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Don't Get Shot
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So my mom came up and visited me the other day, to see my apartment for the first time. As she spotted the graffiti on the door and the bars over the windows, the following striking exchange occurred (with exciting punctuation added for effect):

MOM: Why can't you live around the corner? It's so nice there!!!

ME: It's cheaper here.

MOM: Is it safe coming home at night? Do you walk by yourself?

ME: Yes, and, sadly, yes.

MOM: Well, don't get shot.

I bet you're wondering, my friends, what this has to do with religion...

Me, too.

But it has to do with fear. My mom's someone who's constantly pretty scared of a lot of things - getting mugged, riding the El, being attacked, Ed Asner, a whole gamut of horrifying stimuli. So why is she like this?

A lot has to do with growing up in the church. But not church, in general. The exclusive, stay-away-poor-and-ethnic suburban church. Churches like these with their community mentality and signs that say "God answers Knee Mail" only seem to fuel everything that the man they worship (Jesus, if we're going Christian here) appalled. People form tight-knit, supportive groups and then get told how scary and decadent the rest of the world is. It only encourages people to huddle in suburbia and never really branch out. It encourages fear.

Today's Christian churches are big on community. And there's nothing wrong with that, but maybe instead of just going to homeless shelters to serve some food, why not openly invite those people into the church? I may just be ranting about a couple churches I know in particular, but the pattern seems to be fairly prevalent in these types of churches.

As Jesus would say, "You've gotta reach out, take hold of my hand. You've gotta reach out, 'til you're safe on dry land."

Wait - that was David Hasselhoff.


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Agreed. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I think that religion is a convenient way to dictate people's actions. It's an easy way for a few to control the masses.




Last edited by Madpotter on Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Ignorance breeds fear 


I got the same reaction from all sorts of people when I joined the Peace Corps and went to live in West Africa.

People, including but not limited to my family, were convinced that I would be raped, get AIDS, be attacked, etc...

Likewise, suburbinites fear urban areas, Americans fear the Middle East, whites fear blacks, etc. We fear that of which we are ignorant. (Esp. when the simplistic 3-minute news stories about these things serve to fuel that fear by focusing on big news-wrothy events [usually negative], and not on the peaceful, colorful, complex day-to-day).


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