That’s Not Christianity

I normally don’t talk about religion, but I have to respond to something that happened in my area. Recently, the dean of a local college, one attached to a religious denomination, put out that anyone who voted for Biden was “anti-Christian”.

Hold the horses, people.

Last time I checked, there were two rules to Christianity: love god, and love your neighbor as yourself. (If you want the actual words, from ESV Matthew 22:37-40 ‘And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”’)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t see a word about political parties, candidates, voting or anything else specific to our modern world.

It’s very simple: love your neighbor.

And by condemning people for voting for who they thought was the best candidate? That’s not Christianity, that’s bigotry.

I’m really getting tired of those people who use the label of Christianity to hide bigotry, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, and politics.

Jesus didn’t say, “Love your neighbor as yourself, except if he’s a different religion or ethnic background or gay or poor or female or a different political leaning.” Nope, there are no exceptions to that rule.

Sometimes it takes an awful lot to love your neighbor, particularly if you don’t agree with him. But that doesn’t give you the right to pass judgment.

I don’t consider myself a Christian. But I can tell you one thing: I’m a whole lot better at acting like one that many folks who consider themselves Christian.

(By the way, the bigot resigned as a result of this crisis. It’s probably the best thing for a college that does its best to promote Christian attitudes.)

Online Shopping

One of the things I really have appreciated about COVID restrictions is the ability to shop online. My grocery store, Target, Michael’s, IKEA – all the stores I normally shop at have this service now. It saves me a ton of time, and a ton of money – I don’t end up doing a lot of impulse buys this way.

But one of the benefits is that I have found a bunch of great new sources.

Michael’s doesn’t usually have the quantities and colors of yarns that I want for projects. So I shopped online and now most of my yarn is shipped to me from Wisconsin. I needed some new underclothes and discovered the Hanes shop on EBay. I needed seeds for the garden and found direct seeds from Burpee.

I like not having to say “I guess that will work.”

I don’t know that I will change back after restrictions lift. I like having the extra time that is not taken up by shopping. And I like getting exactly what I need.

I think this is a positive in a year of very few.

Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

The Change of Seasons

I’m not a summer person. As much as I appreciate the growth and life of the season, the heat makes me wilt. When the temperatures drop, I feel myself coming back to life.

Autumn means cooler temps. It means the scent of fallen leaves. It means the coolness of the night making for a good sleep. It means pumpkins and apples and the scent of cinnamon.

Autumn means football on Sunday afternoons. It means watching the game on a tablet as I work on my computer. It means National Novel Writing month.

Autumn means Halloween. It means spiders and witch hats and decorating the house. It means the blowups in the front yard. It means the kids stopping and looking on Halloween (except this year). It means Thanksgiving and turkey and ham and all the good food.

And most of all? Autumn means a new year for me. If I were able to choose, the new year would start on Halloween.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Finally Fall

Photo by seyed mostafa zamani

I’m not particularly fond of summer. I never have been. In Wisconsin summer meant the stifling heat without central air, escaping to the basement to catch the damp cold. Then there was canning season, standing in the kitchen over vats of boiling water.

In Virginia it gets just as disgustingly hot, but it lasts for at least 2 months. There are no basements where I live, but there is central air in most places. And I don’t put up excess food. Mainly because my gardening skills are so poor. But that is another story.

So by the time September rolls around, I am ready to be done with summer.

This year especially has been one to look forward to. Our usual summer plans of church camp and camping were cancelled. So it has been the same day in and day out for months. September means that we can at least start to venture outside again, at least in early morning and late night.

So on September 1 I decided it was fall. I pulled out my fall wreath, my fall flag, and put the cloth pumpkins on the stairs.

During a recent half day, my daughter went in search of fall-scented candles. And we came home with a candle that smells like apples being turned into applesauce.

I’m enjoying the pseudo-fall. The temps may not dip for a few weeks, and the leaves won’t turn until October, but it’s fall in my heart and home.

Photo by seyed mostafa zamani

The “Highway Use” Fee

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov

I drive a hybrid car. I do this because I feel that it is my responsibility as a resident of planet earth to cut my pollution to a minimum.

I went to renew my license plates and found that my state (Virginia) is charging me a $50 fee for driving a car that has miles per gallon more than 25. This “highway use” fee is to make up for the gas taxes I am not paying.

So I am being penalized for doing the right thing.

I personally think they need to tax all those stupid SUVs and off road vehicles that get 8 miles to the gallon.

How about instead of charging the gas tax, they charge each vehicle based on weight and mileage? The heavier the vehicle, the more wear and tear on the roads. The more you drive, the more wear and tear on the roads.

One doesn’t need a Hummer to go to the grocery store.

Let’s put the taxes in a place where it can actually make good behavior desirable.

Instead of punishing those who are doing what’s right.

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov