Write Again … a matter of one’s values

Published 1:01 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When it comes to my religious predilection, I sort of think of myself as an “ecumenical man.”

To wit: I was born into a Methodist family, and I have been a member of that denomination all my life.

I attended a Catholic school — St. Agnes Academy — during my early years. When I was a student at Wake Forest, that school had very strong ties with the Baptist denomination.

Sally and I were married in an Episcopal church, in which she had grown up.

The beliefs and philosophy espoused by the Unitarian-Universalists in many ways reflect my own views.

There is also at least a bit of Free Thinker in me.

Now, enough of that. (Too much, probably.)

Being a part of a church family, however, is very important to me. It’s not a denominational thing, though. Some folks (it seems to me) are a bit too proud of their denomination affiliation, as if that were the main, most important thing. This is a topic best left alone. Agreed?

Now. Moving on to the subject of today’s rumination.

It was a really significant day in the long history of our church when, in February, we held the first worship service in the new Wesley Hall. The official count of those in attendance was 643. That’s a lot of people. It was a truly wonderful occasion.

After the service we enjoyed a traditional “covered dish” meal. Sharing a meal in such circumstances is really special.

Most of the folks had eaten and left as those at our table were finishing. At a nearby table, a husband and wife were seated, being the only ones there. Probably, there had been others there with them earlier.

In what I felt was the appropriate spirit of fellowship, and in the glow of such a splendid morning we had experienced, I went over to them and said something like, “Even though we don’t share all the same political and philosophical viewpoints, isn’t it nice to come together like this?”

Well. Poor judgment on my part.

The fellow church member was off and running with his political opinions, even to the point of telling me what I was and wasn’t politically. Of course, he used the seven-letter word in his observations. Of course.

Now, this man is very active politically, attends (to monitor?) county government meetings and is a prodigious writer of letters-to-the-editor. He evinces strong views and seems confident in the correctness of his opinions.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of this. If politics is his driving life force, so be it. It must be a real burden to have all the answers and right viewpoints and to feel a need to convince others to think the same way.

One might wonder if he has other interests and avocations that are that important to him. One would hope so.

Please know that I do not mean to disparage this man. Truly.

I am grateful, however, that I’m not so consumed with politics.

For sure.

See you at church.