Mr. Laurie has a great point. There’s a huge difference between being a religious person and being a person who follows the lifestyle and teachings of Jesus.
Religious folks, Jerry Falwell, Jr. for example, all too often, have a world view that they claim is Christian. Nothing, however, could be further away from the truth.
A Jesus person doesn’t preach hatred, bigotry or greed. A Jesus person doesn’t support racism or white surpremacy and doesn’t endorse or condone the use of violence. Yet, a religious person is free do do all of this.
A Jesus person can be recognized by their openness and acceptance of others and their caring and compassion for anyone in need. Jesus people are the ones who attempt to demonstrate a lifestyle of love rather than fear, reaching out to build bridges of hope and understanding rather than walls of separation.
One last hint to help recognize a Jesus person, look for a joyful smile. Religious people have an extremely difficult time faking that. They are usually far too angry.
I am currently dealing with a number of good people who are angry. Much of that anger is being expressed at me, but I understand why they are angry and what is motivating their anger. The source of their anger and the pain that is causing it is far deeper than me or my words and actions.
Dealing with ugly realities is never easy, and it is especially difficult in a society where we have always desired not dealing with anything ugly, messy or painful. An example is this quote by Voltaire. It is an ugly truth that will immediately make many reading it upset and angry. That, however,m doesn’t change the truthfulness of the quote.
It’s o.k. to get angry at ugly truth and painful facts. But, if we analyze the reason for our anger we have the opportunity to grow from it.
We can then work to either accept or change the ugly truth which makes us angry. Or, as in the case with some of those who are now directing their anger toward me, we can ignore the truth until it becomes an infection of anger and bitterness causing us to lash out in pain.
The only problem with the latter approach is that the source of the infection, that ugly truth still needs to be dealt with, doesn’t it?
This quote by one of the greatest Presidents in our history says a great deal about our President elect. Sadly, it’s already obvious that not all our Presidents can be great leaders.
Explosive rants on Twitter in response to perceived, or even real, personal insults is not the kind of anger that points to greatness. Uncontrolled outbursts of verbal abuse against those with whom you disagree is vindictive. It is the petty anger of smallness.
The anger of greatness is being furious at inequality and injustice, being incensed by bigotry and racism, seething at hunger in a world of plenty. The anger of greatness is the anger that leads to a better world for all.
I cannot see any such anger in our soon-to-be new President. He demonstrates plenty of anger. Sadly. it’s not the anger of greatness
These moving words by Dr. King are timely as we approach a time of massive transition and change in our country. We are called to love one another and to seek justice for all. We cannot allow fear of any measure to keep us from speaking the truth and acting on behalf of those who need our help.
As people of faith we need to be a beacon of hope to all those around us that are being told and being shown that many in our society do not value them, and even hate them. We are also called to love those so fearful that they allow their anger and hatred to lead them to verbal abuse and violence against others.
Jesus calls us to be agents of reconciliation. That means we must care enough to get in the middle and show a more excellent way. We must have the courage to act. We have to demonstrate that peace is possible. The answer isn’t fear, but love.
In a world blessed with far more than enough resources to feed all of our human family, there’s no reason for even one child to go to bed hungry. Yet, we know that almost 20,000 children die every day from hunger and hunger-related illnesses.
I totally agree with Rivera Sun’s thoughts on the shamefulness of excessive wealth in a world where children are allowed/are forced to die of hunger. Those with excessive wealth are complicit in those children’s deaths.
No one needs to die from hunger. We have the resources to prevent hunger. All that is required is basic morality, compassion and a sense of justice. Sadly, all three appear to be lacking among most of the excessively rich.
Maybe that’s why Jesus said that it was so difficult for the wealthy to inherit the Kingdom of God. What do you think?
I am not sure that Thurber’s quote is entirely appropriate for the situation in which we now find ourselves. Looking around with any degree of true awareness, fear and anger will almost certainly be two of the first emotions that come to mind.
I once had a bumper sticker that read, “IF YOU ARE NOT OUTRAGED YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION! Sadly, it has gone the way of all old bumper stickers.
How I wish I had that bumper sticker now. Never has it been more relevant.
I am paying attention. And I am outraged. I am disgusted with the lies and the slander and all the deceit in the current Presidential campaign. But, I am more outraged that all of us who so loudly proclaim to live by Christian values don’t.
I am tired of all of us who play church, but do not live in love, who refuse to be peacemakers, and who really worship at the altars of wealth and power. When I look around in awareness I am saddened to realize that we actually have the government and the leaders we deserve.