Friday, October 14, 2011

A Member of the Tribe

Someone posted a video on Facebook of a dying man and his message, supposedly from God -- and it turned out to be deathbed evangelism. So I posted that it was repugnant to me, and she apologized. I was pretty impressed by that. So many Christians are utterly unaware of the effect their religious words and actions have on those of us who are not members of the majority. A friend told me, jokingly, because she knows I'm Jewish, that I was a "good Christian", meaning that she thought I was a good person, but why couldn't she just have said "good person"? Instead of saying, like they did in Nebraska when I lived there, "That was a Christian thing to do", why can't they just say that was a good, or moral or ethical thing to do? Because the implication of using the word "Christian" is that people who are not Christians do not do good things.

And then there is the Nebraska (Bible Belt?) expression "to Jew someone down" meaning to unfairly get the better end of a bargain. I took several people to task on that one, and they were completely taken by surprise -- they had never even thought about it. I was glad to get out of Nebraska -- they were not bad people, but I couldn't be a part of their culture.

1 comment:

  1. The offensive verb is certainly not just Nebraska. I still hear it occasionally. My OED -- Melynda's OED ;-(((, with the 1972 gift inscriptions from her parents -- has citations back to 1845, including one from Washington Irving. I think the Irving one was in a letter, not anything published in his lifetime ... I can tell that my eyes aren't what they used to be ... even ten or twenty years ago I could read the small print edition of the OED by getting up close to it, but tonight I had to pull out a loupe. And that made it hard enough that I didn't examine all the citations.

    I really don't think people who say "Christian thing to do" are implying the inverse statement. And I say that as someone whose religious beliefs are even less Christian than yours. My sister Nann says she has sometimes told people (even in her husband's congregation) that her atheist brother is a better Christian than most self-described Christians. I take no offense.