prisonchaplain

When kind trumps right prophets and truth go silent

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     “It is better to be kind than to be right.” So says author, Anne Lamott. Indeed, so declares our cultural and media elites. Further, so affirms our post-modern societal milieu.

               #MaryPoppins was closer to the truth. She said, “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.” In other words, yes, be kind, supportive, and ‘quick to listen, slow to speak.’ However, at the end of the day, the medicine cures, and it is no kindness to deny the patient, because the taste is bad and the side effects are unpleasant.

               We people of traditional, religious faith face this dilemma almost constantly. Christians say #Jesusistheonlyway of salvation, Muslims declare that Muhammed was the last and greatest prophet, and all theists tell us that we must recognize and reconcile with a power greater than ourselves. Concerning social mores, we extol the historic view of marriage, and remind that children tend to do best with a mother and father. Such counsel is not nice to post-modern ears. It seems mean, and it makes struggling single-parents, as well as those in non-traditional relationships, feel bad, and even guilty.

               Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, pitting this virtue against rightness (righteousness) distorts and weaponizes kindness. Ultimately, the admonition to be kind is a muzzle, meant to silence prophets and whistle blowers. Thankfully, the #metoo movement realizes that truth and right are more important than kindness towards predators. Gratefully, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. chose rightness over kindness towards segregationists.

               Some will object that people of faith are not brave social heroes. They are antiquated bigots, who hide behind their religions. If one believes so, then s/he should have the honest discussion. Let us stop with the passive-aggressive calls for those we oppose to be silent, in the name of kindness.

               I want to be kind. May God fill me and empower me to be such. However, on that hard day when truth must be shared, may the Almighty grant me courage to chose rightness.     https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rightness-against-kindness-tommy-ellis/

 

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5 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

#MaryPoppins was closer to the truth. She said, “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

This song actually played on my mp3 player this morning (which plays songs randomly).  I have witnesses.  And they didn't object!  (Personally, I think there's something wrong with you if you don't like this song, but I respect other people's right to have something wrong with them.)

 

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Of come on, @zil. I hope your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you said people could disagree with you about the beauty of that son. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG with anyone who doesn't like it. It's really not nice to let people with mental disorders believe that they are okay, and just have a different opinion. They are wrong and need help. :-)

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FWIW.  From “Chapter 21: The Power of Kindness,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith (2010)

Quote

“Once on a hot summer day there was some problem happening under the street near Grandfather’s home in Salt Lake City, and some workers from the city had come to fix it. It was hot outdoors, the sun shone fiercely, and the job at hand was a pick-and-shovel kind that made the sweat pour off the men’s faces and backs as they dug into the roadway. The workers were not careful with their language, or maybe their mothers hadn’t taught them any better, but they were swearing and using terrible language. Their words soon became offensive to many of the neighbors whose windows were open to catch any breeze that might help to cool them.

“Someone went out and asked the men to stop their foul talk, and in the process pointed out that Brother Smith lived right there—couldn’t they show some respect and keep quiet, please? With that the men let loose a new string of bad words. Quietly, Grandfather prepared some lemonade and placing some glasses and the pitcher on a tray he carried it out to the struggling men with, ‘My friends, you look so hot and tired. Why don’t you come and sit under my trees here and have a cool drink?’ Their anger gone, the men responded to the kindness with meekness and appreciation. After their pleasant little break they went back to their labor and finished their work carefully and quietly.”

This story was the thing which finally clicked into my conscious brain the idea that the things of God are basically the inverse of the things of man - that one must "turn their brain upside down" from what the world teaches in order to understand the things of God.

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2 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Of come on, @zil. I hope your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you said people could disagree with you about the beauty of that son. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG with anyone who doesn't like it. It's really not nice to let people with mental disorders believe that they are okay, and just have a different opinion. They are wrong and need help. :-)

Well there are people without ears to hear...

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43 minutes ago, zil said:

FWIW.  From “Chapter 21: The Power of Kindness,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith (2010)

This story was the thing which finally clicked into my conscious brain the idea that the things of God are basically the inverse of the things of man - that one must "turn their brain upside down" from what the world teaches in order to understand the things of God.

That kind of story is why the "kindness > righteousness" seems so right. Often, without any critical words at all, a show of love can smother the coarseness of others. At the same time, the immoral and amoral are now using the call to niceness as a passive aggressive means of getting us bearers of tradition to be silent. The day is coming when the grandpa in that story will be perceived as a villain, attempting to impose his morality, and suppress the workers' individuality, through the "buy off" of lemonade. He may even be portrayed as the passive aggressive one.

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