“There once was a chap who was ‘Christian’
the type who was bossy and itchin’
to put his nose in your business
and kumbaya you with Jesus
and follow you from your bedroom to kitchen…”
– excerpt from The Humoristian Chronicles: A Most Unusual Fellowship
It seems to me that our world is now divided into two teams: The Bossy Britches Busybodies are on one side of the field, earnestly and busily trying to force everyone else to conform to their ideologies; and the Live-and-Let-Live folks are on the other side of the field, bemused expressions on their faces, trying to comprehend why it’s so important to the Busybodies that everyone hold the same beliefs as them.
I have never understood this need the Bossy Britches Busybodies seem to have for everyone to share their beliefs. I’ve never understood why it seems so important to the BBB that everyone else think, and live their lives, the same way they do. Busybodies seem so completely sure of themselves. So completely intolerant, and afraid, of beliefs and lifestyles different from their own – so quick to judge and condemn, and stand in self-righteous indignation against anyone who happens to disagree with them. And the irony of all this is that most of the people who are on the BBB team would tell you that they are followers of a religion whose leader preached that we should “judge not, that ye be not judged” and who told us to love our neighbors, love our enemies, and to take the “beam” out of our own eye, before we point to the “mote” in someone else’s eye.
Personally, I have no problem with people believing whatever it is they want to believe about stuff – as my dear Aunt Junie used to say, “Whatever makes your socks go up and down” – so long, of course, as those beliefs don’t cause harm to others.
Frankly, I don’t think that our beliefs are as important as what we do with those beliefs.
If our beliefs lead to a place of hate, anger, and fear, and cause us to try to deny another citizen his rights – this is probably a sign that our beliefs are not helpful to the world. Every citizen of our nation should have the exact same rights as every other citizen – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. And – so long as no one else is harmed – every citizen should have the right to the “pursuit of happiness.” What business is it of yours or mine what consenting adults do with each other in the privacy of their own home? Why, I wonder, are Busybodies so fascinated with someone else’s sex life? And why should anyone want to deny someone else the right to marry the person he loves just because he has a different sexual orientation?
If, on the other hand, our beliefs lead us to a place of kindness, humanity, and compassion, and cause us to seek social justice – to “heal the sick” and “feed the hungry” and shelter the homeless (as Jesus admonished us to do) – that’s probably a good sign that our beliefs are worth keeping.
“For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”
II Thessalonians 3: 11,12
In other words, mind your own business, for crying out loud!