I just overheard a conversation that was pretty bizarre. My wife still goes to church, but will tell you she doesn’t worry about the belief parts. They do good in the community, etc. Anyway. The new pastor is a gay man. He proposed bringing in a counselor of some sort, also gay, to get the church to deal with the issue.
Aside: This is a United Methodist church, which is splitting up over this issue. Obviously, this church is on the inclusive side of that. But, it’s a small town, so some members are not sure about where they stand.
So, the conversation was with the pastor explaining to my wife how shocked he was that one of the members thought this counselor was a bad idea, that people would leave the congregation over it. That’s the bizarre part, that he was shocked by this. How is it that liberals can watch our capitol being attacked by right-wing nut cases, but are shocked when they actually meet one?
Here’s an example that I think applies to what you’re talking about - my wife and I moved recently, and so we did the whole looking for houses thing with a realtor. I can’t tell you how many times we’d enter a prospective house and see that it was barely decorated (taking into account how people “stage” their houses for sale). We’d go into a place where almost every wall was white, one or two decorations here and there, etc. And my wife would be shocked how poorly people would decorate their home. And my response was, some people just do not have a sense of beauty, or homeliness, coziness, etc. And that seems to apply to so many things. It’s just a fact that people have zero imagination. This pastor seems like he just did not possess the imagination to account for the fact that people can be fundamentally different in their thinking, whether it’s home decorating, or cultural issues.
I worry about having a culture war in my living room, but some people need a “higher power”. That is, in the case of my younger son, who is so deep into drugs he has nothing, except a revolving door to prison due to drug possession. I’ve come to the conclusion that a 12 Step Program is the only thing that will help him. I found this place for him, which I told him about, and he thinks it’s perfect for him. He’s one who seem to truly need a “higher power”, which probably means he needs all the decorations to feel cozy. That said, I hate to see him become sober and it still doesn’t mend the rift between him and his brother or even cause a rift between the two of us because of the religious aspect. Yet, I want sobriety to be very important to him, in the hopes it gets my grandsons back again and keeps him out of prison for drug possession. It’s hard some believe one thing and others don’t, but that’s the problem with religion- each group makes up their own stuff based on how they view their definition of god. It’s all about what they want and how they achieve that goal. For some, it maybe a good thing in which to live a good life and for others, it makes them cruel and hateful.
Fortunately, this was a phone conversation I was overhearing. But I will talk to the guy at some point.
Interesting ending comment there. With religion, if you are aware enough, you can choose to select the good stuff. But many aren’t aware, or they consciously choose the bad. If you’re trying to build a moral code for yourself, then you’re already aware, and choosing the bad stuff is basically sociopathic.
When it comes to a 12 Step Program, hopefully the good is chosen, because, as you know, the first step is to have a higher power. This one happens to be Xian, as many in the U.S. probably are. Secular 12 Step Programs are almost none existent.