I beg NOT to differ … August 21, 2012

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I had no idea.Well, that’s not exactly true. You always have ideas. They kind of war in your brain–the overly pessimistic crowding sensation and the optimism floating around in your cranium like puffy white clouds. But when I say I had no idea, what I mean is that all my speculation was really useless, because I had no point of reference.

When I left in January to go out and share and I was inspired to name this particular journey “the Six Word Tour,” in reference to “NoOne is better than anyone else,” I wasn’t really sure what response I would receive to the assertion. Of course, I knew there would be some grammarians in the audience who would insist it was seven words, because “no one” is actually two words instead of one. But I checked it out in English handbooks, and actually, no one can be hyphenated (no-one), two words (no one) or used as a compound word (noone). So I was prepared for the handful of souls who pursue such logic.

But what I was NOT prepared for was presenting the concept of “NoOne is better than anyone else” to a rather quiet and perhaps tepid response. Actually, the first time I share it with an audience, they tend to just stare at me. Over the months I think I have discovered the reason why. For the past thirty-two years–really, since the 1980 election between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan–we have divided into two very angry camps: conservatives and liberals.

Now, I understand these two have been around since the beginning of time, but never before had they blended such social, political and spiritual energy in attacking one another. What I have discovered this year is that those who are conservative do not like the concept of “NoOne is better than anyone else” because maintaining the theme of their mission statement requires that they believe in possessing a certain moral superiority. Those of a more liberal leaning don’t care for “NoOne is better than anyone else,” because to foster their creed, they insist on portraying a certain intellectual superiority.

So while the conservatives believe they’re superior morally, and the liberals contend that their rendition of truth makes them intellectually superior, we seem to have no leaders who are capable of loving their neighbor as themselves or of absorbing the attitude of “NoOne is better than anyone else.” It is why I have never been able to join either camp, though both have tried to suck me into their little conclaves.

I do not feel I am morally superior to anyone. Can I tell you the truth? Neither did Jesus. He makes it clear when he tells the rich young ruler, who calls him “good,” that there is “none good except God.” He challenges the crowd who wants to stone the woman caught in adultery by reminding them of their own failings and sins. And he warns in the Sermon on the Mount that judging other people leaves us vulnerable to equal portions of judgment.

I also have never been one to believe that I am intellectually superior to anyone else. Once again, I refer to Jesus, for he said during a particularly vulnerable prayer that he was grateful to God that the words of truth had been “hidden from the wise and prudent and delivered unto babes,” and on another occasion, “except we become as little children, we shall not enter the Kingdom of God.” And Jesus made it quite clear that there is a danger in thinking that with our much speaking, somehow or another the heavenly Father hears us more.

I do not know how we have strayed so far from both the gospel of Jesus and from plain old commonsense. Simple rational thinking tells you that the minute you express supremacy over another person, you have set in motion the seedlings of creating an enemy. If God is no respecter of persons, how do we think our particular breaking down of mankind into social orders is going to be received from the divine perspective?

If you want to do something magnificent in this generation and for the world around you, cease to be part of either the conservative or the liberal cliques. They are constantly arguing, plotting their revenge and plugging their causes. They feel they are ordained to rule–one group because of its moral superiority, and the other insisting on intellectual dominance. One will tell you that we need to return to God and the other will inform you that knowledge and education is the key to our progress.

Well, we’ve had God around for a long time and things aren’t better. And honestly, we’ve been teaching science, technology and history for hundreds and hundreds of years and we keep repeating the same script. So there has to be something else.

I know it is difficult for each and every one of us to fathom the concept of “NoOne is better than anyone else.” I was raised to believe I was better than other people. It has never helped me. When I was in the Church of Christ, I was told that those more liberal churches didn’t believe in Jesus and didn’t have salvation. When I began to interact with people of the mainline denominations, I was informed that those red-neck fundamentalists were just too ignorant to really understand the mind of God.

No one found a reason to stop differing. And that’s what I want. I beg NOT to differ.

I don’t want you to compromise; I don’t want them to compromise. I don’t want me to compromise. I want us ALL to start out our discussion with “NoOne is better than anyone else.”  It means that our arguments can not be given weight simply because we have quoted from a book or we’ve brought a twisted stack of statistics. We’re going to have to respect one another. You may call it idealism, but it is really not naive when it is a necessity.

Once again, we face an election where the conservatives and liberals are trying to get the high ground. The conservative Republicans want to tout their moral superiority and the liberal Democrats blow their trumpet about education and intellectualism. We are getting nowhere. In the meantime, the world teeters on the brink of unnecessary disaster simply because we look across the waters at other nations and find them inferior because they’re not American.

I am coming to your town looking for reasons to “love the God outta ya.” I know it’s in there–He created you in His image, and no matter how much moral or intellectual superiority you use to try to cover up the picture of His beauty, it can still be unearthed if we’ll just relax and stop trying so hard to be Daddy’s favorite kid.

I am not superior to you. I wouldn’t know what to do if I were. What I would like to be is equal with you as we pull together to find ways to agree on goals which will bring us closer to understanding.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Such good thoughts, Jon!! Let’s pray we can become ‘equal’ and pull together for,the betterment of all mankind!

    Like

  2. Again, you are informing many persons of.truth. Do wish this could spread to all Media. Americans need to read, hear your words. We as a people need to wake up and pay attention to what has and still going on in our country. Where are the Ministers, Churches etc. in this country. Lost so lost. Thank You for trying to open our eyes and ears.

    Like


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