A Civilized People

Editor’s Note: Below is a guest post from my brother, Brendan McCaskell. Brendan is finishing up his B.A. in Business Administration and Biblical Studies at Canadian Mennonite University. He is also a youth pastor at City Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Find his blog at Reformed Ramblings.

We are a people of beliefs. I believe this, you believe that and we pretend not to think that our beliefs are the correct ones. In the name of acceptance we smile and nod when someone shares a contrarian statement. Oh how civilized we are.

We are encouraged to develop our beliefs. To understand why we choose to hold on to certain items and disregard others. We are confronted daily with the task of defending and affirming our set of beliefs. When asked to articulate our understanding we do so, not attempting to persuade, merely to share with others. Yet we cry blasphemy at the idea of a just war or a lack of free will. Oh how civilized we are.

We help the least of these by participating in fair-trade and social awareness. We strive to aid the unfortunate through messages of unity and hope. Peace and justice are the bread and wine we partake in weekly. Oh how civilized we are.

We love to plant trees, ride our bikes, grow our compost, all in the name of belief. The belief that to love is to be and to be is to love. We march alongside our first nation brothers and sisters with the hope of justice. And we disregard members of our own history as intolerant fundamentalists. Oh how civilized we are.

We look upon a man who suffered much. We reach out and strike him. When he looks our way we yell in his face, “You cannot demand this from me, you worthless king.” We turn away in disgust, not at ourselves but at this lunatic for his take-it or leave-it teaching. We have to get back to protesting a war. Oh how civilized we are.

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