Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

contradict

Saturday night outside the movie house a man handed out business cards. The man looked like a cross between a Summer stock production Jesus and someone in a surf music revival band. I took one of his cards, though cards from strangers standing in shopping areas rarely bode a lot of good.

His card riffed on the popular Coexist slogan--the one in which each letter is the religious symbol of a different faith. But his take was Contradict. One side of the card spelled out Contradict with symbols of various faiths. The text on the other side of the card seeks to point out that nine of the religious symbols are not true, while the card-author's favorite, Christianity, is true. The card then invokes an "eternity in Hell" as the alternative to adopting the card-author's chosen theology.

I respect this man's free speech right to pass out business cards to passersby. I suspect that some powerful internal forces impel him to stand outside a movie house passing out cards threatening passersby with Hell. My reading of both ancient scripture and of the modern civil rights movements tell me that voices for change often discomfit those around them. The fact that his card fails to move me does not reflect on his right to peacefully push his interpretation of scripture.

But in the age of terrorist bombings,deep divisions within our country and among countries, and deranged folks doing deranged things, a call to "contradict" rather than to co-exist seems to me part of the problem and not part of the solution.
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