Rash Perhaps, But Not Imprudent
Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard's Weblog
- 2005 Feb 23
Just received this email from a friend in a distant state:
One day last week, I was walking across a parking lot and read a bumper sticker that offended me, so I wrote a note and placed it on the windshield of the car. My note said:
Your bumper sticker says "Last time we mixed politics and religion - people were burned at the stake". Not quite true. The last time we mixed politics heavily with religion, slavery was abolished.
What I wanted to do was give the driver an essay on all the times in our country when Christians (since that was the obvious target of his sticker) have stepped forward to champion a cause because it was right, not because it benefited them in any way. I wanted to include an adequate bibliography so that the driver could check out the information independently. I wanted to point to the life of Wilberforce as a prime example. Alas, I ran out of paper and the parking lot was crassly lacking in favorable reference materials (which one should expect from a "liberal" liberal arts campus parking lot). Of course, neither one of us was historically correct, but would you consider my response rash or imprudent?
Here's my answer:
"Your note might have been rash but it was not imprudent. People who have provocative bumper stickers should expect others to be provoked. Your note was short, to the point, and not unkind or hostile. And your historical point was closer to the truth than the one on the bumper sticker."
The great culture war that engulfs Western culture is really a battlefield with thousands of tiny skirmishes taking place simultaneously. A recent book advises the following three steps to success in life: start where you are, use what you've got, and do what you can. Just yesterday I read the story Samson slaying a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:14-17). You wouldn't think that a donkey's jawbone could do that much damage. But you've got to factor in the Spirit of the Lord that came upon Samson. An old gospel song reminds us that, "Little is much when God is in it."
You never know how much good a note under a windshield will do. Maybe the driver just crumpled it up. Or maybe it started a train of thought. It's a small thing, but out of small things come great things, and in that spirit I applaud my friend for what she did.
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