Monday, February 9, 2009

Words I heard


Two things were said to me yesterday that I just can't get out of my mind.

The first was by the minister at church. (Yep, I went to church all on my own.) I think I really like this guy. He's new at our church and is only 40 years old. He's quite fresh and different from the view of religion that I grew up with. To sum up his sermon, he pretty much told us to have a heart and not get too big for our breeches, because none of us are perfect, even if we obey all the so-called rules and think we're walking the straight and narrow. He told us not to get too caught up in making sure everyone obeys the rules and ignoring what's in a person's heart.

He said, "Worship of the rules is what makes someone fly an airplane into a building in order to kill thousands of people. Worship of the rules is what makes someone take a gun and blow away a doctor because he performs abortions that don't agree with the rules."

He told us to follow "the rules" if we think that's what we need to do, but it's what's in our hearts that is the most important thing and what matters in the end.

It kind of rocked my world to hear a Baptist minister say what's been in my own mind about religion all these years. My little church has changed.

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Then later after Sunday dinner, my father, who doesn't speak just for the sake of speaking and usually keeps quiet until he has something definitive to say, said something that made the whole table go quiet.

My sister, niece, and I had been talking about politics and the current state of the United States. After a few minutes of us ranting and voicing our outrage, my 83 year old father said that based on what he'd seen the last forty or fifty years, and how much the direction of the nation had changed in that time, that he was glad he wouldn't be alive to see it when we (my sister, niece, and me) get to be his age. But he said that he sure did worry for us, and that thinking of how we might be living by then kept him awake some nights.

That makes me sad. My father is the most decent, hardworking, and honest man I've ever known, and I can't stand the thought of him not sleeping restfully, peacefully, and happily at night. He's earned it. But he's also one of the wisest men I know, and I value his judgment. So his words haven't left my mind. And they've scared me a bit.

8 comments:

TWC said...

based on what he'd seen the last forty or fifty years, and how much the direction of the nation had changed in that time, that he was glad he wouldn't be alive to see it when we (my sister, niece, and me) get to be his age.

I know a lot of people so I have more exposure, but in my little corner of the universe there are a lot of people who I've heard say that.

GWB isn't completely to blame, but he sealed our fate. He and his GOP finished it off. Whatever hope there was for a constitutional republic is gone. I've said it all over town, and maybe even said it here. America has morphed into Western Europe while you weren't looking.

Let's hope that's all it is and that my libertarian friends are wrong about how bad it is going to get.

Col. Hogan said...

I always double-take when someone says, "none of us is perfect."

Perfect....what? What is the standard? What would a perfect man, or woman be like? Without the definition of a perfect human, no one can say that.

What the clergy is doing by constantly saying we aren't perfect is establishing a flaw. After the individual buys into the flaw, it becomes very easy to push unearned guilt into the equation.

Now, many of us may have flaws of various kinds, but it's in no way universal, nor is it required.

The definition of human being is "a rational animal." As long as the individual has the capacity to be rational, he is a perfect human being. His flaws, or lack of them, are what makes him an individual, not imperfect.

Sorry to have jumped 'pon my soap box on this, but people--the clergy, politicians and leftist intellectuals (did I really say that?) all like to use that meaningless phrase on us as they would a club. It's a hot-button issue with me.

TWC said...

We Are All Socialists Now

In many ways our economy already resembles a European one. As boomers age and spending grows, we will become even more French.



From the magazine issue dated Feb 16, 2009

I rest my case as outlined in post number one.

TWC said...

Meant to say that was TIME MAGAZINE

Chatelaine said...

TWC, I'm with you and your libertarian friends, I think it's going to get really bad too. I just don't understand why anyone would want us to go this way. How many failed socialists governments does the world have to have in order to prove that it's a horrible existence for the people?

Chatelaine said...

It's ok, Col, we all have our soap boxes. Lately I rip Obama and the congress to shreds two or three times a day.

I don't think my minister was meaning to club us with anything, though. I don't think any of us perfect either, and I'm sure he meant well. I think he was pretty much saying what you're saying. No one is perfect because the standards for perfectionism are different for everyone.

TWC said...

Now, many of us may have flaws of various kinds, but it's in no way universal, nor is it required.

On flaws and perfection:

If you accept that the universe is unfolding exactly the way it is supposed to, a decidedly Eastern proposition, you could argue that the zit on your chin, the arthritis in your fingers, or the kidney stone in your bladder are supposed to be there and do not represent a flaw.

Just sayin'

Chatelaine said...

Extremists ruin everything >:-{