Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, January 16, 2017


I was surprised, although I should not have been, at the folks who did not understand the “meaning” in my post of yesterday, in which I plead for people to accept me in church even though I wear a suit and tie. I meant it to be mostly funny, a reversal of the old paradigm in which men were expected to wear suits and ties to church and those who could not afford such felt they could not come to church. Now, of course, “proper” church clothing means anything except a suit or a “dressy” dress. Anything goes as long as it looks like it would not have belonged in church twenty years ago.

A lot of folks responded by saying “You look okay” and “I think you look nice,” and “It’s okay to wear what you want.” Well, yes, and thanks, but the response I assumed and wanted was a wry smile and an understanding that we need to be careful about judging others because what is “in” now will be “out” soon, not just in how we dress but in all of our human expectations.

All human communication is tricky, because we have different filters through which we see and hear. That’s especially true with humor.

I remember how certain kinds of humor were not funny at all to me when I was recovering from surgery and undergoing chemotherapy. I did not enjoy Jerry shooting Tom with a cannon, or the Three Stooges sticking their fingers in eyes, or the Road Runner causing Wylie Coyote to fall off a cliff, because I felt their pain. I was in so much pain myself, the pain of someone else was not funny at all to me. That was my filter.

Still is, mostly. I enjoy the reversal of Tweetie besting Sylvester, but I still hope he can do it without causing harm to that poor “puddy tat” as he creeps up on the birdie. [1] After all, Sylvester is a cat. He’s doing what cats are supposed to do.

When Jesus says, in Matthew 5:48, as he did yesterday in the Gospel reading at church, “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect,” he did not mean that we should be like God. Trying to act like God is the root of all sin [see the Garden of Eden story] and giving the finger to the First Commandment. God is perfect because God is always God. Humans are perfect when we act like humans, not like animals. And Jesus has outlined very neatly how humans are supposed to act.


1] As the linguistically challenged Tweetie Bird sings, “I tought I taw a puddy tat a treepin’ up on me…”

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