I was sitting in one of my favorite watering holes a few years ago. Next to me sat a young man in his twenties. We had known each other for a few years. We met in this pub, and had no relationship outside of it.
We often enjoyed talking about all kinds of things. The list included life in general, politics, sports, women, religion, history etc. We disagreed on most everything except sports and women.
That’s quite interesting, now that I think about.
One subject we are very far apart on is religion. He knows I am a Christian. How does he know this? In the midst of one of our discussions he asked me. I did not announce it, I simply confirmed what he thought. Actually, now that I recall it, his question was as much an accusation as a question.
I enjoy talking to people about politics, religion, love and marriage and such. Most people become emotional about these subjects, especially if you disagree with them. That’s no doubt why it is said, that you should not speak about them in bars.
Now I have called the same building a watering hole, a pub and a bar.
This goes along with why I disagree with the premise, that you should not talk about these things in bars.
There… I’ve decided on a name. It’s a bar.
Knowing a little bit about the history of our Country causes me to take this stance.
In the 18th and 19th centuries there were buildings that served as bars, hotels, restaurants, stagecoach stops, hardware stores, and more. They were even used as courtrooms, and people were married in them.
It was these types of buildings where community affairs took place. In the 18th century much discussion took place about how our new Country should be structured. The Military even used them to recruit.
Many people could not read or write, so these gathering places served as a communications center, where people learned what was going on in the world.
Sure there were misunderstandings and arguments. Andrew Jackson was supposedly often involved in such behavior.
Well, for some reason we’re not supposed to do that today. We do it anyway.
The young man and I were deep in discussion, enhanced by the big head start he had on me in the beer drinking contest. We weren’t having a contest, but he didn’t seem to know that. The subject was religion. Once again it wasn’t my idea.
I don’t even remember what year it was, but I do remember that he kept insisting, that he didn’t believe in God, and that he was an agnostic. I tried to explain to him that if he truly did not believe in the existence of God, then he was an atheist. I told him that an agnostic didn’t believe it was possible to prove the existence of God. He was having none of it, and like anyone who has no basis for his position, he changed the subject. In his mind he probably didn’t think he did, but he did.
He pointed at a Crucifix hanging just to the left of the bar mirror.
Why does almost every bar have a mirror? Is it so you can see what you look like when you are drunk? Maybe it’s so you can see what other people look like when they are drunk. Actually, I think it’s so you can check people out, without having to interact unless you choose to. It’s kind of like electronic social media.
At any rate he said,”You probably like that cross, don’t you”? He’s one of those people who think the word God should be erased from our money, and buildings, and I guess our entire culture. I’ve told him simply not to look, but that’s not good enough.
“Joe”, I told him. “That’s not a cross, it’s a Crucifix.
“Cross- Crucifix, what’s the difference?!”
“I told him a cross is a shape, and a Crucifix is a cross with the body of Christ on it”.
This banter went on for a while, and the people within earshot probably thought we were stupid for even getting into this discussion.
He never could get my point, and I left soon afterwards. I’m sure he won the beer drinking contest.
The odd thing is, the bar owner bought the bar from his family. He was raised Catholic. The Crucifix was left over from that era. He’s an atheist now, and I’m surprised he hasn’t taken it down, since he once told me that the word God and all religious symbols should be removed from money, and buildings, and all public places.
I have reminded him, that our ancestors etched that name, and those symbols in stone, and forged them in bronze, and other materials, strongly implying that they were very important to them. It would also be a very difficult task to remove them all.
Did you ever hear of the Reformation?
I never did ask him if he knew the difference between a cross and a Crucifix. The question would make him angry.
Psychologists tell us, anger comes from fear.
Why is he so afraid?
Picture credits go to Wikopedia