Posts Tagged ‘Intelligence

12
Apr
09

Chinese for Easter

It’s Easter. Rather than the brunch I have planned, my husband suggested we go out for Chinese food. I shot him down quickly, saying that people should not have to work on Easter and I won’t support an establishment that makes them. I then turned up my nose, spun on my heel, and went back to my melon-balling.

“They worship Budda. They don’t care.”

I looked up from my cantaloupe and narrowed my eyes. “They are here now. They shouldn’t be working on Easter.” Before my melon-baller hit its target, I regretted my comment. I was kidding, but it was a comment that didn’t even deserve to be uttered. To nurse my guilty conscience, I pondered on the influence our Christian faith has on our culture. I think it is more profound than we realize.

Even today, as our nation strains against the faith that founded it, it molds our core values. It has permeated our ideology, whether we are subscribers to Christianity or not.

Obviously, our major holidays derived from Christianity, but so is the everyday. Our moral standards, even as we protest, are Christian. It is a Christian priniple that puts beef on our tables at night. Christianity keeps us from having slaves. It ensures that women are not oppressed. It offers charity to those who are desperate. It gives us a cohesive family unit, sanctioned in love, yet separate from generations before it.

Of course, we can look at that list and say it has nothing to do with Chrisitianity, it is just how we are raised, but I submit that we were raised on Christian ideals. If the above list were compared with other cultures based on other religions, it would look different. We take our way of life for granted and say that we are doing the right thing, but really we are all colored by the faith of our fathers, grandfathers, or great-grandfathers.

Without understanding where our ideals come from, we cannot recognize the differences between us and the others. Without taknig time to learn about their cultures, we will never fully understand the minds of those around us. We can never afford to make the statement I made earlier. It is open mindedness that teaches us and allows us to grow. It takes a developed mind to be open.

Pen, of Pen and Teller fame, blogged about a man who gave him a Bible. Pen is a staunch atheist, but he still had great respect for this man. To paraphrase, Pen said that he appreciated the sincerity of this man who seemed to honestly want to save him from a fate worse than death. Pen suggested that for a Christian to not tell those around him about the Lord simply to avoid discomfort, is the greatest hypocrisy. He asks the question, how much would one have to hate a person to let him go to Hell rather than step in and try to stop it?

Profound statement, but my favorite part is that is comes from the heart of an atheist. He has obviously considered the other side. He opened his mind enough to appreciate the sincerity of this man’s heart and whether or not he believes in God, he is better for the time he took. This is a lesson for all of us, Christian or not. When we cry foul because of the Nativity scene in the city park, or we fuss about a Menorah in the town square or split hairs over whether the traditional music at a school program might be religious, we need to let our guard down.

It is a time to learn and to understand. There is no implied conversion in a restaurant’s decision to be open on a holiday. There is a difference, deep-seated and more sacred than we know. We would do well to understand this sanctity.

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