Thursday, January 14, 2010

Now With More Ranting

There is this woman who I encounter regularly. She is devoted to her church and her Catholic faith. She tithes, she runs holiday programs, she is active in that community and she does all those things with her customary attention to detail.

Yesterday the internet blew a small incident at Grand Central Station out of proportion. There was a suspicious package, procedures were followed and the whole shebang was over in about half an hour, though it did include an evacuation of the premises. The internet (Twitter in particular) took the initial evacuation to the wires and had escalated the whole thing to a dirty bomb threat while the established news media was silent because this wasn't news. As I was getting to the bottom of this all I mentioned it to her and she was willing to believe immediately that it was a dirty bomb and to change not only her course of action for the day but her boss's and mine on the slim information we had received at that time.

Today I mentioned the earthquake in Haiti. I had just seen video footage of it and was amazed at the magnitude so I asked if she'd seen it. She had, wasn't it awful, etc. Then she told me that, despite her family's desires, she was holding off donating because she wanted to wait and see where the money was going. Remember when the Red Cross said money was going to Katrina and it didn't, she told me. She went on to wonder if France had ponied up some money yet....for it's former colony? I don't know where she was going except that French is spoken in Haiti so....they're responsible for it? Furthermore she knows there are a lot of Haitians in Brooklyn (indeed there are, many of them in my neighborhood, I expect the local Haitian Baptist Church will be raising funds and helping locate family members for a long while) and she wants to know if they're giving to the effort. Her tone of voice suggested that she suspected they were not. At least not enough to satisfy her calculations, whatever those may be.

Is it any wonder that I'm skeptical about organized religion and its followers? I may not know a lot about Jesus and his supposed teachings but I'm pretty clear on the fact that he would not ask you to question the actions of others, he would be more interested in having you question your own. He would, if I'm getting all this right, not have you ask, "Why isn't so-and-so donating?" and would instead have you examine, "Why aren't I?"

If there was ever any chance I'd become a regular church goer (and there wasn't) it was snuffed out not by Pat Robertson's money grubbing misinterpretations but by this one intense follower for whom charity beyond one's self is unthinkable.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, non-Christians usually base their disdain for Christianity on the actions of Christians. It's too bad really. Understandable, yet too bad. My faith in Christ has nothing to do with any other person. It's one-on-one with Him. Too many people suffer life & death without Him because they don't want to be associated with that idiot next door that professes Christ but lives like everyone else. I wish people would get over that and seek Christ. Looking to man as your example is futile. Man will always drop the ball. Christ never lets you down.