Friday, June 18, 2010

The Good Neighbor

Ever hear the saying? Good fences make good neighbors.

I personally find truth in that comment.

Before I moved into my current dwelling, we took on a mortgage for a home that had been vacant for a while. The neighbor was used to the house being empty and took the liberty to pull through our soon-to-be driveway, across part of our soon-to-be yard, and then on to his own property.

He had a perfectly good driveway of his own. But he used it only as his exit.

We had hoped our neighbor would stop using our driveway. Maybe he'd catch the hint that cars other than his own now occupy the space.

Nope. He would just squeeze through.

That is . . . until my wife hired a landscaper to plant shrubs along the property line.

The look on our neighbor's face was priceless.

He wanted to protest, but what could he say?

I like a neighbor that knows when it's time to go back home to his own property.

Don't get me wrong; doing favors for your neighbor is good. Helping each other out is commendable. Greeting the new person with brownies and cookies is a warm gesture. Those are good things that nobody can honestly berate.

Checking on each other after a nasty storm (Jesusland can have some really inclement weather at times). Loaning out some tools. Giving away some firewood. That's being a good neighbor.

But there comes a point when I want my neighbor to stay next door and stay the hell out of my damn business. So long as I'm not making too much noise, I'm keeping my property neat, and I'm minding my own damn business, I really want to be left alone.

Fundamentalist Christians are like neighbors who don't know where the property line is. They feel like their relationship with God gives them license to ignore the property line and absorb whatever space they feel they can claim for the "Kingdom of God".

A fence creates a healthy and necessary boundary between Fundamentalists and the rest of us. That fence is built by our United States Constitution and is named The First Amendment.

Find a land surveyor and discover where the property line really is.

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