It’s Way Past Time to Honor the Golden Rule

by on May 28, 2020 · 4 comments

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

I’ve been getting a few memes on my Facebook feed kind of around the theme that “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

Such a sentiment makes me shudder as people right now, who are way overburdened with a situation brought on by a deadly virus, are dying left and right all around us and all around the world.

I’m not religious but I was raised in a home with people who were religious to the bone, two of the truest Christians I’ve ever known: my mother, a soulful gospel piano playing woman who played for our church’s choir, and her father, my grandfather, a man who had sailed several seas and honored his Lord as easily as he breathed.

But their faith was reflected, less on cutesy Bible verses and the like, and more on just being respectful of their fellow human beings and giving way more than they received.

My point being they would never have made any struggling overwhelmed person feel at ease spouting claims that God won’t allow you to be burdened too much – and they, the both of them, endured and overcame a plethora of life’s daunting challenges and they gave thanks for their blessings. But they knew that didn’t apply to everybody as they, as well as I over my lifetime, have seen many folks go under because they couldn’t handle their life’s conditions.

They modeled, for me, how Christians should be although I’ve shed much of the pure sacredness aspects of my upbringing as religion has simply, to my
liking, been too full of “hallelujahs” and “you can’t do this and you can’t do that” and talk about the “devil” and the “enemy” and stuff like that.

However, what I took from that was a “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you” philosophy that has guided my behavior throughout my life.

Like in sports I was in an opponent’s face like Sherlock Holmes on a murder case but I never tried to hurt anybody intentionally because I didn’t want anybody trying to injure me.

On the playground I stood on the sidelines of the “Yo Mama” putdowns and other such trash talking traditions of renown because I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feeling and didn’t want anybody to hurt mine.

The Golden Rule has suited me just fine.

And that brings me back to this day and time, to my Facebook timeline that expresses a few of my friend’s religious beliefs, their need to praise their God, something I fully understand, but I wish they’d be considerate of others when they post sentiments like:

“Gas in the Car!
Still got a job!
Somebody needs to tell God
Thank you!!!”

Their feelings inspired a range of “true dats” and “amens” and I, too, felt thankful that so far, at least, I’m not having any trouble making ends meet but I
couldn’t help but wonder how such a message resonated with someone who:

can’t pay their bills,
keep food on the table,
gas up their car
and has no job.
What should they
tell God?

I wouldn’t, if I were one of them, want to be greeted online with rejoicing that treated me as if I and my misfortunes didn’t exist.

So, it seems to me, and I’m sure my mom and granddad, if they were still around, would agree that if we’re to get through our ordeal as a world of people, we will simply have to treat each other the way we’d like to be treated.

A world honoring the Golden Rule is an idea way past its time as such behavior might be the answer to what our collective duty should be all about during these times: saving humankind.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie May 28, 2020 at 8:45 pm

It’s pretty simple isn’t it? I don’t understand why so many people have trouble with it. I wasn’t raised with religion. I do have a strong moral code though and it’s what I taught my kids. Be respectful, be kind. To yourself and to others.


Dennis Doyle May 29, 2020 at 7:30 am

Amen to that, brother!


Shirley Sprinkles May 29, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for this thoughtful piece! As children, we were fed a diet of religious “Pablum”, largely to keep us in line—fearing the fire and brimstone of Hell if we went “astray.” Daily, I see and hear people who still live fearful of retribution by an angry God-the “Blessed” vs. the “cursed.” Like you, I reject the notion that such a God loves me more than that Yemen woman who grapples for bread with which to feed her children, while I eat plenty and glibly toss leftovers down the garbage disposal. There are no “amens” on my lips for the difference between her and me. What I feel instead is a weight of human responsibility to be the God that reaches out to her to share what I have that can make her life better—more like mine. We are all “made in ‘God’s’ image”—imbued with power to bring about change—if we sincerely want it. I am no longer a child. . .


Lorena May 30, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Keeping it real, Ernie! God has not been able to eliminate poverty, violence, behavioral health going unaddressed, disrespect of humans, etc. Where is God when we need Her? ;) thanks for your BRAIN! And heart!


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