13 December 2005

Sacred considerations

At work, I've a neighbor who I've never seen but that I hear constantly on the phone. He will talk for 30 or 40 minutes, I swear, to what sounds like his therapist--very loudly and in great detail. What's odd (as if the setup isn't odd enough) is that he's pontificating about his deep religious beliefs and how he feels that our culture is morally corrupted, and he'll continue to detail the points in scripture that prove it. So I really don't want to listen to how the world is wrong and sinful and but this guy has the insight into God's word to see it and live correctly. I especially don't want to be subjected to this at work. But then I consider: we all do our fair share of declaring what's right and what's wrong and (of course) following that declaration ourselves. It's kinda tacky to state that you've got the final word on the issue (as per divine law) ... but not really that much different from what we all do. Maybe? And I consider that he has to listen to me and my other cube neighbors rant about movies or music or how to replace a VW Beetle battery. Is that so different?

Target's been off-limits since they decided to mix their religion with my science. I really don't activist all that much, but this seems beyond good taste on their part, and so there's no more of that Good Target Stuff to be purchased. But then, do any of Target's good deeds make up for this one bad deed? I didn't have the urge to buy more from them because of thier charitable donations or their steadfast use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" in the face of fundamentalist rabble-rousers. Am I being uneven in my activism? Although maybe my actions as a consumer are atomic and only relevant (socially) when combined with others'. Target's reward for being socially responsible may manifest itself as an increase in customers--with the reverse also occurring. And boycotting does not always have to be about punishing the institution; it can just as likely be about acting true to yourself. Which gets us to the rabble-rousers: acting true to yourself doesn't mean that you have a justifiable position.

Finally: I watched Jimmy Carter on The Daily Show. It's nice to be an athiest and see a devout fundamentalist that I not only agree with but deeply respect. I sometimes worry that I'm biased to the point of being crippled. It's people like Jimmy Carter and Father Gregory Boyle who give me hope that the secular and religious don't have to be at odds.

[ posted by sstrader on 13 December 2005 at 10:48:49 PM in Culture & Society ]