Friday, September 10, 2010

Would you like me if you Knew?

I wonder...I really do wonder!  Would you like me if you knew?  Knew what you ask?  Today's news has got me to wondering.  Let's play a game of Suppose if...okay, you ready? 

Suppose you and I, along with our families...I'm speaking of our parents and siblings, were friends.  We, you and I, met in kindergarten and went all through school together.  Had sleep overs at each others homes.  Stayed up all night giggling like the school girls we were.  We were blissful. We loved each other like sisters. 

Suppose you and I, and our families had taken vacations together.  We went to Florida one year and shared the experience of seeing the great ocean for the first time together.  We camped at the local lake; where we swam by day and made smores by night.  We talked under the stars for hours and hours.  We even went to the Grand Canyon one year...our families together. 

Suppose we partook in American Traditions.  We even shared some Fourth of July's together, where the sparklers lit up the night.  We enjoyed the floats, bands and saluted the American Flag, hand over our hearts, at the parade.  We celebrated other times, too, you and I and our families.

Suppose we went our separate ways come college; but knew in our hearts we'd be friends forever and ever.  We visited each other at our respective colleges.  We attended each others games, campus events...and more.  We set each other up with guys we thought would be perfect for the other. 

Suppose we never talked about religion.  We never ever talked politics.  We never ever heard our parents talk about it either.  It was a rather mute subject for both. We knew your family didn't go to church and my family kept quiet about ours.  We knew your beliefs...or that you weren't BIG believers.  We knew our beliefs were not readily accepted, so the less said, the better.  We were not ashamed, there was nothing to hide, really. It was just easier to do our thing and spare ourselves the condemnation or discussions.

Suppose you finally fixed me up with the one and only guy that turned my world upside down.  We hit it off.  We became engaged.  We (you and I) knew you'd be my was agreed on many, many years before.  We, you and I, sat down one day and I shared ideas for the wedding.  We talked about colors, who else would be in the wedding and all the other one million and one things that needed to be talked about.  We then discussed where the wedding would be held~

Suppose I said it would be held at the Mosque downtown.  But, because my husband-to-be was Christian, it'd be a combined ceremony.  We, you and I, looked at each other.  We, you and I, sat in silence.  We, you and I, felt a shift in our that second that it took for it to register what I had said, you decided if you WOULD LIKE ME IF YOU KNEW?

Today is September 10, 2010.  The day before the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York.  How many years...nine.  Today, on the news, there is talk of a minister in Florida threatening to burn the Koran.  The holy book of the Muslim faith.  What are my thoughts, my feelings?  To be honest, they are ones of confusion and really, really, disbelief!  I'm saddened.  I'm astonished.  I'm irritated.  I'm bereft!  And, I think I'm kind of mad!'s so many things to so many people.  I am a member of the United Methodist Church in New Virginia, Iowa.  I am that because it's mainstream.  It's a church in my community.  It's neither left nor right.  It fits my lifestyle.  It's comfortable.  It's Iowa.  It's in the middle. 

I grew up in a non-denominational church in Des Moines.  I went there because that is where my aunt went and she got me there.  Had my childhood been different and my parents had married, I would have been raised a south side Catholic.  It's a fact.  It's true.  Nothing wrong with's just that I am what I am, because of my circumstances.  And, I bet...if you really considered it all, you are what you are because of your circumstances, too.

Had I been raised in the south, there's a good chance I would have been raised in a Baptist Church.  If I lived in Finland...I may have been Lutheran.  To me...religion is 'where we're at' 'where we're from' more than anything else.  I find I like the simple wisdom of the Buddhists.  I appreciate the rituals and symbolism of Catholicism.  I love the traditions of the Christian faith.  I know no others to compare. 

I'm mystified at the discombobulation that is 'man-made' in my opinion.  I do not know anyone who is Muslim, that I'm aware of.  I have friends who are Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran and Evangelicals.  I don't think I know anyone who is Jewish.  Our exchange student was a Christian, but her grandmother was Buddhist.  She studied the Bible, and went to Temple, too.  I'm sad that I don't know of these other cultures, which seem to be defined by their religion.  Gosh, I'm missing out on so much, I'm just sure of it. 

So, here I am...back where I started...we played a little game of Suppose if...what are your thoughts on this subject?  You don't have to put them here...just take some time to think about this.  Again I ask: Would you like me if you Knew?  And I wonder...