Life has become a matter of semantics. We must be politically correct or we’re liable to hurt someone’s sensitivities. Well, my personal sensitivity seems to get hurt on a fairly regular basis, especially at this time of the year.
My mom wasn’t very politically correct. She pretty much believed in calling a spade a spade; even if sometimes the spade didn’t want to hear it. But she was a stickler for one thing. She insisted she was spiritual and not religious. She hated to be called religious. In all our years together, I never asked her why; another of my regrets in life.
I’ve tried to break the code on the differences in what the two words mean, but I’m at a loss. If you look in a Thesaurus for the definition of religious, it refers you to spiritual and vice versa. By dictionary definition, spiritual is concerned with, or affecting the soul and also of, from, or relating to God; deific. Religious is having or showing belief in and reverence for God or a deity. I personally don’t see much difference in the two, so why she would be so adamant on the subject escapes me.
At this point in my life, I can only surmise as it’s too late to ask her why. She’s in a box on one of the shelves in my library. She’s not supposed to be…I was going to scatter her ashes along the river on a friend’s property. I’ve never been able to bring myself to do so, which is stupid since I know she’s not really in the box. It’s that comfort thing of having my mommy watch over my shoulder as she did for so much of my life. She seems happy enough—I haven’t heard her complain. You probably didn’t know my mom. Were she not perfectly content she’d find some way to let me know. So far, she hasn’t. Asking her about the religious versus spiritual thing now would just border on the ridiculous. I’ve done more than one stupid thing in my life, but that’s a stretch even for me.
It must be because of that PC thing. In today’s world, it’s not fashionable to be religious. If you are, that means you will try to foist your viewpoints on whomever will listen and even a few that won’t. You know, the guy on the street corner with a megaphone scenario. Being spiritual has a much more pleasant, non-threatening tone to it. Like it’s inward-directed reflection instead of outward-directed preaching. Anyone that would believe that given half a chance my mother wouldn’t have grabbed a megaphone and stood on a corner didn’t know her very well. She was definitely more of an outward-directed individual. Strong willed. That’s the PC way of saying loud.
The interesting thing about all this PC stuff is that God apparently doesn’t really care about being politically correct. He said what He wanted to, without worrying about stepping on anyone’s feelings. There’s more than one thing in the Bible that would hurt a person’s sensibilities if they were closely reading it. The beauty of that is there’s not much left open for interpretation. If you read the Bible, you know what you’re supposed to do, and when.
I firmly believe that if God were sitting in my living room, watching the nightly news with us, He’d be shaking His head in disbelief at all this insanity. I’d like to think that He’d much prefer we said Merry CHRISTmas instead of Happy Holidays, because December 25th is supposed to be a religious holiday, isn’t it? Of course, He knows that what’s in our heart counts for so much more than what passes through our lips, so I’m pretty sure He’ll forgive everyone for trying to be so PC. Even so, I fully intend to keep Christ right where He belongs, in my heart and in my well wishes for a Merry CHRISTmas.