"The Favorite Son, again
Abraham Lincoln had his moments. Like when he said that God wasn't on either side of the Civil War. So what is it about Christians, especially conservative Christians, that makes them so proud of hurting people. Whether it's whipping and terrorizing small children, or segregating the ill and disabled from proud and productive work, or making a senior strain hernias, arthritis and a back damaged by a drinking driver on heavy labor, they seem to get such a righteous charge out of it. As if it validates some idea that God loves them best. And of course you can't tell them anything about it. If you do, then you're just not taking personal responsibility. You're just trying to hurt them.
Take my brother. Please. He hasn't changed much over the years. When we were little kids in grade school, he found that he could say nasty things that hurt my feelings. He played that like his favorite toy. Then one day I'd had enough. I turned it right back on him and played the snotty jerk to his face. You should have seen the look on it. That wasn't fair! I wasn't supposed to make him hurt.
One day I was tired and zoned out. He backed up, sat down on his bed, and broke one of his favorite model planes that he had built. Of course it wasn't his fault; it was all mine. "Why didn't you tell me it was there!"
In high school we had two beds in a room, each with a reading lamp on the headboard. One night I was trying to get to sleep. Not always easy because of the nightmares, anxiety and depression. But he just couldn't be satisfied with his reading lamp. He had to have the overhead light on. He wouldn't turn it off when I asked him, and when I did, he would march right over to the switch and turn it back on. Several times, until I waited there in the dark, and socked him in the eye. He wasn't the one being mean; it was all me.
These days, when people are doing things he finds offensive, like living on the dole when there's no work, or asking for social justice, his favorite jeer - "Well, it's all about me!" Indicating not so subtly his disgust with people who are so self-centered that they don't consider and adopt his moral righteousness.
The Favorite Son can tell his brother to hazard the rent with extra expenses, and strain old, painful injuries moving things out of his mother's house - or lose them. The things that one accumulates and invests feeling in to make up for the lack of a love in a family. But that's not his problem. His only Christian responsibility is to tell others what they ought to be doing. No, it's not his responsibility; it's all mine.
Nope. Not much change at all. It seems to be a complete mystery to him why other people might find that incredibly annoying and hard to forget. Well he's right about one thing; it's always been all about him. And a lack of personal maturity and responsibility.
I wonder, when I have to keep my Father's temper so tight in its cage, if I'll ever be able to go back to church and have any feeling of grace and forgiveness. A long, long shot that is."