3X3=None–October 8, 2011

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When it comes to writing this jonathots, I purposely try to stay off of my soapbox–primarily because I am very fat and I would break the box and end up with splinters in my legs.

But yesterday I encountered three pieces of nonsense from three different sources that ended up adding, in my estimation, to nothing–and possibly placing the moral compass of our society in the minus column.

It began when I listened to the President of the United States.  I refer to him as the President of the United States because I believe it is a position and an honor rather than an individual. In my simplistic reasoning, I contend that the President of the United States should be like a dad.  He is in charge of all races, cultures, inclinations and beliefs. Whatever titles he once held or whatever organizations he or she once chaired should be set aside in favor of being given the terrific opportunity to be the father or mother of the country. Yet I listened to our President talk about economic issues and refer to his detractors as “those from the other side.” When you are a parent, there isn’t an “other side.” They are all your children. You may not agree with them; they may be in rebellion to you–but they are not the enemy. You are not the President of the Democratic Party, the Tea Party or the Republican Party. You are supposed to be the voice of reason who never gives up on your children and always believes that in the end they will come around to reason. You don’t choose up sides.

No President has ever had a clean record. The good ones just learned this principle and faithfully tried to carry it out.  Even Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, when being attacked by some of the children of his country, responded by saying, “With malice towards none and charity towards all …” 

I’m sorry. I didn’t like it.

Then I switched channels, and presented for my review was a minister from Dallas, Texas, talking about one of the candidates running for President, and speaking of his religious views as being part of a “cult.” He claimed that this person’s religion was a cult because it was contrary to standardized evangelical Christian teaching. I was infuriated–in a giggly sort of way. Christians talking about cults is certainly a case of the pot calling the kettle black. For after all, any Jewish rabbi will be happy to tell you how far off the Christian faith is from its original moorings. And talking about someone’s religious practices as being “odd” is rather ironic coming from a Baptist minister who encourages his congregation to pretend they are eating the body and drinking the blood of their best friend.

I am not asking us to become so open-minded that our brains fall out. I am certainly not asking us to embrace ideas that are foreign to our faith. I am just requesting that we do the same thing we do when we walk through a park and see a big pile of dog doo-doo. No one purposely steps in it so they can complain about the odor; certainly there are very few volunteers to come along and clean it up. We just step around it and move on. Even if you think other people’s beliefs are made up of such ignoble material, you don’t have to comment, you don’t have to criticize and you don’t have to clean up. You just have to step aside and move on, knowing that life does play out, usually to some sort of reasonable conclusion.

The problem with intolerance is that eventually, as long as you accept it, it will circle around to come back and get you. It is the true definition of the boomerang effect.

And the third little incident that got me to nearly climb up on my box was a young girl in her early twenties on a reality show bemoaning something or other, closing her complaint by saying, “I’m tired of clichés like ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'”

Yes, I became a bit defensive–not because she trivialized the central theme of the gospel of Jesus. No, it was because I am frightened to death of the non-cliché idea that will replace that Golden Rule. What will we believe if we decide not to cut people the same slack we give ourselves? What new super-race will be created because it has gained prominence through over-promotion? What poor, unfortunate part of our society will be segregated again so that we might initiate a common thread of look-alike imitators?

The Golden Rule“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”–is not a cliché. It is the breath of sanity in a world gone mad with its own arrogant representation of willfulness. 

So here is what I came across:

  • A President who has forgotten that he is the father of all his children in this nation
  • A minister who fails to realize how bizarre believing can be for anyone, and chooses to attack the oddities of another faith
  • A young, inexperienced girl who probably just missed an opportunity to date the boy of her choice and decided to throw away the hope of mankind.

You know what they all share in common? They are all predominantly placed in positions of authority and viewed on national television. And you wonder why the people despair.

Let me offer this singular piece of caution.  The power is not in believing many things and confusing yourself with an over-abundance of spiritual and emotional baggage.  The power in life is finding two or three things that you know are true, that you put to the test, and being willing to protect them against the passing fancy of politicians, religionists and silly girls who are more concerned about their hair than the future of our planet.

Speak up. Don’t be angry. Just make it clear what’s important to you … and then back it up by doing it.

***************

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Good thoughts, Jon! In my opinion, today’s column is good and timely! I heard much of both speeches and liked neither — not necessarily for the reasons you gave but because I hadn’t thought it out. But I did disagree with most of what was said. You put my thoughts into words. Thank you! — Maxine

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