Gandhi’s Christ

I’ve given a lot of thought of how to raise Bing-Bing as a thoughtful, moral person in our non-religious home.  We live smack-dab in the middle of the buckle of one of America’s Bible-Belts, although I’m wondering if most of America hasn’t become a Bible-Belt, but I digress.  As such, we are a minority and a stigmatized one at that.  Soon after we moved to our house, Hubs told me that one of our new neighbors proclaimed to him that he “was a Christian and not afraid to say so!”  I thought this was a bizarre thing to say, considering he was standing smack-dab on that buckle.  As if this was brave or something.  He seems like a very nice man; he’s done some nice things for BB, but I can’t help but laugh at his “bravery” in my head.  Not very nice of me, I know, but also (in my head) I can’t help but wonder what he’d think if he knew we didn’t share his views.  Would the niceness end? 

Not that I’m brave or anything.  It’s not as though, during our introduction I announced, “I’m a secular humanist and not afraid to say so!”  First of all, I find wearing religion or other such issues on your sleeve, rather weird and well, sort of vain.  It really wasn’t relevant.  Besides, I think he was fishing and I don’t respond to that.  Here’s the weak side, I fear stigma.  I am afraid of Christians who will judge me and slam me to their hell for not sharing their belief.  Who will suddenly not want to act like a neighbor, a friend, a… um Christian.  No, I don’t fear their hell, as I don’t believe in it, I fear their wrath right here in my life.  I fear their judgement.

Happily, we are part of a family (both sides), full of Christians living according to Christ’s message.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  I don’t fear them.  They don’t fear diversity.  I don’t think they fear our beliefs.  I think their faith is too strong for that.  It is other Christians I fear, the ones who lurk around the Internet, all over forums, our neighborhoods, our schools.  The ones who I think are afraid.  The ones Gandhi spoke of when he said,

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.   ~ Mohandas Gandhi

Like other bloggers, who explore their moral, ethical, and sometimes religious approaches to parenting, I have wanted to do this too.  For too long I have been silent out of fear.  No more.

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6 Responses

  1. Awesome to see your voice on this. As you know we deal with a very similar situation in the middle of “the belt” as well and yes, I have been open and got the smack from the belt in the form of gossip, stigma, avoidance, and just plain rudeness.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. As you’ve probably figured out, I’m a Christian. It’s a pretty large part of who I am. At the same time, I try my very best to live out my life keeping two things in mind — the most important commandments (love God, love others); and that quote from Ghandi. I’m glad you’re not afraid to share such a large part of yourself. And I’ll still be reading here.

  3. look forward to reading more!!!!…….don’t take christians personally……….we can’t even get it together without smacking aorund each other….lol……..but seriously i am sorry if there have been people who judged you or hurt you for not believing what they do……..

    keri

  4. I have been hurt more and condemned by those saying they are a part of a religion than by those who live their lives hoping to be treated as they treat others. Considering my early education I have spent enough of my life in spiritual torment and now can look toward Nirvana.

  5. It’s interesting how the question of ‘how much of America is a Bible belt’ really boils down to one’s perspective.
    Anyway, one of my biggest fears is that, as people get to know me, they would say (or think) the sentiment in Ghandi’s quote about me. Looking forward to reading more from you!

  6. Somehow, when we reach a certain age, it all makes sense.

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