Oddly enough, dear old Ray Comfort inspired this post, in what I'm sure was a throw away comment for him (after all, it didn't insult anyone).
How do you show you love someone?
I know what he meant, love of Christ, blah blah blah. Not to be harsh here, but we've all heard it all before from some well-meaning but really freaking pushy Christian. Is that love? To irritate me to death? I guess I'd find out in a hurry the truth about the afterlife. Is that how you show love?
I'm Irish. After talking to other Irish people I have found that no matter what religion we happen to be, we apparently share some kind of bizarre cultural memory that causes us to do the same things until the bloodline gets diluted. There used to be an Irish newspaper puplished in Philly, and one of the articles was about how Irish people acted. How do we act? We come off standoffish sometimes. Funny, but sort of distant. We joke instead of crying (you know, that whole Irish wake thing. Everyone gets drunk because that's how you mourn). We joke instead of a lot of things. We're survivors after all, we do what needs to be done, and sometimes I think that "man up" is the perfect term for us. That's what we do. We "man up".
So showing love is kind of weird for an Irish woman like me. Especially the kind of love that dear ol Ray here is talking about. He's look at me and probably say I'm a terrible person. I don't talk to people in real life about faith or the state of their life (unless I've known you for a very very long time, then you're family and then I intrude). I do good things, but privately. I still work with Habitat for Humanity, though I can't do onsite stuff my home is alway open for people to tour, and I'm always available for people to talk to about the process. I give to the SPCA and ton of other places. I rarely give my name, why should I? I'm helping because it's the right thing to do. Who cares what my name is?
It seems Ray might. I would bet that any good thing Ray does he does because he will be noticed. OK, I realize I'm going out on a limb here assuming that he even does good things. But I think we can all agree whatever he does is enblazoned with hs name. He proclaims his beliefs from the mountaintop, which is all well and good, but a tad annoying, yes? He shows his love for his fellow man in a terribly annoying fashion that, if the comments on his web site offer any kind of clue here, turn more people off than anything else.
So what works? Well, here we come back to to the old works/words argument. And at times I think it's the crux of the belief for many people. Why do good works in private when you can use loud words and be noticed? And so many people need to be noticed. These people crave attention the way people like me crave privacy. I don't want to be noticed, I want to help. They don't want to help, they want to be noticed.
Of course this isn't every person of faith. Obviously. I'm a person of faith. Lots of us would rather just go along spreading a tiny bit of happiness (my greatest joy in real life is seeing someone made a tiny bit happier because of something I did, even if they don't know it. I can be a bitch, but I'll also try to make you smile). But because we have only just started finding a voice here on the intertubes a lot of people never heard from us. They only heard from the words folks, and boy are they giving the wrong idea of what faith is. They have it all confused with religion, and they muddy the water with bizarre terminology. It's all wrong, and it is NOT how you show your love for anyone.
Love people by helping them in a way they need. Don't try to convert them. They don't need that. They need a hot meal. They need a warm bed, so give to a shelter or volunteer there. Pets that hae been abandoned need a home, so adopt at the SPCA. The earth needs us to stop killing it, so drive less. Do little things, but it makes a difference. It sounds so damn cheeseball, but it does help. And the awesome thing is, you don't have to have religion to do it! Yay! Everyone can get in on this one! How about that, Ray. Everyone can help everyone else, and they don't need God to tell them to do it. They do love someone. Everyone does, and they show it in real ways.
So Ray? Please do me a favor and shut it. I'll let you babble on about your insane religion (and I know from insane religions), your retarded science (sorry again about being harsh, but come on) but don't touch on real stuff that shows just how out of your depth you are when it comes to understanding fundamental humanity. Seriosuly, are you alien? Because you just don't get it.
Move on Ray, give it up. No one needs your love.