happy Holidays' out of me! It's going to be 'Merry Christmas' for all, by gummit!"

Why? Why do we do this? Are we lacking sense? I think we must be, as Christians, to say and post such things, in light of the fact that one of the jobs we are commissioned to do is spread Christianity to those who do not know Jesus. 

I mean, really? It spews hatred and intolerance, it's exclusionary, and it serves no purpose other than to completely alienate those whom we are supposed to include. In short, such messages are counter-productive.

As an analogy, I will liken this "You'll take my 'Merry Christmas' and you'll LIKE it, too!" attitude to those who choose to spread the Word by preaching that if you don't accept Jesus as Lord, you're going to burn in Hell for all eternity. I'm not remarking on whether that is true because, honestly, I'm not God and I don't know His plans for anyone outside myself. What I am saying is, why not preach in a more positive, productive, promising way? Scare tactics do not work. I have never heard of anyone saying, "Holy shit, God sounds like a nightmare, so I better follow Him!"

No. It doesn't happen that way. Consider your methodology, fellow Christians. God is everlasting Life. He is Love. He is the supreme Soul, Spirit, Principle, Truth, and Mind. He is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, universal love.

To me, that's a much more compelling, endearing message than, "Believe in me or you will burn!" to those we should seek to convert.

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Third, there is this whole Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty scandal going on, with nearly the entirety of Facebook up in arms about the whole thing. Here, instead of on Facebook where I have decided not to post about it in light of this being Christmastime, I shall share my tuppence.

I have never watched this show. I haven't had the opportunity, because we haven't had cable service in years. I don't know the guy first-hand, second-hand, or any-hand. Nevertheless, I feel the need to contribute here to the discussion, in light of the theme of this post.

Here's a syllogism for you:

All sin is equal in the eyes of the Lord.

Not one of us without sin.

Therefore, all of us are equally sinful to God.

You get what I'm sayin'? Just in case, I'll explain it more fully:

If you're human, you sin. Period, point-blank, no-'bout-adoubt it, you are a sinner. It doesn't matter whether you snag a grape at the local market before paying for the bunch, or whether you have sexual intercourse with another consenting adult of your same sex. They are EQUAL. They are the same. One is not worse than the other. You may as well murder your fellow man, because guess what? Unless the Virgin Mary bore you over a couple thousand years ago, you are not blameless to the Lord. They are one and the same. [Note: I'm not saying you should consider killing people. Please don't do that.]

Now, you may be saying to yourself, okay, yes, that's true. So? He's entitled to say what he wants to say. Freedom of Speech and all, right?

The protection of free speech is a governmentally-regulated right. A&E is not the government. They are a privately held corporation. They therefore have rights, and they have exercised their rights, too. If you're going to be up-in-arms about Mr. Robertson's suspension, fine, but your raised hackles are puzzling to those of us who understand this.

{As long as I'm kvetching, I would like to say, too, that comparing homosexuality to bestiality is, well, stupid. Two consenting adults having sex is a completely different concept from what is essentially the rape of an animal outside our own species. If you don't get that, I am afraid I can't help you any further. Robertson also claims never to have seen or heard of the mistreatment of a black person in the South prior to the Civil Rights Movement, to which I can only say, "Really?!" Also, "Pfft."

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Finally, I would like to close this post by saying that I include myself amongst the sinners. Please don't misunderstand that. Only when infinite love is felt and expressed can we push out the hatred in our hearts. Help, don't harm. Love, don't hate.

Happy holidays.