Friday, February 01, 2008

Preamble to the Debate...

One of the recent bloggers I've stumbled across is CK.

On the face of it, CK and I seem to have wildly opposing views on all sorts of things. We started interacting over a post he'd made about one of my favourite country songs of all time - Sugarland's moving ballad 'Stay.'

It quickly became apparent that there weren't very many things CK and I agreed on. He dismisses evolution and global warming - and the factual evidence upon which they're based - and I objected to some of his arguements (like the Bible's attitudes towards homosexuality.)

Despite these disagreements, I have to admit that I've developed a lot of respect for CK. In England we often use the term 'he's a gentleman and a scholar' to describe somebody we respect. CK most certainly belongs in the 'gentleman' category and I'm only leaving him out of the 'scholar' part because I think he's spent too much time reading The Good Book instead of other, unreleated books (on things like evolution and global warming!)

But as gruff and opinionated as his blog makes him sound, he's a classy guy for the way he's debated things with me. Reading his blog also shows that he's a big hearted, generous bloke who goes out of his way to do things to support his friends in his church community.

However much I'm intellectually frustrated with Christianity, you can't really argue with the good work people like CK do in the 'name' of God. I watched Batman Begins the other day and one line reminded me of CK. District Attorney Rachel Dawes turns to her friend Bruce Wayne (who she has no idea is really Batman) and says: 'It's not who you are inside that counts. It's what you do.'

And CK's the kind of guy who rolls up to a neighbour's house on a weekend off to help them cut firewood for the weeks ahead. However much I disagree with his beliefs or politics, I can't help but be humbled by the generous and selfless things he does out there in the 'real world.'

CK might humbly dismiss is as part of his 'religious duty,' but I know the truth. He's just a really great guy - and you don't need to be religiously inclined to recognize that.

However frustrated I am at Christianity or religion in general, it brings people together and it often gives them a purpose. Purpose is a very important thing. If we didn't have it - and didn't believe in something - then it's very easy to become totally nihilistic.

CK's living proof that religion is only a bad thing when bad things come of it. When good things spring from faith - like a shed full of wood for a shivering family - it's difficult for even hard-core secularists like me to dismiss it's benefits.

I just thought I'd mention these things before I launch into CK's current debate. You don't have to agree with somebody to acknowledge their qualities.

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