Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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22

Dec

2019

The fundamental need for belonging

Author: Jim Taylor

Today is the last Sunday before Christmas. I can confidently predict that every Christian congregation -- and possibly those of other religions too -- will hear a sermon about the birth of Jesus.

            I can also predict some of the themes of those sermons.

            Some will use Mary’s status to urge people to do something about poverty. Or about justice. Or perhaps about historic discrimination against women. The Christmas story becomes a means of getting at a social issue.

            Others will use a series of carefully selected Bible verses to prove, beyond any doubt, that God Almighty became a helpless crying baby. And/or that biblical prophets knew all the details of an obscure birth that would take place 500 years later.

            And therefore, by extension, that every other word in the Holy Book must also be 100% accurate.

            A friend and retired preacher calls all of this “head stuff.” It’s wonderful material to argue about. But it makes no difference at all to how you drive on the highway. Or how you treat the cashier at the grocery store.

 


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5

Jun

2017

If I had intervened, would I be dead?

Author: Jim Taylor

What would I have done? The question haunts me.

            Last week, three men were stabbed after they intervened on a commuter train in Portland, Oregon, to stop a white supremacist from harassing two young women, one of them wearing a head covering.

            It seems the women were not doing anything objectionable, other than riding a public train. But the stabber started yelling racial insults and profanities at them. The three men tried to stop him.

            Now two of them are dead, and one still recovering in hospital.

            And so I wonder, what would I do? I like to think I would do the noble thing, the honorable thing. I like to think I would have stood up for common decency.

            If so, would I be dead now?


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