Sunday, February 28, 2010

Standing For Something

Today is a bit of a different posting day. It's not an officially scheduled one. I decided that since I was at 11 posts and today was the last day in February I would try to have 12 posts for each month (just like January) that I have been blogging. Tomorrow, at the start of March, I will be approaching my 2 month anniversary as a blogger.

Personally I don't think I'm doing too bad, being at between 20 and 25 followers as of yesterday, which was a good day for adding followers. But that is not the focus of my post today. Today being a Sunday, I will be going to a church. This is not a especially usual thing lately and also considering the experiences that I briefly described within the body of the potpourri of yesterdays post.

But Unitarians are not your average religious community and I had been feeling that my self imposed exile due to my own shortcomings as I believe I mentioned in a previous post about the relationship between the minister and myself were firmly in the past.CNot to mention, the subject of the "sermon" - Standing for Something. Like the title says.

So what about Standing for Something. Well, the service is about the direction of the church in terms of the Social Action Committee and where we as a congregation would position ourselves. With a single cause or a "less limiting" position. As the service bulletin says, talking about the pros and cons of getting "more focused" as opposed to being active in all the areas we have been known for such as GLBT rights, SUPPORTING REFUGEES, and various other projects.

This topic appealed to me especially. Since I have come into contact through my FB activities with a person from Eygpt who claims religious persecution and has oddly or perhaps desperately asked for the help of a near total stranger (a FB "random") who he immediately upon talking to set out to seek help from. Even with no knowledge of any special ability to help in this kind of cause.

In a naive and possibly stupid attempt to be "polite" and not just tell this person that I should hardly be expected to be his saviour, I said I would ask a more appropriate person - the minister of my social action oriented church and a man of great education and intelligence I am sure, to see what he thought about his situation which was rather sketchily drawn to boot.

I was very annoyed and conflicted about this and mentioned it to my mother, whose advice was to stay out of it. Possibly very good advice since this gentlemen claimed to be hindered in an attempt to leave Egypt as a Coptic Christian because all people from his area were seen as potential terrorists. A possibly true but rather broad accusation that could have been disingenious. Hence my & my mothers wary feelings.

But I decided that just as he could be a bald faced liar, he could also be telling the truth and if he was telling the truth and desperate enough to push himself onto a stranger than perhaps it was worth "passing the buck" and letting it go forward one level for a judgement on the worthiness/likely sincerity of the plea.

It was settled when I read the focus of the service on the very day I promised to make an attempt. Clarifying the social justice angle and specifically referring to refugees I felt was a sign that I needed to open my heart a bit to take a chance on someone and put myself in a potentially embarrassing situation. I decided to stand for compassion and the benefit of the doubt. Especially since the vetting could be done at the next level.

As I write this, on my second, mostly sleepless night I wonder where it will end. And if it will end before it even begins with an embarrassed denial of the initial request. I will keep you posted on where this goes as with Haiti and Chile (and my small new tie to the latter as mentioned before) I think, despite my intention NOT to think about it that it must be done.

So to my readers, I ask for your feedback on this situation as poorly elaborated as it is. Am I a sucker or is this a moral duty? Advice and opinions are greatly appreciated and will be seriously considered. Obviously what would "Jesus" do is less my interest than what would YOU do?

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