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One simple rule


When I first mentioned we joined the church across the street, several of our friends were fairly astonished.
I guess this is because I am, by nature, a fairly irreverent person.
I like to drink alcoholic beverages, for example, sometimes to the point of being howling at the moon drunk. I also smoke cigars occasionally and swear frequently. I make up stories about selling pot and amassing fortunes.
And, I hold a series of views that butt-smack head-on against the dogma of one or more major religions, including the right of women to control their own bodies; the right of people to express and live the sexuality they were born with or choose; and the right to live your life how you want without some pious Buttinski telling you what to do. If you think abortion is a sin, don’t have one. If you think sexuality other than a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman is wrong, then by all means get married and be miserable like the rest of us (just kidding, Sabra).
That is not to say I don’t believe in religion. From a purely Darwinistic viewpoint, I don’t think it’s a coincidence every successful civilization has a religion, whether it be Christian, Islam, Hebrew or whatever. It’s the glue that holds us together, and together is a good thing.
And, it’s certainly not to say I don’t believe in God. The fact humans exist is proof beyond a reasonable doubt for me. How does a hunk of clay become something as beautiful as a smiling baby in a mother’s arms? Indications there is a God are everywhere from the miracle of an ant to the exquisite vastness of the universe; from the big bang to whatever cataclysmic event ends this long, strange trip.
While believing there is a god, I don’t profess to know or understand who that God is exactly: Allah, Brahma, Jesus, Shiva, Yahweh or something else. It really doesn’t matter, because they all are teaching the same basic principles of a good life. These principles, when boiled down from the Bibles, Torahs and Korans come down to one basic rule, the golden rule. Don’t ask what would (insert name of god of your choice) do; ask what you’d like done to you.
It’s all really that simple.
Where it gets complicated is in church (or temple or mosque or...), where the devil is in the details. That’s why we have parishioners from a Baptist church carrying signs saying “God hates fags” at funerals; murderers gunning down doctors in front of health clinics; and jihadists blowing themselves up in a crowd of children. It’s not their god or their religion urging them on to do this, it’s their church.
And that’s why there was, perhaps, no one more astonished than me on the day Sabra and I walked hand-in--hand over to the First Christian Church.
Did we ever get lucky!
Turns out the FCC is everything a church should be: loving, peaceful, inclusive, diverse, positive, happy, working, sharing....
And they have potluck after service the last Sunday of every month.
Can it get any better?