Small Wonders: A 'heathen' teaches a lesson

February 17, 2012|By Patrick Caneday

My email inbox has been a little light lately. So I thought I’d bring up two things one should never discuss in civilized company: religion and politics.

If you’re still reading, count yourself uncivilized and, I hope, in good company.

It’s also my hope to end up in a place you didn’t expect when you saw such hopelessly divisive subjects introduced. That said, I’d like to share a personal anecdote.

I go to church. A Christian church. And I sometimes differ with the opinions and tactics of others who share my faith. But I embrace them as my brothers and sisters, as I hope they embrace me.


The L.A. Times recently published an article describing how, in the first year of the new healthcare law, 3.6 million people saved $2.1 billion on prescription drugs — the first tangible benefits of the sweeping healthcare overhaul lovingly referred to as “Obamacare.”

I, thinking such savings good news no matter which color state you reside in, shared this on Facebook for all 789 of my closest friends and their friends to see.

Is your blood boiling yet? Mine is starting to. But bear with me.

What I view as an extension of our call to help those who cannot help themselves, others see as entitlement that only makes the needy dependent. Justifiable arguments can be made to support both opinions.

A fellow churchgoer responded with a comment indicating he did not think this, nor the new healthcare law in general, was good news at all. I did not agree with him, and commented back letting him know. He did not agree with me and let me know.

I, unwilling to let his accusations go unanswered, answered.

He, with ready reply disabusing me my foolish optimism, replied.

To which I took issue, and let him know.

And he took issue with me, so there.

Then I with him.

And he with me.

And I again with him.

And he again with me....

Until I, stone in hand, angrily ended the downward-spiraling squabble with sarcastic eloquence, forbidding any further remarks.


I sat in my warm glass house, fixing my self-righteous anger upon the computer screen, rereading each comment to find more holes in his argument, calculating, then recalculating, more biting and cutting responses in my mind, scouring websites for factoids to back me up.

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