It Takes A Golden Attitude

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” –wisdom of Jesus recorded by Matthew

The “Golden Rule.” It presages the later saying of Jesus when he was asked about the greatest commandment. He responded with the “Shema”(worship the Lord with all your heart, mind, body, and soul) and added “and your neighbor as yourself”.

I needed a quote for the “Morning Son” Yoga class (aside: there exists a segment of Christians who worry about everything including whether Yoga is Hindu worship–sheesh). I went to Jesus’ teachings found in early Matthew. This seemed appropriate.

Later conversations and a few Facebook updates reminded me that the church denomination I belong to–United Methodist–is holding its General Meeting currently. This is the body that gathers every four years to decide on policy matters.

People I know who are, well, rather conservative, are living in great angst for this week concerned that the church might officially proclaim that “homosexuals” are people.

That made me think how easily we throw labels around. A coach at the soccer tournament last week (from a wealthy Columbus suburb toward the fans of a less-wealthy suburb) yelled across the pitch, “They’re just a bunch of hillbillies who should get in their pickup trucks and get the hell out of here.”

Similar to “we don’t want no homosexuals in the clergy” or whatever their worry du jour is.

Well, these groups are people. Yep. Believe it or not. And neither chose it. They were born it. And, by the way, thanks to Jeff Foxworthy the contemporary word for hillbilly is redneck. As in, who cares? He can make being a redneck funny. But the coach wasn’t trying to be a stand-up comedian, even if people did laugh at him.

It is an age-old practice. Put a label on someone, then they don’t seem like people. Then I’m free to hate, disparage, discriminate.

We get so worried. Then we forget these simple little commands of Jesus. Other people are also creatures of God the Father. And he loves them. So should we. There is no need to get all worried. Just practice love. I know it’s hard. But Jesus didn’t say it would be easy. He just said what we should do.

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