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December 18, 2014 / jeffnward

It’s time to stop calling ourselves Christians

So since it was Wednesday, an after a morning of writing, I dutifully headed off to Graham Cracker Comics in St. Charles in eager anticipation of acquiring this week’s new releases.

You see, when we last left off, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, had traveled to the planet Apokolips to rescue the body of his son Damian, aka Robin, which had been stolen by his arch nemesis Ra’s al Ghul. Using his advanced battle suit, Batman is about to square off against Darkseid in an effort to acquire the Chaos Shard and resurrect his dead son.

accidentAnd I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Don’t laugh! There’s a little bit of Sheldon Cooper in all of us.

But as I was walking into the comic book store, I heard the sudden screeching of tires followed by that telltale sickening metallic whump. My line of sight was semi-blocked by all the construction materials used to renovate that strip mall, but I still managed to see one car sitting sideways across the east side of the Prairie Street and Randall Road intersection.

Figuring there wasn’t much point in running the 220 yards up to the scene of the accident to see if anyone was injured, I immediately dialed 911 in the hope of getting the folks, who actually knew what they were doing, out there as soon as possible.

The fact that I was transferred once and the length of the emergency call surprised me, but, in the end, the St. Charles Police and paramedics got there within a scant two minutes.

But here’s the thing, as I stood there talking to the dispatcher and waiting for the first responders to arrive, not a single motorist stopped to offer assistance of any kind. For five minutes they simply drove around the crash and went along their merry way. I wonder if any of them even bothered to call 911. At least they didn’t start honking.

So much for that highly vaunted American holiday spirit. Could this be the war on Christmas that Fox News keeps talking about?

I eventually ended up talking with a couple of St. Charles firefighters who, despite the two obviously disabled vehicles, assured me that no one was hurt. But even though the drivers were fine, my perception of my fellowman’s capacity to be their brother’s keeper certainly took a massive hit.

What’s happening to us? We’re waging a war on the poor, we actually believe there could ever be a justification for torture – especially of innocent people, and it’s OK to kill someone for selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. When did our automatic response to anyone who finds themselves in a difficult or dire situation become “bleepin’ deal with it?”

When did we get to the point where we can’t even be bothered to expend the 60 to 120 seconds it would’ve taken to stop and check on two fellow human beings who could’ve been hurt? Isn’t the principle conveyed by the story of the Good Samaritan, a parable I learned in third grade, as important as any other biblical tenet?

Before y’all starting hammering me for “bashing” Christians – again – please remember that I’m not the one who came up with the rules. I’m simply pointing out a vast inconsistency between those rules and those people who purport to follow them.

So all I can say is, considering those perpetually packed Randall Road and Tri-Cities churches, our pastors, ministers and priests are failing miserably. What are you guys doing up there every Sunday? Isn’t Christianity supposed to be a bit more than railing at gays and beating up liberals?

Maybe it’s the fear of a lighter collection plate, or maybe you just can’t bring yourselves to challenge your flock, but if we’ve really gotten to the point where the plight of our fellowman means this little, then the least we can do is stop calling ourselves Christians.

6 Comments

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  1. jimkoko / Dec 18 2014 10:28 am

    . . . NO . . christianity has totally become all things wrong in this world . . the only “GOOD” being done is what is guilted into . . .

  2. Dave K / Dec 18 2014 12:01 pm

    And why didn’t you go the 220 yards to see if anyone was injured? You could have made it in about 45 seconds. Or being a liberal democrat you want to rely on the government to do everything? Isn’t that the definition of a social liberal? Government will take care of everyone. Maybe that’s the problem, we expect someone else to take care of life’s problems instead of taking ownership ourselves.

    • jeffnward / Dec 18 2014 12:38 pm

      Dave, 45 seconds! You flatter me! Though I truly appreciate the compliment, had I run that fast for 220 yards in blue jeans in 25 degree weather, the paramedics would’ve had to tend to me too.

      First, what would I have done had I gotten up there? Called 911, of course! So I did that first. In my youth, I did run out to help a pedestrian hit by a truck (after dialing 911) and it was way beyond any individual’s first aid capacity. Let’s get the people out there who can really help.

      Then, had the 911 dispatchers (plural) not kept me on the phone for over three minutes – including a hold – perhaps I would’ve headed out there once the call was complete. I was the first one to call it in so I did accomplish something worthwhile..

      Meanwhile, about 100 people passed the accident scene without doing a damn thing.

      The problem with conservatives is they spout religions tenets whenever it suits them, but they shriek in holy horror when someone holds their feet to the same fire. And what we expect is immaterial, but what the Bible and Jesus expect in regards to situations like this is eminently clear!

      Jeff

  3. Todd Martin / Dec 18 2014 12:02 pm

    I learned in Psychology 101 that people behave differently in crowds; if someone stumbles upon a person in trouble and they are alone, then they are likely to help. If someone is in a crowd (busy public place) and see someone in trouble, they do not see themselves as being specially chosen to render aid and so are unlikely to help. I would be careful in trying to decide whether society has lost its moral compass, society is big and varied, perspective is always biased, and motives can be inscrutable. Be optimistic; I think it is better to save the world and be happy doing while doing it.

    • jeffnward / Dec 18 2014 12:50 pm

      Todd, We’re going to have to disagree on this one. Yes! I’ve read “Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” but all that does is explain the phenomenon, it doesn’t excuse it.

      I also agree that folks are far less likely to bash the poor and gays if they’re not in a crowd of like-minded people, but that doesn’t excuse that kind of behavior either.

      The fact that, right now, a majority of Americans believe that torture was OK is beyond the pale. And if you do choose to believe that, then please don’t have the nerve to say you’re a Christian. The Christian ideal is a very tough one to live up to and no one’s asking for perfection (except for conservatives, of course), but stopping for 2 minutes to see if someone’s OK? That’s not settin’ the bar too high.

      Lastly, as a result of this piece, a teacher friend called to say that she saw something very similar on Randall Road in Batavia. In this case, instead of stopping, the other motorists were honking at the folks involved in the accident.

      Jeff

  4. The Observer / Dec 18 2014 1:21 pm

    As a former firefighter and EMT, I was trained in emergency accident treatment. There is a
    “good Samaritan” law, enabling anyone to render aid in an emergency, but in today’ litigious
    environment, people are afraid to get involved for fear of a lawsuit.

    I have stopped and rendered aid several times and will do so again, to the extent of my capabilities.
    You did the correct thing by immediately reporting the accident, thus speeding help to the location.

    Unfortunately, this has become the era of “ME FIRST,” and the blind eye to problems of others within peoples’ immediate vision. It’s just easier to send a donation check to some charity that purports to help some anonymous person. So, that’s what many choose to do.

    Maybe that’s the salve they need for their consciences.

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