Sunday, December 02, 2007

Love Trumps All!

A very well meaning family member sends me a plethora of ultra-conservative propagandaish materials on a weekly basis. I don’t mind receiving them and like most things in my life I do what every good Christian does and take to heart the parts I am akin to and discard the rest as “hogwash”. But this week’s mailing got me thinking, what is it that Christians are so afraid of? This week’s portion of propaganda centered around an “ALERT” from a family organization up in arms with the fact that gays were boycotting Walmart. Seem the corporate conglomerate refuses to grant the “same sex” marriage benefits that it gives to “traditional marriage” relationships. Target, on the other hand, did provide such benefits, so the homosexual community was encouraging the patronizing of Target over Walmart. The family organization behind the “ALERT”, as a direct line of defense in battle for traditional-Christian family values, answered back (in rather strong language) with a call to “buycott” Walmart.

Contrary to popular belief, I am a rather rational, even-tempered (for the most part) individual. However, by genetics I do have an ornery aspect to my nature, which I am unable to control under conditions such as this. Taking the personality disclosure into consideration, you have a better understanding as to why an email response was compulsory. It went something like this:

Dear ____,
Interesting email--with a "buycott" of Walmart in place it seems we should be hearing some stimulating sermons on gluttony soon---ought to make overweight Nazarenes and Christians in general a bit on edge---esp. at the holiday season. Guess my point is that many of us “Christians” seem to "pick our sin" to abhor---- and it is usually the ones we aren't personally tempted with or involved in-
Hhmmmmmm….just a thought.

Immediately after clicking the “send” button, I called my mother forewarning her she might be receiving a correspondence concerning her “heathen” daughter. Mom, as always, giggled followed by “Now, what have you done?” Don’t get me wrong; I don’t regret pushing the send button. I believe we must make sure we are calling each other to task as readily as we call the “world” to such.

My observation is that the Christian community tends to jump on the activist bandwagon as soon as “sins”, we personally detest, present themselves as threatening to our sense of propriety. We often sight the preservation of traditional values as the platform for our actions. Is there a place closer to the hand of God for those who boycott, pontificate, and with obnoxious distain browbeat the sinners around us? I simply don’t get it. I haven’t heard of anyone boycotting a business because it provides temptation for the glutton (which, if I am correct, is also a sin), but if a bar or casino opens in our neighborhood we are all over that one.

No wonder some folks don’t want anything to do with Christians—we don’t always act very “Christ-like”. It all goes back to what Christ himself said was the most important commandments.

Mark 12:29-31
“The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Above all else, we are commanded to love God and love each other. This frees us—it allows God to be God and supports our call to simple love. No boycotts, no strong exclusive theological rhetoric, and definitely no “holier than thou” attitudes are needed to expand the community of believers. To paraphrase Christ’s words---Love trumps all!!

This I know for sure…


Alicia said...

Giggling here... and delighted to have an opportunity to share my current favorite bumper sticker. It's on the back of a minivan in the pickup line of my boys' Catholic school. In big bold letters:


gasp! at seeing that in the Catholic school parking lot! Then in itty bitty letters (regular-size really, but they seem small by comparison):

the life out of communities

Now THAT is a reason to boycott a business.

Annie said...

Good for you! I avoid Wal-mart for a variety of reasons (some of them are shamefully elitist) but mainly I find the store to be a blight on smaller towns. Just destroyed the character of their downtowns.

OT: Catholics are not word mincers.

Shelly said...

Until we realize that the people will know us by our love we will continue to fail miserably...unfortunately, the Christian community is sometimes more known for what they are "against" than what they are "for"...which is very unfortunate and counterproductive.

The only thing I boycott is liver and onions...ewww...

Tanja said...

It is one of my children's favorite things to say about me: "no we can't go there, my mom boycots Walmart!"
And I cannot get over it, they underpay their employees, and are even responsible for brainwashing them, and putting fear into their actions. And yes, the community thing too.

I know your post is about Christians and their actions, and I so agree on that with you too.


Trish said...

I stand in agreement with you, and the poster above who says, "Boycott Liver and Onions"


Anonymous said...

"The family organization behind the “ALERT”, as a direct line of defense in battle for traditional-Christian family values, answered back (in rather strong language) with a call to “buycott” Walmart" (I believe the call to boycott was to boycott Target not Walmart). I get the same junk. None the less we who call ourselves Christian need to keep our basements clean. We complain about Walmart but ignore how many people would be on wellfare or doing the job certain aliens now do for us...lets not go there. Also, if the pay is not good enough go get another job...oh, I know I am insensitive. I know that neighbors do not want to have papers blow into their yards from WM. Don't blaim Walmart, blaim the pigs who toss the garbage. We seem to aim the gun at the giant as we toss our gum wrapper out the window.

There is certainly more we Christians need to be doing but we often would raather form a line of twenty five miles of people to make a statement about abortion than give those hours of standing in the sun (interesting we do not have these endeavors this time of year)to teaching our community about birth control.

Wow, I, like a preacher, start one subject and switch to another. Lord, deliver me from binging one of those kinds of people!!!!!

Well I have said as much stupid stuff as the email you got.