Actually didn’t mean to sound all negative

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….)

Read and post comments


13 responses to this post.

  1. I didn't think you were negative at all! I thought it was pretty obvious who you were talkin' 'bout in the post re prop 8.And what a great story!! Your dad sure knew how to walk the walk!!


  2. I knew who you meant, but I admit that I was a little sad and didn't want to respond. Not so much at what you wrote, but because of how much the fringe elements give the rest of us church-goers a bad name. I admit, I'm not very 'churchy' and more a closet agnostic, but I view my church as a significant part of my life.
    It's a foundation from which I draw strength and can partake in the power of a caring community. The Good Samaritan story made the biggest impact on me in Sunday School. All the priveleged folk (including a man of the cloth) bypassed a stranded, wounded man but it was someone from the lowliest of classes who finally lent a caring hand. That is what being a part of a church means to me. I don't buy into the judgement and hate, which people try to hide by using the Bible as a cover.
    Granted, the people on The Right think the Devil speaks through us because we're GLBT-affirming and we believe more in Good Works than Bible study – and we're okay with that. We love a good tussle with the Evangelicals. đŸ˜‰
    What a wonderful story about your dad. Thank you for sharing.


  3. He was really, really pleased about the church for doing this.Cos there he was, sitting at his desk in his office, this guy with all his stuff, and it's getting later, and later.And the pastor rescued them both.Which is walking the walk indeed.Or in deed.


  4. lauo, I didn't think you were being negative – just feeling frustrated. Hope I didn't sound too preachy! (Srsly.)


  5. I didn't think you were being overly negative either. I think we all know that it's the acts of extremism that draw our (and/or media) attention.
    Your dad sounds like a great man. That story made me smile.


  6. Dad sounds awesome.And re: faith, I have only one thing to say:If you feel your faith is threatened just because others THINK differently, you don't really have much faith to begin with.


  7. that is some story about your father and the old man. very touching.


  8. Negative? I didn't think so.Your Dad sounds like a gem, truly.Religious fringes …….. *sigh* ………eventually they can fray entire societies away.I'll NEVER understand how people can think that their point of view is the only TRUE one. Arrogance, there, in my opinion. And danger.((hugs))


  9. See, I think that basically I don't have any interest in anyone claiming some religious authority if they are in people's faces about how they live or who they are.There is a world of people in pain out there.Go take care of them.When you've finished with the poor, the sick, the grieving, the unhappy, then come talk to me, and maybe I'll listen.Otherwise, who cares?


  10. I have been losing my strength to fight with all the evangelicals in my family. It's so discouraging. And they are all intelligent people. Sort of. I should say "educated" people. Math majors. Engineers. And they all think that someone who believes in the teachings of Buddha is listening to The Devil. Sigh. Last year for the first time in my life I didn't go to church with my family on Easter. And I'm not going this year either.


  11. Poor you.Can you work up something fun to do with the day?So you aren't sitting around simply not doing one thing, but are instead actively doing something else fun.


  12. I also didn't find it to be negative. I enjoyed it, and I particularly enjoyed the dialog it sparked.
    Wonderful story about your father. I couldn't help but marvel at the fact that he had your home number in the phonebook, and didn't charge public servants who were underpaid. You just don't see character like that very often.


  13. Well, he was a country boy, born before World War 1, in 1911.His idea of what a doctor did was different than what we think of now.After all, things like antibiotics, wide-spread use of antibiotics, and a lot of public health measures (like DDT, typhus anyone?) were all cutting edge when he was training.When he started medical school in 1932, he'd basically signed up to be a saw-bones.My aunt wept when she heard his decision to become a doctor.He'd been training in engineering, but now he was going to "work with his hands."(Oh Noes!)It was another world.


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