Saturday, September 28, 2013
Gawd gets credit for the Hump’s civility; Hump fights off instinct to jump ugly
I live in rural New Hampshire on twenty acres of pasture and woods. Right behind my back ten acres is a snow mobile trail complex that runs right up to Canada, over 100 miles away. As I get a tax break for allowing my property to be used for recreational purposes, I’m delighted that people use my land for hunting, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. Never had a problem.
A few weeks back early on a Saturday morning I received a phone call from the head of “Camp Good News.” While unfamiliar with said camp itself, I know the phrase “good news” is a Christian one…i.e. good news = that Jesus has come and died and been resurrected to give us all salvation so we can live forever in Candyland. Hallelujah!
Seems they are based the next town north and were going to be holding a fund raising horseback trip from 10:00a.m. to 2:00 p.m. that included traversing the snowmobile trail adjacent to my property. He had heard that I am something of a shootist, and have my own range which I use almost daily. He inquired if I would mind not shooting that day since the noise might scare some of the horses who aren’t used to loud noises. I assured him it would be no problem at all to refrain from shooting that day. He thanked me profusely and closed with “God Bless you.”
Ok look… no biggie, but it was a little surprising since that was the first Christian phrase I’ve heard in the nine years I’ve lived here.
Fast forward to yesterday. I received an envelope from “Camp Good News.” Inside was a handwritten thank you card with the camp name and the motto “Remember now thy Creator” underneath. The card said: “We were blessed to have had such a fun and enjoyable ride. God Bless.” It was signed by about a dozen or so people.
Nice enough they sent a card, but who exactly were they thanking? Did I bless them? I don’t remember blessing them. Or are they crediting their enjoyable, peaceful and gun fire-less ride to God’s good graces? Was blessing me and crediting something/ones blessing to something or someone in simple speak mean “Thanks for your kindness”? Mrs. Hump took one look at the card, and then at me and knew there was something brewing in my head.
I was less offended than I was perplexed. Does every Christian automatically assume that their God praising gibberish, or even the acknowledgement of a god, is always welcomed and positively received? Even in secular New Hampshire? How presumptuous. I certainly would never automatically assume that a stranger who did me a courtesy was an atheist, thus I would never sign a thank you card with “May your reason help dispel the ignorance of religionist non-think.”
I did have the urge to write back identifying myself as a raving atheist author and anti-theist who found their card marginally annoying, presumptuous and insipid. But I never put pen to paper. I’m bigger than that. I just considered the source and circular filed the card.
I think I’ll take a walk through the back woods this week, just to make sure they didn’t erect any “Mary on a Half Shell” statues, or crosses or whatever their cult / denomination might do. It will make a big difference as to my shooting schedule come next year’s Christian camp fund raiser ride.