In a Facebook post last week, a friend wrote that he would be in church on Easter for the first time since the 1970s. This month, he explained, marked the one-year anniversary of a friend’s death, and the friend’s family had invited his friends to worship with them on Easter.
Obviously, my Facebook friend – the brother of a close friend from junior high – isn’t much of a churchgoer. “I take no particular pride in this,” he wrote, “nor am I embarrassed about it. I wouldn’t say I’m better for having avoided organized religion, or worse either for that matter.”
He wrote that it simply wasn’t his in nature to join things.
Throughout junior high, my Facebook friend’s brother and I were best friends, though it appears I now have as much in common with my Facebook buddy. We’re both in the newspaper business, and neither of us is a churchgoing joiner.
We have something else in common. After stating that he wasn’t a joiner, my friend wrote this: “What I am, though, is a person who respects the beliefs of others. To me, there is nothing more important. It’s my goal every day not to trample upon the faith of those around me. In my mind, there should be no argument about faith. It’s a personal matter special to each and every individual.”
Aside from the occasional birthday wish, I’m not one to comment on Facebook. But in response to my friend’s post, I wrote, “Amen, brother.”
Years ago now, another friend once quipped that the only thing he couldn’t tolerate was intolerance, and I have no tolerance for friends who can’t tolerate people of faith. It is the epitome of intellectual arrogance.
Personally, I admire and even envy people of faith; I often wish I shared their conviction. Intellectually, because one can believe in God but not prove God’s existence, who am I to dismiss those who believe? Again, arrogance.
Unlike my Facebook friend, I wasn’t in church on Easter Sunday, but I have nothing but respect for those who were.