I’m sitting at my desk at a major research hospital. In front of me is a small icon of the Theotokos, the Blessed Virgin Mary carrying Christ, literally, in her arms. He’s either whispering in her ear or giving her a kiss on the cheek in this icon.
I have YouTube open in a tab on my internet browser. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is doing her usual marvelous job in preaching, this time about fasting and prayer. In the other tab, I’m reading an article about the first results from the Large Hadron Collider.
My Gmail blinks at me, a new message has come in. I click over and sigh. Another email notice of a comment on a friend’s Facebook. I had commented on the friend’s post because they had made one of those statements that seems so innocent, so innocuous, something along the lines of “People who are religious shouldn’t be dismissive of people who aren’t.”
Oh, I agree with that statement. The five comments below it, where her friends started making fun of and flat out dismissing people like me for being stupid and not believing in science but in ‘unprovable things’ are what I took offense at.
While I am an Anglican by choice and a Methodist by upbringing, I’ve got a goodly inheritance of Southern Baptist fire, also. So I stood up, for myself and for my beliefs.
In a very polite way, of course. The fire is tempered by the Anglican-Methodist Edit Until It’s Kind belief.
And of course, now these people, these complete strangers, are explaining to me exactly what they think I, as the outed Christian in the Internet room, believe.
I apparently believe that women should be silent in church, gays should be killed, evolution doesn’t exist, and everyone should become a Christian or go to Hell.
People who aren’t religious really shouldn’t be dismissive of those who are. I honestly don’t care if a blessed one of them becomes a Christian. I just wish they’d get over their prejudices and try and meet me on the same level for a discussion.
If that level has a pint of beer we can drink while discussing, more so the better.
Oh, wait, according to them, Christians don’t drink alcohol.
Guess I’ll have to drink my pint alone, then.