Learning how not to throw out the baby with the bathwater
Suppose that Russians and their enigmatic current leader, Vladimir Putin somehow succeed at hypnotizing all of the United States of America. We arrive at the outcome that every single person becomes either of a spy or drone for Russia. By the singular event of hypnotism, there is an end to all American patriotism, all acts of patriotism become necessary farce, and everyone living in the great ole US of A becomes a traitor to their very own country.
Regardless of transition of every single person from patriot to traitor, the glorious yet imperfect history of the United States would remain true. The triumph of America and it’s allies over Germany, Japan, and their minions would remain true. The fact that the US of A had up until that singular time been the best demonstration of democracy on planet Earth still would ring true. America and Britain’s contributions to abolition of apartheid in South Africa would remain fact of history. The fact that a black American bested the best of German athletes and got Hitler all upset during the 1936 Olympics still would remain accurate portrayal of history.
In presence of transition of every single person from patriot to traitor, there is a lot of talk about patriotism (the necessary pretense), yet everyone is a traitor. Senators propose bills that seem to benefit the average American, but which behind the scenes make Russians wealthier, and the average American poorer. In the event America somehow were to recover from it’s hypnosis, all American weapons secretly are built using 1914 technology, and all weapons appropriation bills serve for improvement of Russia’s capacity for defeating America in event of a war.
is the most important point?
Regardless of transition of every single American to traitor, existence of the United States of America, and history of the United States of America would remain true, remain reality.
Consider then the person of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether people believe Jesus to have been the only begotten Son of God or not, most people consider the character of Jesus to be depiction of a good person.
I am not a Muslim. Note, however, that Muslims consider Jesus to have been a good person. It is Jesus’ disciples who are considered to have lied about Jesus’ divinity. It would seem that in Muslims’ view (an hypothetical), the disciples sought perhaps to be more important than they were, felt lying about divinity of person of Jesus Christ would help towards that objective. Given Jesus never wrote anything about Himself, it’s Islam’s word versus those of disciples of Jesus Christ. People who come in contact with both, who feel compelled to make a choice, choose who to believe.
But I digress. The disciples of Jesus are not the focus of this discussion. Were it to become necessary or appropriate, we leave the matter of their honesty or deceit for discussion of another day.
So then, Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet, and that He ascended to paradise after His death, but do not believe that Jesus is divine, is elevated to status of God by His Father. This belief on part of Muslims is not irrational. The Bible records both Moses and Elijah as having been taken to heaven. Yet neither is considered ‘a god’ by Christians.
The consensus among Muslims — the religious group whose beliefs perhaps are greatest antithesis of Christian beliefs — is that Jesus was and is a good person.
With focus on Jesus’ teachings on love and capacity for miracles, none of Hindus, who believe in penance for sins and miracles, or Buddhists, who believe in becoming more disciplined in motives, thoughts, words, and actions can consider Jesus a ‘bad’ person. We agree then that regardless of any disputes about His divinity, that Jesus is considered a good person.
Regardless of any disagreements about His divinity, most people or religions consider Jesus a good person.
Now suppose that every single Christian who professes faith (patriotism) in Jesus Christ somehow is hypnotized, somehow becomes a source of sinful attitudes and actions towards non-Christians. We have then that every single Christian becomes a traitor to Jesus Christ.
Within this scenario, Christians begin to murder those who do not share their faith, begin to steal from neighbors, deliberately chase after neighbors’ wives or husbands, try to get neighbors imprisoned on false charges, and with a Christian as President of the USA orchestrate cancellation of Social Security, declare the elderly no longer would be honored by their children.
Regardless of all of outlined deviant behavior, Jesus still would be a good person.
Regardless, the teachings of Jesus Christ still would be pure, reasonable, rational advice for arrival at a peaceful, joyous society.
If you reject Jesus and His teachings, let it not be because you have yet to meet a genuine Christian. Let it be because you disagree with His person and His teachings.
If the assertion of His divinity seems a stumbling block, I am certain Jesus would not be offended if while you remain agnostic about His person, you accede to essence of His teachings, which is, Love that never allows itself to devolve into hatred.
Whenever you allow another person drag you into hatred, you give up your peace of mind to that other person. Such a person can by stealing and looking prosperous make you lose your mind.
Hatred leaves you open to manipulation. Hatred never is worth it’s price in mindfulness.
The recommendation from Jesus Christ in respect of anyone who chooses to hate you?
Forgive the hatred; then to the extent possible, distance yourself (in your mind first and foremost — means don’t agitate over the hatred; means act on the fact that such a person’s hatred does not define you); spend your time on your own projects; spend your time with people who care about you.
It is a travesty to deprive oneself of experience of truth merely because no one in vicinity cares to live up to the truth. The same principle applies in all of life, for to abandon truth merely because no one who claims to believe lives up to the truth is travesty in of itself.
Many a times, society arrives at beneficial change merely because one person chooses to live up to the truth. America’s fight for independence was leveraged on a couple of brave men who chose to live up to the truth that all men are born free. Realizations of true freedoms for African Americans was leveraged on the choice by a lone woman — Rosa Parks — to live up to the truth that all men are born free.
If you choose to live up to truth, your decision to live up to truth just might mean more than you ever could imagine.