Please don’t hate me

This has never happened before. I have written this blog four times, and four times I have erased it. It is not because I did not think it was any good, but I simply did not want to upset anyone. I argued with myself that I would not change anyone’s mind with one short blog. And although that is probably true, I may manage to get someone to look at a topic again, to do a little research, to allow themselves to question what they have previously held to be true.

Something else has caused me to be reticent to write this too – a couple of years ago I wrote a blog, on a different site, asking questions as to why an important leader was permitted to say and do things that would have huge consequences if I had done the same. I had watched him make fun of a journalist with disabilities. I read some of his tweets where he spoke very derogatorily of fellow politicians, or other people that he had a disagreement with. I am a contract professor at a local college, and my contract would probably be terminated if I had acted similarly. Yet when I wrote about this situation, instead of responding, either positively or negatively, I lost many of my blog followers. At that point I decided to stay away from politics when writing my blog.

We are living in interesting times. I want to live my life as a Christian, as a Jesus follower. My Bible says that they we will know we are Christians by our love for one another, not by which party we vote for in an election. In fact, I will confess that the first time I was old enough to vote in a general election I was convinced that it was my responsibility to vote but I had no clue which party I should be voting for. My sister had also just come of voting age, and we decided to vote one of us for each of the two main parties. That way we had done the right thing and voted, but because we did not see one side as better than the other we chose to cancel each other’s vote. Since that time, I have voted for several different parties, because none of them have everything right, or everything wrong. The best illustration I found was thinking of voting being like which bus stop is the best one to alight from the bus. That is, which bus stop takes me closest to home, or, with regards to voting, which person or party comes closest to what I consider to be right.

Fortunately, I am not American, although I have many friends who are. I say fortunately simply because I would have struggled to know who to vote for in the recent election. For many of my friends the abortion issue is important enough to choose who to vote for, and although I do hate abortion, I think other issues are also important. As a Christian I believe it is our responsibility to look after this planet. I read one article, printed in the UK, that suggested that if the same president of the last four years was reelected, climate control would likely suffer irreversible damage. I also believe that we are called to care for the poor. Many years ago, I watched a movie staring Denzel Washington, about a man whose son needed a heart transplant. Because this man had recently lost his job he no longer had health benefits, and therefore his son would not be permitted to receive the help that he needed. That movie had a profound affect on me. The movie clearly demonstrated the agony of a man who loved his son, and yet had no legal means to help him. Can we as Christians condone removing adequate health care for the poor?

I do not want to ignore the struggles we also have here in Canada. I have to admit that I am both embarrassed and angry at some of the words and behaviors of my fellow Christians recently. I have been told that I should not be listening to the media, that the media is not to be trusted. I have to admit I have always been careful with what the media tells me. Yes most media have a bias, and the news they choose to share is generally not the happy stories. I need to be careful not to fill my mind with their stories, but no way will I ignore all media. But what really upsets me is when friends tell me not to listen to the media, and yet they are clearly getting their information from somewhere. For example, someone recently informed me that those head thermometers that are being used extensively today are dangerous. And how did they know this to be true? They had watched a video!! Watching a ten-minute video means you know more than the medical personnel who have approved these machines?

I struggle with those who suggest wearing masks is not helping and they should have the freedom not to wear them. And where do they get their information from? They watch videos that someone has posted on social media. The other day I saw a post which said that if you were not willing to cover your mouth and nose with a mask in order to protect others, then do not speak to them about God. I could cry. I do not know how much a mask protects me, or others, but I do know that it shows others that I want to protect them.

Who am I listening to? I am trying to listen to the Lord. I read ten chapters from the Bible today and meditated on a short passage. I also looked at social media and read some posts from a news site. If I come across something that I wonder about, I will do further research. I googled “are head thermometers safe?” for example. I am aware that anyone can post something on social media. Do not simply believe something because of watching a video – do some research. Please. And maybe we should spend more time considering what is best for others, rather than what is important for me. I believe the Christian way is to lay down our rights in order to share the love of God.

7 thoughts on “Please don’t hate me

  1. Well said Mary! x

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  2. Hi Mary, I actually laughed that you would be worried if someone hated you. I really don’t care. Eg I emailed a Priest of the CC of which I am a Lay Associate. I told him I appreciated his many excellent homilies but was very disappointed when he told folks that if they don’t vote Republican then they will be committing a grave mortal sin. I told him to stop playing God and that as a senior I heard enough of that nonsense growing up. I reminded him that we have a conscience to use in prayer to make our decision and to remember the history of the French Revolution when the church aligned with the govt. It lost big time. As you spoke about those who have needs , you are right. Homosexuals the poor the transvestite etc all have rights as does baby in womb. I would rather belong to a party that takes care of all God’s people. The church needs to stay out of politics. “ Give to God what is Gods and to Caesar what is Caesars. Marg I like Biden. I can’t believe that a Bishop refused him Communion. Big mistake . The Bishop has not done his homework . He needs to read the docs on the Sacredness of an Informed Conscience. Marg

    Sent from my iPhone

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  3. By the way Mary I forgot to tell you I have one of those thermometers . I love it. Makes me happy if someone comes in my home and U know they are well. Yes, listen to the Lord but here out our PM and Premier of our province. They are doing their best to help us. Freedom must be for the common good. Tonight they locked up owner of restaurant for poor behaviour . So be it. Marg

    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. You’re so reasonable! Alas, in these times, that can be reason enough for people to hate you. We’re supposed to love our enemies, and we can’t even manage to love people who have a different viewpoint on things. Stick to your guns! Or, rather, your sword and sheild.

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  5. Hi Mary,
    All I can say is thank you. I know everyone needs to decide on how they vote but having a more realistic view of things such as doing research goes a long way. Appreciate what you said here and agree with your view point.
    Judy

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  6. Mary, I do not hate you and thank you for a brave, thought-provoking, helpful blog. It makes a lot of sense to me. May us Jesus Followers continue to love and respect not only our enemies but also those with whom we have a difference of opinion.

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  7. Great post Mary. I am not on here a lot but just happened to see your post and enjoyed reading it.
    Back in the day when all we had was TV radio and newspapers, there were a select few influencers that created content which we accepted with little reservation.
    That all changed with social media. Now everybody can create content. Now everybody can be an influencer. Now we don’t trust content and influencers from older traditional media. Instead we feel we are qualified to do our own research. This has basically created an anarchy of content with no consensus on what is right or wrong, true or false.
    You and I are old enough to remember a day before the Internet and social media when something in the world was happening, there were a few news channels and they all said the same thing and you trusted them ( for sure, if you were really conservative, you were critical of any spin from the media that you felt had a liberal bias, but you never disputed the facts).
    Today, with the Internet and YouTube videos, everyone is an expert. Instead of listening to credible news sources, we “ do our own research.” When you have main stream media on one side, and somebody in their pyjamas doing a YouTube video filled with conspiracy theories, we have a problem. And the problem is, who do you trust? And if two different people are trusting different sources on what the “truth” or the “facts” are, (I’m not talking about spin), then there can be no communication. All conversation breaks down. And it’s not too long before judgment, insults and hurt feelings happen and relationships are injured.
    I miss the good ole days; when Walter Cronkite or Dan Rather said it, that was it!
    Merry Christmas and stay safe.
    Ken Waite

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