in that last post…
It's mostly just the past eight years of blurring of church and state, in favor of the looniest religious fringe elements has left me decidedly tetchy.
And it is interesting to hear that there are more non-religious folk around than one would think.
But, by way of an apology, I thought I would tell a positive story.
This one is about my father, who was one of the last family practice, house-call-making GPs.
My father worked hard: he came home when he was finished, nothing to do with the clock; when he saw patients he stayed with them as long as it took to sort them out; our home phone number was listed in the phone book, and I can't remember a holiday which didn't include him taking off to the emergency room at some point.
He didn't go to church, though, because Sunday was his day off.
He did treat "teachers and preachers" free of charge, since he thought they served the public and were not compensated as they should be.
One evening instead of getting home around 6:30, he turned up at 10.
He'd been on the phone for hours.
He'd started for home early, but then saw a patient of his standing out in the rain, with all his possessions in cardboard boxes.
Old black guy in his 70s.
He didn't like the look of this, so he stopped to find out what was going on.
It seems the man's no-good son had stolen his social security check out of the mail, so he hadn't been able to pay the rent on his room and was being evicted, and he had nowhere to go.
So his boxes went into the back of the car, and the man and my father drove back to the office to straighten it out.
No luck with the landlord.
No luck with the shelters.
Which I think annoyed him, because to him it seemed clear what should be done.
Finally the Community Church people agreed to put him up in an apartment they used for families they adopted and settled (Were these Vietnamese families? This was middle 70's).
This guy wasn't really what their program was set up for, but they didn't think an old man should be left standing out in the rain either.
They ended up getting him into a new situation, properly set-up with the stuff he needed, and straightening out the money thing.
They didn't have to do it.
So, yes, when they are about the spirit of their book, rather than the letter of it, I have no problems.
But I will confess that when the Prop 8 sorts start on about what the Bible says or doesn't, I have a strong desire to inquire about consuming shellfish, meat and milk, treating mildew on fabrics, and all the other minutia of Leviticus.
(And what about the Jubilee years? Not a bad concept, actually….)