A good friend and I were hanging out the other day and she asked about church, if I went, where I went and so on. That’s a blog for another day, or perhaps a book, or perhaps a few slips of paper put into a wooden box and then buried. My friend had recently had a baby, and I asked her if having a child made her want to attend church more. I was surprised when she answered that it did not. My friend grew up in an extremely conservative family in a conservative small town and attended a conservative church. She said, rather surprisingly, that she didn’t want her child to grow up constantly being taught how “other people” were different, learning to see the “unlike me” in the people around him.
In part, I completely understand how my friend feels. But I’d not lump that characteristic in with the church as I’d lump it in with all of humanity. There are pockets of people who do not seem to make a big deal out of the differences in others as much as the similarities, but those pockets are few, and some of them are part of the church and some of them are not. Whether these are church people or not doesn’t seem to matter, rather, they are people who, for some reason, can just be comfortable letting people be whoever they are.
Regardless, I found my friends answer interesting, and it’s something I will think about for a while.
My question to you is, did the community you grew up in teach you to see the “otherness” in others, or did your community teach you to see the common humanity in us all?
*Because I will be out of the country, I can’t moderate comments. Comments have been disabled on this blog entry. Thank you for understanding.