So there’s this neighbor I don’t know.
Hey, don’t you throw that silly little Good Samaritan parable in my face.
There’s this neighbor I don’t know. I know enough, though, to hate him. O.K., hate may be too strong. Let’s just say, I know enough that I don’t like him and I definitely don’t want to spend eternity as his next door neighbor. Hey, eternity is a long, long time. At least that’s what they tell me.
Until tonight I’d never spoken to this neighbor. He lives up the street about 10 houses so I don’t really have to deal with him. Thank you Jesus for that.
So how do I know I hate, uh, don’t like him, even though I had never spoken to him until tonight?
Before you go and get so judgemental on me, think about the people you hate who you don’t really know. Oh, you think you know them, but do you really know them? And if you do know them, can you disagree with them and still be – dare I say it? – be neighbors or friends?
It just seems like too much work. I’d rather not. Just being honest.
So enough rambling. How do I know I hate, uh, strongly dislike this fellah? For starters (yes, there’s more than one reason, but this reason is enough to hate, uh, to – to not take the time to know him), – for starters this “cat” had this sign out in his yard about the ten commandments. I kid you not.
If you have a ten commandment sign out in your front yard, I would bet the farm you and me will not care for each other. (I use the word “care” intentionally.)
[Since I'm trying to be Christian, I will not mention he also has, not a confederate flag, but some flag I think I don't like.]
The sign made me think of all those Christians who want to force their fundamentalist religion down our throats, those Christians who wrongly think our country is a Christian nation. (Check out my blog post about our godless constitution. And read up on my favorite Baptist, John Leland, who didn’t take to coercive Christians.)
And when I see ten commandment signs I immediately want to teach the person a thing or two. You think you like the ten commandments, but have you really read them? You may be aware of the stuff that gets put on the tablet photos (like the photo above), but———–have you read the Bible, my friend? Do you realize that the ten commandments talks about God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me. (Exodus 20:5) Do you know there’s more than one version of the ten commandments in the Bible? You are going to have to look that one up. I’m not going to spoon feed you.
Did you know that Jeremiah 31:30 and Ezekiel 18:3 argue that this part of the ten commandments is wrong? Have you read where Jesus told the blind man his blindness was not the result of the sins of his parents?
Do you really want a ten commandments sign in your front yard? Do you want your sins to be passed on to your children, if you have children? (Well, they will get some of your faults, but we’re talking sins here.) Do you have any idea about what you say you believe?
Yes, there is some value in the ten commandments, but please, for the sake of Christ, and for the sake of the world, realize it ain’t as simple as you are trying to make it out to be.
I really wanted to hate this “cat.”
And then the doorbell rang tonight. It was about 8:30 p.m.
“Who in the devil is ringing our doorbell at this time of night,” I thought.
It was him. It was him in his silly I-want-to-be-a-policeperson hat. (I used “policeperson,” which is inclusive language, instead of policeman, just to make a point, with which I’m sure he probably disagrees.)
He’s got this car he parks in his driveway. Looks like a police car, but it isn’t.
Another thing I don’t like: is people who live fear-based lives. Not that I haven’t been sacred, but………….
A long time ago we had some Christians at the church who got out of whack about homeless people being at our church, even out of whack about a homeless person being in our worship service. They were afraid of being raped or killed or whatever.
You know what I told them? I told them I wasn’t that Christian, and there was so much I didn’t get right about life, and that I wasn’t going to apologize for being just a little nice to a couple of homeless people. And I wanted to slap them silly. Have you ever read about Jesus?, I thought. Do you even have a clue about Jesus?
Fear-mongers. The security conscious.
Well, we have had some break-in’s in our neighborhood, but that’s beside the point. When you need to hate someone why be logical?
The dern doorbell rang at 8:30 p.m.
Who could it be?
It was him, with his fake police hate. And in front of my house was his car, his fake police care.
What did he want?
“Sir, I just stopped to tell you there’s a light on in your car.”
I hate it when someone you want to hate is nice to you.
And then you know what this “cat” does, dammit? He goes back to his little fakey police car and sits there all straight in posture with his fakey police hat on and he waits until I go out to the car to check and make sure the battery is not drained. He waits in case he needs to give me a jump.
I despise that Good Samaritan story. Hate it.
And I hate it when I don’t get to hate.
I think I heard somebody at the last neighborhood party say he lost his job. Who cares?