Christian Neurology (How not to put thoughts together.)
Several previous blogs are from and about my friend Richard. Richard recently and successfully battled though cancer treatment. He is a kindly and intellectual gentleman who is inoffensive, polite, and thoughtful. I greatly admire him for his intellect, bravery and will to survive. The following is a true story he sent me. If you have just one skeptical bone in your body, you will find it interesting.
The following exchange is as close as I can remember it. Earlier this week I was at Barnes and Noble looking through some history books on sale and I noticed an older (well, younger than I but then everybody is) lady sitting in one of the leather chairs intently reading one of Glenn Beck’s contributions to our intellectual history and I sat down next to her and said:
Hi, I see you’re into Glenn Beck. Are you a fan of his?
Oh, yes. He is my guru. I have learned so much from him that I never knew.
That’s interesting. What have you learned for example?
Well, lots of things about our history but so much about the threat from Muslims.
Give me an example.
Well, you know they are all slaves to their holy book and all think alike and all want to kill us.
Really, so you think the Muslims here in America are just as fanatic as those 9-11 guys who flew into the towers?
Oh yes. They are all alike and they learn to hate America in all their Mosques including those here in America. That’s why we shouldn’t allow the building of mosques in this country.
So we can’t trust any of them even those members of Congress who are Muslim and have been elected by the voters?
They are just pretending to be Americans. I don’t think Muslims should be given the right to vote or to hold Office and should just be rounded up and kept away from the rest of us the way the Japanese were interned during WW II.
But hasn’t that decision by FDR been generally condemned and those families been given reparations for their unfair treatment?
Even so, I think the Muslims are much more dangerous and shouldn’t even be allowed in the country.
So you think all of Islam is monolithic?
What do you mean?
You think they are all the same. That there are no differences in their thinking or their actions.
Yes, I think the ones who haven’t acted yet are just waiting for a signal of some kind.
Can I assume that you are a Christian?
Of course. I’ve always been a Christian.
Do you think all Christians are monolithic?
I don’t understand.
Well, are you the sort of Christian who donates to Christian Televangelists like Pat Robertson or the son of Jerry Falwell?
How about the kind of Christian who believes in faith healing?
No, I don’t believe that.
Have you ever “taken up serpents” to demonstrate the strength of your faith?
Of course not.
Are you the kind of Christian like Hitler who was born a Catholic and died a Catholic and was never repudiated by the Catholic Church at any time?
I thought Hitler was an atheist. That’s what I’ve heard.
Are you the kind of Christian who, when they have a child sick with meningitis or some other curable disease, gathers your family and friends and pray over the child asking God to hear him or her until the child dies?
No, I can’t stand those stupid people.
Are you the kind of Christian who feels it is necessary to assassinate abortion doctors like Dr. Tiller?
No, I think that is going too far.
How about those ministers who use deprecatory prayers to ask God to kill the President?
I’ve never heard of such a thing but I would not want my minister to pray like that even though I am no fan of Obama.
Are you the kind of Christian who is certain that we are living in the End Times and that 2012 is probably the year and that the signs are all around us if we would just see them in the Book of Revelation?
Well, I don’t know about that but I do believe that all this crazy weather is an indication that God is not happy with us.
Are you the sort of Christian, like Fred Phelps, who believes that all gays should be rounded up and stoned to death like it says in Leviticus?
No, I don’t approve of the homosexual agenda but I don’t think they should be killed…just sent to those places where they can be made normal like the rest of us.
Did you know that Glenn Beck is a Mormon?
No, I thought he was a Christian.
He converted to the Mormon Religion as an adult and had all the religions to choose from and he chose the Church of Latter Day Saints. Did you know that Mormons do not believe in the Trinity?
Neither do Unitarians but that’s pretty obvious. Did you know that many of the founding fathers were Unitarian or that Jefferson once wrote to Adams predicting that, in 100 years, everyone in America would be a Unitarian?
How would I know such a thing?
Well, he certainly turned out to be wrong anyway.
Of course. How could anyone not believe in the holy Trinity?
So, I guess you believe that not all Christians have the same beliefs?
No, I guess not but what’s your point?
Evidently I was being too subtle.
As I indicated, Richard is a kindly man who uses gentle subtlety instead of harsh argument. It doesn’t always work as he found out.