We often hear about the "Christian Right," or "Conservative Christians." Yet, if you think about it, Jesus was the original liberal.  He cared about motives more than the deeds themselves (Matthew 23:5 & Mark 12:41-43) and more about compassion than adhering to rules (Luke 6:1-11 & Luke 13:10-17). This blog will reflect liberal Christian values of compassion, tolerance, mercy, charity, a thirst for knowledge & understanding, and, above all, love.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Price Of Justice

-
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” ~ Matthew 18: 15-17

|Subject: Courtroom, Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Date: 2007 | Photographer: Carol M. Highsmith | This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division. |
The practice of law has always been of interest to me. Heck, when I was a kid my hero was Perry Mason. I like the idea of being able to use well-reasoned argument to trap someone in a lie. Even today, I like to end the day with an hour of Judge Judy. Seeing her embarrass obvious liars is pure entertainment to me.

Yet, there are two things I hate about the show.
  • 1. They'll introduce litigants as being, “former friends.”
  • 2. During their exit interview, someone will inevitability say, “I’ll never help anyone ever again.”
  • “Former friends?” What's that about? OK, sometimes we have to axe toxic people from our lives. It’s painful, but sometimes it's necessary. Granted. But, friends, real friends, shouldn't let a single disagreement sink their friendship. Life's to short to lose even one friend over an insurance deductible or a hole in the wall.

    And, if the moral of a story is, “don’t help others,” the story is fakakta. If we’re not helping others, then what are we doing here? Seriously, I sleep much better if I know I helped someone that day. I believe it's, literally, why we're here.

    My best friend and I will never agree on politics or religion. She refers to God as, “that fictional guy on the cloud.” We agree on the important things. We agree on how to treat people and put them first. At the end of the, our relationships are our most prized possessions.

    People of good conscious can have genuine disagreements, and sometimes we need the courts to resolve such disagreements. Yet, when we allow the adversarial system to cost us friendships, and/or make us jaded toward helping others, we’ve paid too high a price for the resolution of our dispute.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    Healing Thoughts

    -
    I haven't posted in some time for the simple reason that I've been in the hospital. No, it wasn’t COVID-19 related, but the problem with my innards was nasty enough to knock me down for the count, requiring emergency surgery.

    Lying in bed, breathing through a tube, gives a person a chance to observe humanity from a unique angle.  On the TV above me, I could follow the story of a self-interested president trying to hold onto power, despite the will of the people. 

    Watching this meglomaniac whip, gullibly uninformed, people into seething hordes of misdirected violence, one would tend to agree with Paul's letter to the Romans (3:10-18 ESV) ~ As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”

    I don't buy it.  As I healed, a parade off people made their way through my room.  These people had all dedicated their professional lives to easing the pain of others.  The contrast between the televised selfishness, and the compassion which  I had been the beneficiary of, was striking.  Perhaps it's due to a lack of imagination on my part, but I can't picture such kindness being the result of "original sin."  Nor, can I see humanity as fundamentally unrighteous and worthless. 

    I've said it before, and I'll happily repeat myself here.  People are naturally kind.  Humanity is naturally good.  When given a choice, mentally, and emotionally, healthy people will choose kindness & generosity over cruelty & selfishness. 

    Yes, the world seems to be mired in a darkness right now.  The darkness in question is not a reflection the majority of humanity.  The darkness in question is the result of sick selfish people obtaining more than their fair share of power.  We fell asleep at the proverbial wheel & let it happen.  Yet, last November we rallied back and corrected many of our mistakes. 

    As a whole, the human race values; 
    • kindness, 
    • compassion, 
    • generosity, 
    • healing, 
    • helpfulness, 
    • and love. 
    I simply can't make myself believe that people with such values were originally spawned from sin.

    Amen. 

    Sunday, November 22, 2020

    Giving Thanks

     -

    "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song." ~ Psalm 95:1-2

    Thanksgiving - noun, is defined by DICTIONARY.COM as
    [ thanks-giv-ing ]

    1. the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
    2. an expression of thanks, especially to God.
    3. a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
    4. a day set apart for giving thanks to God
    I look forward to Thanksgiving every year, but not for the reasons one might think.  It's true I'm a foodie, and always welcome a chance to feast on a variety of culinary delights.  Yet, what I REALLY look forward to is the opportunity to thank the amazing people in my life, for all they do for me all year 'round.

    There's not a day that goes by that I'm not floored by the extraordinarily high caliber of people who are in my life.  I thank God, daily, for these precious gifts of family and friends.  Yet, we live in a society in which spontaneous gestures of affection and gratitude can be seen as creepy and off-putting.

    When Sarah Josepha Hale pestered President Lincoln to declare a national day of Thanksgiving, she was trying to unite a broken nation via a common honoring of the harvest.   Yet, it can also be a superb opportunity to thank the people in our lives for the roles they play.   I actually find it baffling that Hallmark hasn't turned it into a mega card holiday by now.