Mudcat Café message #1393043 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77771   Message #1393043
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
30-Jan-05 - 06:36 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Religious Left
Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
Thanks, Joe:

I was a Catholic during the years when the Pope passed a ruling on birth control. Perhaps I missunderstood it, but I thought there was a term that differentiated between picking the Yankees to win the last Championship playoff over the Red Sox, and making an official pronouncement. I keep vaguely recalling the term ex-cathedra. At the time of the ruling, the Catholics I knew took his ruling to be an official church doctrine and there was a lot of controversy over it.

But, on a broader term, I'm with you, Joe. I think for most people, it's difficult to carry on a conversation because rigor mortis of the mind set in years ago. I find it easy to talk with Bill and Little Hawk and Amos, although we don't agree on much, because they will carry on a conversation. Some people consider an argument the ultimate parlor game. I don't. I really want to understand how people think, and have communion with them. (Funny how terms take on rigid meanings... like communion... isn't that when you eat the body and blood of Christ?.. no, communion is drawing close to someone or something, and feeling connected and communi-cating.) That's what I seek. Not everyone is interested in doing that.

For many years, I shared a wonderful communion with three friends of mine. Art Thieme was a thousand miles away and did not believe in God. Dennis was the Lutheran Pastor of the church I was going to at that time, and the third person was a woman I worked with who, if she believed in God, rarely acknowledged it. She was a very cynical, worst-case scenario person. We were an odd lot.. I don't think that you could find a more unlikely group of people, and there was never a time when we were all together. Art and I exchanged letters constantly, I shared portions of our letters with Dennis and my co-worker, and my letters to Dennis with Art and her. At work, I'd start most days over a cup of coffee with my co-worker and we'd talk about things I was discussing in letters, and Dennis and I would have breakfast together and commune. He'd bring in letters with sections highlighted, that he wanted to talk about. It was an exciting time in my life. Art still doesn't believe in God, Dennis has retired and moved away and doesn't communicate and the woman is probably as cynical as ever. I haven't seen her in years. And yet we were all changed. We never reached agreement on much of anything, but we loved and respected each other, and came to understand each other on a level that is far too uncommon in life. It was so beautiful because no one tried to "win" an argument, and people listened with as much sincerity as they spoke.

Once in awhile, people can rise above their ideologies. Funny thing is, I believe if I lived closer to Bill D, Amos and Little Hawk (and you) we could have that wonderful interchange, respecting each other, and coming to know each other without judgment. And we probably would never agree on much of anything.

Good men come in all flavors.

Jerry