I Support The Second “Commandment”

close up of heart shape

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Due to two recent surgeries, I’ve been lying flat on my back for most of the week, and am rather loopy. As a result, it seems that I may have inadvertently published this post before I intended to do so. If so, I apologize for any confusion.😘

Some of you may have groaned when you read the post title. I can only assure you that the overall post speaks to issues that are decidedly universal, and not dependent on any “religious” ideology. Nevertheless, there is no denying that my mother’s religious beliefs informed the manner in which she raised me, and contributed to the formation of the person that I am today.

With that said, I was born and raised in the Catholic faith, spending 12 years in the New Orleans Catholic school system. As I grew older, I expanded my limited knowledge and gained an appreciation for the moral teachings on which Christianity, and many other religions are rooted. I also recognize that “religions ” hold no monopoly over such moral truths, but that they exist in the hearts and minds of most of us.

Although I don’t walk around hiding my faith and beliefs, I have no need to hold them up as proof that I am better than others. Yet, because of the constant mental and emotional disquiet caused by the state of the country, the use of religion to justify the inexcusable, and the silence, and, or worse, support for inarguably un-Christian, and immoral beliefs and acts, I feel compelled to write this short, but in my heart, meaningful post to declare where I stand.

Just the other day, right after overhearing a person embracing the Bible to justify his belief that religious persecution and racism are in line with its teachings, I happened upon the words to the Second Commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Every time I hear these seven words, they send a shiver up my spine. These words wield such power, are clear, concise, and offer no room for endless misinterpretation, exceptions or conditions. They should be etched in the hearts of both Christians, those who claim to be “Christians,” non-Christians, as well as  those who hold no religious beliefs, but value love, compassion and empathy.

Quite unconsciously, as I read the words, I thought of the following as my “mission statement” of sorts:

  • My Bible does not promote or condone hate, racist views, misogyny or any other manner of treating the ‘other’ as inferior.
  • My Bible teaches that we are equal, plain and simple.
  • My Bible espouses the beautiful ideal of loving another as you love yourself, and
  • My Bible does not serve as a conduit to promote views that are intended to denigrate, seperate, or exclude anyone.
  • So, now that I’ve placed my cards on the table, I have a question for you.
  • First, let me be crystal clear. Considerations based on either left or right, or red or blue, have no place in any response, and for those who believe that they do, well, that is a post best left for another time.
  • My question for you is this: what is your “mission statement” based on how your Bible, religious tome, moral compass, beliefs or spiritual practice guides you to treat others, especially those who are deemed “different” from you? I welcome your thoughts.
  • Happy Mother’s Day

    The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness.
    When you become a mother, you are no longer
    the center of your own universe.
    You relinquish that position to your children. ~ Jessica Lange

    As the mother of three grown children and many g’children , I am familiar with the job of motherhood. I say “job,” because in spite of being a licensed attorney for over 26 years, being a mother is the far harder of the two. In the best of circumstance, a child has an intact family with a mother and father. Nevertheless, in most cases, it is the mother who takes the primary role of raising the child. Children do not come with an instruction manual and even the best of mothers make mistakes. Yet, so long as a mother imbues her child with unconditional love, kindness, the strength of character, respect for themselves and others, honesty and most importantly, curiosity, the child will prosper.

    For all of you mothers and g’mothers out there, and in some cases, fathers, toiling to raise amazing human beings, I commend you for your efforts and wish you peace, happiness, good health and boundless love. I also wish you a day of relaxation, pampering and peace, because you certainly deserve it and more. Thank you for undertaking a role that, thanks to your love and guidance, will hopefully serve to produce an adult well-equipped to face and contribute to our society.

    For those friends who have lost your Mother, you are in my thoughts. I pray that you hold good thoughts and memories about your beloved mother and that she is still alive in your heart. She will always be your Mother.

