My Dad’s family has lived in the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri since the 1880s. I’ve lived here myself since 1978. My dad, my children, and my grandson are all native Missourians. My mom’s family arrived in California during the gold rush, and I was born and raised in the heart of California’s historic Mother Lode. While I will always be proud of my heritage as a native Californian, I’m equally proud of my Missouri heritage. Since my arrival in the Ozarks, I’ve been a member of two church families, one for 20 years and one for 18. I’ve been a faithful, baptized believer and follower of Christ for almost 40 years. Some time back my mother approached me with a heavy heart to inform we that she had been notified, by someone for whom I had felt a good deal of affection for many years, that I had been largely written off by my church family, because my views were not sufficiently conservative as to make me acceptable in polite, Christian society. Suffice it to say, that was hurtful on many levels. Sadly, I believe this lamentable attitude is rampant in organized religion today. I believe it is widespread, and frequently sanctioned and encouraged. And I believe it is fundamentally detrimental to our families, our communities, our churches, and the entire United States of America. I suggest that all those who consider themselves people of faith give the state of their Christian outreach some serious thought. I don’t believe Christ would be pleased.
To me, the saddest aspect of the polarization which currently threatens our unity as a nation is the fact that much of it stems from the effect on well intentioned believers of the pathological hatred and the detestable prevarications of a small, well organized group of bigoted, unchristian insurrectionists, who are in it purely for the notoriety and financial gain. SC