Thursday, October 7, 2010

Your beliefs and political evangelism

Do you notice when you have a conversation with some one your opinions solidify. I read and listen and watch so much I think my mind will explode. But today in a conversation with a long time friend I said, "I don't believe in political evangelism." I don't think I've ever heard the term but I could be wrong.

The friend agreed and we seldom do agree on political matters.

Being me I think every one has the right to their beliefs. I also think they should be able to defend them, but whatever your thinking it is your own. I think my opinions are more correct than anyone else's of course, but I have no need to set anyone straight.

I was raised by my Mom, a woman who believed her views on religion and God were best. She told me once that it was my Christian duty to tell everyone the news about Jesus Christ and further tell them that if they didn't follow Jesus they would burn in hell. This was after I had learned to read and had discovered there were other religions in the world. She was an active member of the Missionary Society in her church until just before she died. I remember the big box of bandages sitting in her living room and the annual wrestle with the post office for the most economical way to ship it.
If I had stayed on the farm, if I had not left home and gone to college, if I had married the boy from my small town instead of a man I met at school, I can visualize myself believing much the way Mom did. But I did leave and the world is diverse.

It is a good thing to become acquainted with those unlike you. When you do you become friends with a variety of people. You discover moms and dads want the same things for their children, no matter their ethnic origins or which God they worship. You find it is necessary to listen to another idea. It also requires you to think about your beliefs and be able to defend them in reasonable debate. In a good conversation both parties listen to the other. The result is both parties to the conversation learn.

A favorite columnist wrote a rare piece for the local paper today. I lived most of my adult life reading his columns on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Then he retired. By all accounts he's happy in retirement; gardening like Martha on a great piece of land in Southern Indiana, hosting a radio gardening show on public radio, writing books and ever so often writing something for the paper.

When he wrote for us regularly the paper was more anticipated. A co-worker reminded me today that on Tuesdays I'd remark about it being a good day since Bob Hill's column would be in the paper! It was like when Life magazine arrived and it felt like a better day because of it.
I've included a link to today's article: .

His newspaper writing is always tinged with a little humor. He tries to get us to not take everything so seriously and speak up being proactive when things threaten to go off the rails. There is so much hate and fear in the casual media these days. The times I wake up and turn on the TV seeing the broadcast news morning show hosts interviewing a grieving family about one tragedy or another are too many to count. I call that first 30 minutes of those shows the "grief interview."

Every news program has a "breaking news" time where the latest house fire or traffic death is breathlessly reported. I'd like breaking news to be an interview with the kid who worked two jobs and whose parents saved for his education until he finally graduated and got good work.

Those of you who thrive on the chaos of the world will now call me Pollyanna. I believe however that the way to make living worthwhile is to do no harm, lift up not beat down. It's also a good idea to seek light instead of darkness, and no matter how bad things can get, light an be found.