    Finally, to those friends who are Mothers who have lost your precious children, I can’t presume to comprehend your thoughts and feelings, except to the extent that when I think of losing one of my beloved children, it shatters my heart. All that I can say is that I am sorry for your loss and pray for you as you go through this day. Yet, you still are, and always will be, a treasured mother. Happy Mother’s Day!

     

    Quote Tuesday

    The important thing is not to think much, but to love much and to do that which best stirs you to love. St. Teresa of Avila

    Happy Dad’s Day

    Happy Father's Day

    Happy Father’s Day (Photo credit: Viewminder)

    Today, is that day when those in the United States pause to celebrate their fathers. Of course, dads should be celebrated every day. In any case, I wish all the Dads out there a very Happy Dad’s Day. You may note that I refer to “Dad'” instead of “Father.” As you read this post, you will understand my reasons for doing so. In the end, you may disagree with my reasons, but hey, if we all thought the same way, life would be predictable and boring.

    I do not have a father to celebrate. My birth father died last year, but in reality, he was a complete stranger to me, and certainly not a Dad. For most of my life, I never had one. My father chose to abandon me, my two sisters and Mother on my birthday when I was five years old. So for 11 years, I never saw or communicated with him. He didn’t even send my mother a dime to help raise us. Although those facts are my reality, this post is not about him.It is about all the men who don’t serve as mere sperm donors. Fortunately, I was blessed with a couple of those men who showed me what it meant to be a Dad. So, it is with this post that I recognize all the Dads in the world.

    Although some will disagree, at a deeper level, there is a distinction between the monikers “Dad,” and “Father.” A man need not be the child’s father, to be a Dad. A dad is there for his family. He is the one cheering you on at your sports games. He is in the audience at any function in which you appear–even those boring school plays, band concerts and dance recitals. He supports your mother in meting out loving discipline, when it is necessary. He shares the responsibility of driving you here and there and after you can drive, stays up until you are home safely.

    He is there when you are ill, if for nothing else than, to  provide love and comfort. Until he can no longer actively do so, he assuages your fears and protects you from all of life’s boogeymen. In the case of girls, he tries, in vain I might add, to counsel you about the nature of boys. If you are a boy, he teaches you to love, respect and support women. He provides you food to eat, clothes on your back and a roof over your head. He participates in all the memorable events in your life. The fact is, that ‘he is always there.’

    Even if your dad has passed on, you have memories of him that act as a balm on days like this one. They are memories etched in your heart by the love that you shared. Studies show that, on average, girls with close relationships with their dads grow up with higher self-esteem and enjoy healthier relationships with men. Whether he is still here or has passed on, you share a bond like no other.

    Let me hasten to add that divorce seems an inevitable part of life for many. Yet, a man remains a Dad by staying in the lives of his children. Although a father and mother divorce, the same is not true for the children. In fact, at times such as this, a child needs both their parents, more than ever. A Dad continues forging a relationship with his children, that is as strong as possible, given the circumstance. A Dad never uses a divorce as an opportunity to run away from his children or his responsibility to them.

    There is not much to say about the ‘father.’ It is a fact that without a ‘father,’ you would simply not exist. He is essential in giving you life. In all too many cases, that is his sole contribution. The sad fact is that he is not there to share in the pangs and glories of raising his child.

    So, on this day, I commend all the “Dads” in the world who are active in the lives of their children, loving and guiding them on their journey toward adulthood. Sometimes, raising a child is a thankless task, but the joys of doing so, far outweigh the pains. Thank you for being there through it all. You are a child’s first notion of ‘Dad,’ and as they learn by example, you are preparing them for the future. You are your child’s first hero.

    I realize that not all situations are so clearcut, so forgive me if I failed to address all the variants of these complex relationships. As I say this, I’d also like to thank all you mothers who, like mine, tried to serve both roles, as single parents. We appreciate your presence, determination, strength, love and hard work. You, too, are our heroes.

    postsiggie2