All my life I’ve heard there are two topics to be avoided: politics and religion. In my childhood, the same people that taught me this rule often broke it, and I listened in mostly unnoticed while folding the tabs of my paper dolls’ clothes over their shoulders and at their waists.
Now and then tension zigged and zagged in the air. Some cleared their throats while I’d hear others shifting in their chairs as if a new position would make the moment easier. Finally, one of them would change the subject with a question like, “How do you think the Twins will do this year?” (which could be taboo too) Or they would talk about the weather, crops, and the prices of food and gas.
Other times, while coloring or reading, I’d hear people who agreed on both topics talking openly. If there was a voice missing from the conversation, I’d look up. He or she would be listening with their arms crossed. I knew they disagreed but didn’t want to start a fight.
Most of these discussions and debates were respectful and ended with handshakes and hugs; I love yous, and the spoken hope that we’d all see each other again soon.
Did you know that Elvis Presley was both a religious and political topic early in his musical career? If you liked his version of music, you were in danger of losing your salvation or a dangerous liberal who would vote for anyone and anything.
I thought the then King of Rock & Roll was handsome, liked his music, and thought it was cool he could move like that. When no one was looking, I tried a few of my own moves in front of my closet mirror. It was hilarious.
Years later I learned most of these critics had come to enjoy Elvis singing How Great Thou Art, and many knew the words to Blue Suede Shoes and Love Me Tender.
One thing I was sure of: Even when they disagreed, their political convictions came from hearts that loved each other and this country.
- Why do you vote the way you do?
- What do you believe politically and why?
- What do you believe religiously and why?
- Do you believe we’re all hypocrites? Why or why not?
- Who are your favorite historical figures? Why do you respect them?
- Who are your least favorites and why?
- When you consider the issues, which are most important to you and why?
- Have you ever offered the other side harsh judgments? Was it worth hurting another person to get what you had to say said?
- Is it possible that while the two main political sides are vastly different, the thing that drives all people is surprisingly similar?
- Can you find any common ground with someone who believes differently than you do?
What about your Faith Legacy?
Your Faith Legacy may be the answer to someone’s secret prayer.
I was speaking to a large group of women about this and encouraged those gathered to write a short faith or belief statement. A woman stood up and got after me. I listened briefly to her list of offenses although I’d offered a disclaimer at the start of the session that I’d based the topic on my Christian faith (and we were in a church) She concluded, “As an atheist I don’t believe in God – I don’t have a faith statement!” I took a deep breath before I said, “Well, couldn’t you say, ‘I believe there is no God’?” She was a little startled. “Then you can write about why you have placed your faith in atheism.” She nodded, sat down, and started writing her statement of non-faith.
Sometimes we choose not to write about our faith concerned we will offend someone. At the most we say, “I believe in God” and leave it at that. But is that enough? Exploring this, I asked myself:
- Is there a way to share my faith without intentional offense?
- And if someone is offended because of my faith is that my problem or theirs?
My answers revealed the value of both a written and spoken Faith Legacy.
Spiritually Speaking. . .
- Who do you believe in?
- What do you believe?
- When did you come to this belief?
- Where were you when your faith journey started?
- How has it affected your life? The way you love? The way you vote? The way you live?
If we write what we believe and leave out who, what, when, where, why, and how, we rob our Legacy of its greatest treasure: The story of our souls.
Your Taboo Two Matter!
To read the other Your Life a Legacy posts click on these links:
I want to thank Pixabay for the use of the photo used in this post.