Lowered expectations

I hold Christians to a very high standard, mainly because everything they do is a direct reflection on Christ and other people of faith. While it is tempting to lump all of them into one big category, I realize that Christians can be as varied as as the colors in a box of crayons. Some are as conservative as Rush Limbaugh, some are as liberal as Keith Olbermann, and most are somewhere in the middle.

It probably speaks to my own theological leanings that the more conservative members of faith are the ones that irk me the most, but it also seems that they are the least likely to think for themselves – or even think at all.

Honey started substitute teaching this week, so we celebrated his job change by visiting an amazing restaurant to celebrate. The nearby tables were host to a lively bunch that talked rather loudly and didn’t think twice about mixing two topics that are often considered off-limits at the dinner table – politics and religion.

Over and over I heard “Obama this” and “Obama that” and it was always negative. It seems like he is being blamed for everything that is wrong with this country, even though he hasn’t even been in office a full year. The political banter went on for quite some time, but the most ridiculous statement I heard came from an older gentleman who exclaimed that he was racist and becoming more so all the time. He seemed to take real pride in the fact.

Their racist conversation continued unabated for several minutes before the waitress arrived to box up their leftovers. She inquired about where they were from and they announced they were a church group from Tennessee. And for a brief moment, I was actually ashamed to share the same religion as these pathetic excuses for Christians.

The absurdity of it all reminded me of a conversation I read on Facebook recently. One of my friends posted a status update about Obama trying to convince lawmakers to include funding for abortion in his healthcare plan. “What if his mother had aborted him?” she asked. “She’d have done the world a favor” was the tasteless response that preceded a heated discussion that included such pearls of wisdom as “This will give sluts an excuse” and “Christians should stop paying taxes.”

When I explained that abortion is normally covered by health insurance plans, that Obama is pro-choice (not pro-abortion), and that our tax dollars have killed at least 750,000 people worldwide since 2002, I was assured that while abortion qualifies as murder, killing those we are at war with doesn’t. Interesting logic.

Sometimes I wonder if these people even read the Bible. How did they overlook the core tenets of Christianity like loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you?

Jesus said the two most important commandments are to love God and love your neighbor. If we do those two things, everything else will fall into place. When someone takes pride in doing the opposite, they insult the One they claim to follow and they don’t deserve the title “Christian.”

Blessing in disguise

After arriving home from work yesterday, I went through my usual routine of gathering the mail and coming inside to unwind after a long day. Thursdays are Honey’s day off and he was next door visiting the neighbor. As I stood at the kitchen table reading the mail, I heard a loud “glug-glug” noise coming from the direction of our water heater. I immediately turned my head to see a pool of water spreading across the floor in my direction and panicked, seemingly incapable of making a decision on the course of action that I needed to take.

water_heater_explosionI’ve heard of water heaters exploding and causing tremendous structural damage (see photo), so my first instinct was to flee the scene. As I ran towards the door, I distinctly remember thinking about the potential demise of my cats from the pending appliance bomb, but I quickly decided that self-preservation was in my best interest and ran outside and across the yard to the neighbor’s house. Honey was still laughing hours later about the look on my face when I yanked open the door and announced, “The house is flooding!”

After turning off the water, cleaning up the mess, and assessing the situation, we realized that purchasing a new water heater would be necessary and headed off for the nearest home improvement store. Twenty-four hours later, Honey is under the house rerouting water lines so that we can install our latest purchase.

Even though this experience is far from pleasant, I am utterly thankful for four things.

1. It happened while I was home from work, thereby preventing extensive flooding and damage to our house.

2. We just got the incentive check from the IRS and were able to cover the unexpected expense. It does make me a little suspicious that Bush was somehow responsible though, since I intended to pay off debt with the money but had to spend it on improving the economy, just like he intended. Darn Republicans.

3. This was the perfect opportunity to move the water heater from its incredibly inconvenient location (cramped under a kitchen cabinet and wedged between our refrigerator and the wall) to a more appropriate and safer place (the utility room). It will now be sitting on a concrete slab so that leaks won’t be so potentially catastrophic.

4. Our neighbor allows us to use her shower, so going without hot water for a couple of days isn’t as terrible as it sounds.

So, even when experiencing these little “joys” of home-ownership, it’s easy to see that there is plenty to be thankful for.

Twisted logic

I had an interesting conversation with a coworker this afternoon that went something like this:

Him: I’m willing to watch just about any movie, as long as it’s not one by Michael Moore. (looks my direction and guffaws)

Me: You wouldn’t even be willing to watch Michael Moore’s film about health care?

Him: No.

Me: Why not?

Him: Because everything he says is a lie. He makes money by being anti-American. There’s a large market for that in this country – defeatists who want us to lose in Iraq… (segues into tirade about how people who don’t love this country should leave and that this country has the best of everything, including health care)

Him (after calming down a bit): The Bible tells us that God puts men in positions of power, so we should respect them. (referring to Bush)

Me: Does that mean that God put Saddam Hussein in his position?

Him: Yes.

Me: Then wasn’t it wrong for us to remove him from power?

Him: No.

Me: Why not?

Him: Because God has always set some up to be stronger than others so that they can overthrow them. God commanded the Jews to do it many times.

Me: So, you think God told us to go into Iraq?

Him: Absolutely!

Me: I so do not agree.

He got up and left the room. It scares me that some people are allowed to vote.