I was watching Chris Hayes on MSNBC talk about the town hall he held with Bernie Sanders in a Wisconsin county that Obama carried twice but which went for Trump. One of the questions posed of the audience during the town hall was about political correctness. Hayes asked, “How many of you think political correctness is about how you have to watch what you say about certain groups of people?” Hands went up all over the hall.
A number of years ago, the country was in the throes of a bit of a cultural fad. It was those posters, the ones that appeared like splotchy nonsense but which everybody swore if you stared at it long enough in just the right way would cause a three-dimensional image to leap off the surface of the paper.
I tried to see them. Over and over again. Followed the advice of those who claimed expertise at seeing these optical illusions. I wanted to see them. But I never once saw a single visual phantom hovering in space. Not one. So I did the only face-saving thing I could do in the face of a complete inability to experience what others….many others….claimed could be experienced.
I called bullshit.
Usually, I speak of my spirituality in very general terms out of a desire to be respectful of the differences in belief systems of those I make my friends. But this week, as Christmas day approaches, I feel a desire to speak of what this season means to me, not just in the broad spiritual sense of this time but also in very specific terms to me and my life as it is right now.
As many of my friends have come to know, while I profess to seek to make my journey in this life within the context of Christian faith, I’m highly respectful of the fact that others make different choices about spirituality and religion. In terms of the kinds of Christians that most people see and hear or who they have met personally, I’m pretty unorthodox by comparison. But at the same time, and forgive me in advance for the conceit that may well be seen in this statement, I believe that I seek to hew closer to the central teachings of Christ than a lot of people who profess to be Christian.