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"Whatever Works For You (update)"

I often get emails that have a preachy tone.
The senders probably mean well,
and think they're helping me,
so I try to send a polite response.
But they are stepping into my space.

Some religious groups think that everybody else is doing it wrong,
not in contact with God,
or just plain headed for hell.
Maybe they get that idea because we're quiet about it.

Some don't think we're pious enough
if we don't agree with their political and moral opinions.
Politics, government, and religion get closer together every day.
The constitutional idea of separation of church and state isn't bad.
It would be nice if they had it in Iran.

I'm for women's freedom of personal choice,
which is not a popular belief among certain groups.
I am not for casual abortion,
if there is such a thing as "casual" abortion.
I doubt if any woman who has experienced it
who would say it's casual .
It's not a thing to do on your vacation.

I had a colonoscopy once,
and that sure wasn't casual.

We never had organized prayer in my school,
but somehow I turned out OK.
I wouldn't protest against it,
but I think you can grow up to be a good person
without regimented public prayer.

Why does the prayer have to be written by somebody else
and memorized by the kids?
That sounds a little like mind control.
How about just a moment of silence
so the child can pray in his or her own way....
according to their family's faith...
or not at all, if they so choose.
Or sneak a peak at the girl across the aisle.

We didn't even have "under God" in the Pledge to the Flag,
but we have surprisingly few serial killers
among our alumni.
In fact the crime rate was a lot lower then,
and the criminals were nicer.

Most of the kids and teachers in my schools were Jewish
I'm not.
They never tried to make me say Jewish prayers.

Our family didn't go to church together,
but we were taught the basics at home.
We knew about the Bible.
I joined the congregation on my own when I was twelve.

I don't have religious symbols or bumper stickers on my car,
but I have nothing against people who do.
Be happy.

If I have a relationship with a higher power,
I don't feel a need to tell people.
Maybe I would if they asked,
and I knew them well enough.

I'm not interested in converting anybody to my way,
or to judge them in their pursuit of spirituaity,
or their lack it.

I don't trust all preachers and organized religions.
There is too much money and power involved.
But I've known some preachers who I admired,
and who helped me when I needed it.
I have to take them one at a time.

Being a religious leader is not a guarantee
that you are honest or trustworthy.
Some are. Some aren't.
If you minister to others,
your words and deeds will be your credentials.
Mainly deeds.

Helping others is probably the big part.
Sometimes I have the feeling
that there is too much emphasis on what we shouldn't do,
and not enough on what we should do.

Most of all, I don't expect to change anybody's mind.
I don't want to.
I'll probably get a bunch of mail about this,
but, hey, as long as it's cordial
I can handle it..
I won't be hurt if you just file this under "Delete".

Whatever works for you is okay,
until it pushes too hard against me.

Copyright  July 5, 2005 Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.


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