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.