Monday, August 7, 2017

A Question of Belonging

That's the subject line I used when I sent the letter. Works good as a post title, too. I may have to add a label "Fights With People on Facebook" or some such.

Dear Reverend Mudge:
     By way of introduction, I’m Kevin Robbins and I attend Hudson Falls UMC. I have liberal political views and this has never been a problem in the church I attend. I occasionally have letters published in the Glens Falls Post Star. There are some fellow parishioners who see them and comment. Some agree with me on some letters. One lady told me, “I don’t agree with your letters, but they’re well-written. And I used to be an English teacher.” Hey, I’ll take that! I try to be polite in the letters. They’re mostly about gun control or healthcare or similar issues. I don’t discuss the current president because whose mind am I going to change? Beyond a cursory acknowledgement of the letters, I don’t bring my politics into church. In my church no one has made me feel unwelcome because of my views.
     I’m going to include a link to a Facebook post made by someone who was on my friendlist. This is someone I went to school with and who attends the South Glens Falls Methodist Church. The conversation I had, or tried to have, in the comments bothers me quite a bit. I’ll admit to maybe borderline trolling at some points, but I wasn’t getting much response. The fact that the reverend of that church and his wife both approved of the post possibly offends me more. Even allowing they maybe weren’t aware of the comments, they still lent their imprimatur to the strawman nonsense that is the subject of the post.
     Liberals are tolerant of Marxists? How many Marxists are there still around? Vlad Putin and his gang have taken up kleptocracy. I don’t know what Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela is, but if it helps I’ll denounce him here and now. Transexuals? Last week President Trump tried a bigly bit of discrimination against those in the military. He was slapped down by the military brass and even some Congressional Republicans. No liberals are tolerant of ISIS or al-Qaeda. I believe that’s safe to say. I’d hope most are supportive of Muslims being free to practice their religion without their mosques being fire-bombed like the one recently in Minnesota. This is one of many that have been attacked. I will plead guilty to being intolerant of Conservatives and Christians who are bigots.
     I used to go to the suppers at the SGF church. I’ve kept a mostly vegan diet for the last year or so. It would be a moot point now, though. I certainly want nothing to do with them and I have to question whether I want to continue in the Methodist Church at all. It’s nice to see the ability to be so selective about who’s admitted anyway.

The post:

“The paradox of liberal tolerance is that it extends to Marxists, transexuals and Islamic radicals – but not to conservatives or Christians.” Dinesh D’Souza.

They are not tolerant, they ‘a’ crazy.

Comment thread:

Kevin Robbins - How does that shake out when it comes to Christian liberals?
KC - The two can't go together.
KR - That sounds pretty intolerant to me.
        KC - Sorry but bible following Christians are not liberals. The bible is very clear about right and wrong, but I can have my beliefs and still be tolerant, I just won't bend my standards for myself.
        KC - The majority of my family are liberals - I still love them.
        KR - First, no the Bible is not that clear on "right and wrong." Secondly, if it is you do know that D'Souza is a convicted felon? I'm sure that's all good because he's Conservative and Christian.
        KR -  And you don't consider your family capable of being Christian without adopting whatever Conservative beliefs you have?
MV -  but she is right according to God;s word and you can't argue with that the two can't mix.
       KR -  And thus spake Michael Vaughn without basing your comment on anything. According to what   part of God's word does someone have to hold Conservative political views to be a Christian.

I'd consider Pope Francis to be liberal. Are you going to say he isn't liberal? Or isn't Christian?
KR - Yeah, Jesus was always going on about cutting taxes on the Romans.
KR - The people at Fox News I'm assuming are Conservative and Christian. Are Trump, Guiliani and Gingrich all on their third wives after cheating on the first two good Conservative Christians?
KR - Because I am open-minded, I'll entertain the possibility that you're right, Kathi. Rather than take you and Michael's word for it I think I'll contact Rev. Mudge and ask his opinion. If he tells me that what you say is true then I'll leave the Methodist Church. Since, as a liberal, I'm not wanted. I'll certainly go out of way to make it known to anyone else who doesn't hold strict Conservative views that they're not wanted there. Fair enough?
MV - all i said is she is right, the two don't mix don't know what your on about??
        KR - You have every right to believe what you want. I hope you'll respect my being a little offended at being told I can't be a Christian because my political beliefs fail the litmus test.
KC - Fair enough. I stated how I feel and live MY life. After you live my life you then can tell me I'm wrong. No hard feelings.
KC -  Let me know what Bill says

KR -  I will let you know. I'd really like to get an answer myself.

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