One of my favorite films of all time is “Fiddler on the Roof”. As it opens the main character, Tevye, wonderfully sings of the joy and great importance of tradition and how it affects every aspect of Jewish life. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend that you do! Thanks to YouTube you can see what I’m talking about here. Without spoiling the story for any that may not have seen it, Tevye has great conversations with God, much as I imagine Isaiah might have, in response to “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord” ( Isaiah 1:18). As the story progresses, circumstances of his beloved daughters cause him to question the very traditions that he has relied on throughout his life-and reason with God as he seeks answers.
I’m betting that you and your family have some much cherished traditions. A personal favorite in my family is calling up each other on our birthday to sing “the stupid birthday song”…. I’m almost positive that you’ve heard it… “Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey and you smell like one too!” Family members are not subject to this humiliation until their 21st birthday, and presumably, after a long “first night” of legal drinking we wake up the celebrant as early as possible from a horrendous hangover. I know, it’s cruel but so much fun! In more recent years as my siblings and I have gotten older and no longer drink as part of celebrating our birthday, we tend to call a little bit later in the morning, primarily I suspect, because we hope the same consideration will be given to us.
Other traditions are passed down generation to generation. Our faith, holiday and political persuasion are just a few that come to mind. How often have you heard “I was raised __________, so I am also __________________.” Or, I am a Christian so I am for (or against) this issue, or that candidate.” I venture to say that at least one of your views or values is based strictly on what is normal in your circle, or family, or faith. That being said, can you honestly say with conviction WHY you hold that view? Could you effectively debate beyond “just because”?
As many of you know I’m sorta weird. I’m a Bible-believing, God-loving, Jesus-following, born again evangelical “left leaning” moderate and (voter) registered independent. I was raised in a “mixed” household. Mom was “blue” and dad was “red”. Needless to say, politics wasn’t often a topic around our house, but when it was it was uh, heated, to put it mildly, and sometimes even reverted to slammed doors and name calling. Being curious, I spent many hours learning about the country’s political process, how it works, and why; the Constitution and what it means for me. And in high school, Civics was a requisite course for graduation. Civics is the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government.It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens’ ― as opposed to external factors ― in the operation and oversight of government. (If you’re curious about Civics, and I hope you are check out http://www.icivics.org/About)
Awhile back I wrote a postabout the seeming conflict between my Christian faith and my duty and rights as an American citizen. It indeed has been said that religion and politics should never be discussed in the same room at the same time! The ultimate conclusion is that I follow Jesus, and use His teachings as a guide to how I practice the freedom I have as an American.
As we get nearer and nearer to Election Day, all the pix/commentary/and memes on FB get more heated. I’ve heard rumors that people are “de-friending” others and even leaving the fellowship found in Church because of the political views expressed. Having been involved myself in some commentary and after a 20 day “fast from politics” and seeking God, I’ve decided to separate the politics from faith on this blog-and create a new blog strictly FOR assisting others to get beyond the political rhetoric (aka spin), beyond the vitriol and yes, maybe even beyond their tradition! A little “truth in advertising” so to speak. My goal and hope is to inform and provide, without bias, what candidates support, reject, vs what they say; for all to gain better understanding of how government works and most of all, to shed light on policies, candidate positions and law without all the legalese, in plain English. In these difficult times, it is so easy to blame government for our problems, and granted, it is often justified. However, we are truly blessed to live in a country where we do have a voice, and a vote. Let’s not waste it by voting “just because” . Instead, let’s stop complaining and let our voice be heard and vote based on truth…not just tradition! If you’re willing, if you dare – the new blog is Well Informed Citizen. I’ll have my first post up a little later. I challenge you to go see it. : )
Care to share your opinion on tradition? Or anything related to this post? I’d love to hear from you and hope you’ll stretch your wings a little and take a look at the new blog. I promise, going forward, that THIS space will no longer have political content. Hope you’ll hold me to it!
Hope you'll share with others!