Sunday, July 7, 2013

My New Neighbor

  I have new neighbors abutting my back yard.  This is a new thing for me; the people who lived there
before were there for my entire life (I bought the house I was born in).  It's odd to see new folks, with new habits and new ways of doing thing, expectations, quirks, irks, etc.  They are a very young couple and quite polite.  Nice people, all around.
  The gentleman is out mowing his lawn right now.  I was out earlier working in the back yard - a large project that has taken me my entire vacation to do and is still not complete.  I needed a break, and it was after I took my break that he came out to mow.  Perhaps he knows that neither of us would get much done if we were both out at the same time.
  Part of the work I was doing this weekend does impact his life a bit.  I was replacing some fence panels.  The new ones aren't as nice as the old ones were (when new), but prices as they are it was the best I could do.  I wanted to talk with him and make sure he knew I wasn't putting up the fence just because "new neighbor" thing, like it was personal, but because they were old and rotted, falling apart. But, I doubt he really cares.
  In my noted "doubt", I began to think on borders.  See, the fence is by code 12-inches inside the border line.  I put up a wire fence to keep Gracie in, but the fence panels were put up by my parents - the previous owners - for privacy.  I don't think they are very effective.  But, the wire fence is needed to keep Gracie in my yard.  She is my responsibility, her mess is mine to worry about.
  Now, there are things that flow over borders.  I try to encourage moles to stay in their yard.  I realize that Gracie poop stinks, so I try to keep that cleaned up.  I try to be sure not to be too obnoxious and disturb the neighbors.  But, when it all comes down, we only share a sight line and a bit of cooperation; what is in my border is my responsibility and business, not theirs.  Outside of generally caring for the place and being decent and polite, neighborly, what I do is none of their concern.

  I say that all to wonder how it is that some believe that what goes on in my house, on my property, is open for discussion?  I refer to those who believe that because their religion, their private beliefs, does not tolerate homosexuality (there is argument on that:  Christ healed the Roman Centurion's male lover), that it is something that extends beyond their private borders and should impact my life.

  Christianity seems to repeatedly get caught in this obvious issue.  Despite the humble beginnings, where being Christian was to be hunted and hated, to a time where so called Christians felt it acceptable to declare others unworthy of life:  Inquisition, Crusades, Colonialism, Witch Trials, Slavery/Racism.

  Jesus Christ came with one message:  Love your neighbor, and Love God.  Period.   I don't need my neighbor's judgement.  I don't need his condemnation.  I don't need him to tell me who to love or who to hate.  If people like Fischer and the rest of those fascists and crusaders want my respect and admiration, if they want me to look at them and see someone worth emulating, then be my neighbor.  Lift a hand in greeting, help with a project, share a glass of ice tea.  Get to know me and see me for the person that I am.  Maybe there are things my mind with change on by such positive influence.  But, frankly, mr fischer - most of what you say just pisses people off and makes you a really shitty neighbor. Maybe you should think on what Jesus would say to that.