Divisiveness – Not Something to Laugh At

American comedian Emo Philips is credited with having authored the following joke.

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What denomination?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

“Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heathen!” And I pushed him over.

I actually first heard it at a computer users symposium, although I can’t imagine why. I had no idea where it came from, and I’ve made a couple of minor changes to Emo’s version so it would match the one I was already familiar with. I hope Mr. Phillips won’t consider me divisive because of that.

But divisiveness as it exists in America today is nothing to joke about. When Mr. Obama took office, he claimed he wanted to unite Americans. All Americans. Only history will reveal whether the disunity that broke out during his eight years in office was intentional, but some people–perhaps many–believe Mr. Obama wanted to create division in this country. Perhaps even to start a civil war.

I just sighed. I wish you could have heard me. It was a sigh of deep frustration.

Thank goodness–thank God, that is–Heaven will be a place of peace and unity. In spite of jokes like this one:

St. Peter was showing a recent arrival around Heaven. A Methodist. On passing a room with a closed door–no windows–the Methodist asked Peter who was inside.

Peter laughed before answering. “Those are the Baptists. We keep the door shut so they won’t see they’re not the only ones in Heaven.”

Even though we’ll never know perfect unity among diverse groups here on earth, I get a small preview of what it might be like when I walk at the mall. There I encounter other walkers, custodians, security guards, and mall employees. Among those are blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, and probably people from other racial groups as well. Some I know to be  Christian. Others are conspicuously Muslim. I have no idea what the rest are. I dare say we probably vary in our life styles and politics as well.

But we walkers are unified in purpose. Even though many of us are there by ourselves–at least part of the time–we’re there to walk. Some of us walk clockwise, on the left facing “traffic.” Others stay on the right in a counterclockwise manner. And a few like me reverse directions periodically.

Yet, the walking is not the only thing that unifies us. It’s the sense of comradery. With rare exceptions we greet one another as if we’re really glad to see each other. And we’ve learned some of one another’s names as we often end up walking in the same direction at the same time as another walker. It’s very uplifting.

My prayer today and every day is for God to break the spirit of diversity that has created too many different “us and them” groups and to unify us in His name.

If you have a comment, I’d love for you to post it.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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Best regards,

More Political Now–More Conservative

Some of you may have read my post about my decision not to major in political science in college. Attending one political rally during an election year really killed my enthusiasm. And that was during the mid-1960s, before things reached the point of deterioration they’re in now.

Let me make a couple of things clear, however. I always voted in presidential elections and occasionally in state and local elections. But it was a challenge.

For most of my adult life, I would probably have described myself as “apolitical”–not interested in or concerned about politics.

I suppose, however, that I got at least a mild charge out of shaking hands once with soon-to-be Vice President Spiro Agnew.

Agnew. Wasn’t he the one who later had to resign his office to avoid prosecution on a bunch of nasty criminal charges? Hmm. Not someone to help build my confidence in American politics.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he served as VP under Richard Nixon. Need I say more?

Fast forward. Barack Obama was running for the presidency. He seemed like a pretty decent guy at the time, and I had no problem with the possibility of a black president.

But some people whose opinions I highly respected were dead set against him. And it wasn’t a racial thing for them, either.

Only when Mr. Obama took office and failed to live up to expectations did I regain an interest in politics. And whereas I had considered myself moderate in my outlook on a number of subjects up till then, I found myself becoming more and more conservative.

I signed up for email from a number of conservative groups. Boy, did I learn enough to discourage me. One of the most disillusioning revelations was the fact that most of the media I had counted on for truth were so much in the hands and pockets of the liberals that I would never learn anything bad about what was taking place in our country if I paid attention to them. Fox News seemed my best alternative, but they weren’t perfect, either.

Ironically, I’ve read that the BBC–the British Broadcasting Corporation–is probably the least biased news organization out there. Doesn’t say much for the United States media, does it?

The last few years have proven to be the time for me to assess what I believe about the United States.

I believe in the Constitution of the United States and the integrity of the men who created it. I believe–among other things–that the Constitution allows citizens to own guns. It also denies the President the power of making laws. I believe in and value the American way of life.

I question how many of our officials in Washington believe in the same things I do.

I also believe that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving. But the radical minority is the most dangerous threat America has ever had to face. Well, except for the people in Washington.

What am I really saying? And do I even feel safe in saying it?

America is losing her power and her status in the world, and her people are losing their freedoms at an alarming rate. Christians are treated as the enemy and homosexuals are treated as a long-mistreated minority.

I don’t belong to or support the Tea Party. Too inflexible. Neither am I a Republican. Too many broken promises by the very people I was counting on to turn things around.

The only thing I can count on is God’s ability to save the United States. The problem is, what reasons have we given Him for wanting to?

This post was originally much stronger. Much more critical of those in office. Should I have said more…or have I already said too much? Your comments are welcome.


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“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

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Best regards,