I'm glad we cleared that up too Art! *S* We have no challenge going in either direction here....because we're in total agreement on the principals! As for your neighbors, well, believe it or not, I personally identify with a good half of that story because one Halloween my Brothers and I also got some kind of "religious" paper from a neighbor. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending upon how you look at it *LOL*)....we didn't get the bracelet though.
Anyway, now that I know the story about your neighbors, I can totally understand why it ~weaved~ it's way into your post. I'm also sure that if the tables were turned it would have ~weaved~ it's way into my post too.
That was good that you took the time to read the explanation that accompanied the bracelet this morning. I wonder how many other parents read it? I wonder how many of the children that got it read it?
When my brothers and I got that "religious" paper from that neighbor that Halloween we all looked at it and went: HUH? Are they kidding!
My parents may not have been the most "religious" people in the world as far as dogma is concerned (and for that I'm actually glad as I grew up very open minded) but they were ~Spiritual~ enough to know that handing out ANYTHING that espoused a particular "philosophical" belief to CHILDREN without the permission of their parents.... was a great big NO NO!!!
In my estimation even IF those neighbors of yours were the most loving people on the face of the earth they were still out of bounds because they did not ask your permission to PREACH or TEACH your child anything.
As far as I'm concerned (~Spiritually~ speaking this is) it doesn't make a bit of difference to me if a fellow human being is Christian, Buddahist, Taoist....or anything else....because I know that at the CORE...they all ALL lead ~HOME~. I know that not only in an ~Spiritual~ way....but because you name it...and I've either studied it or am currently studying it.
Unfortunately no matter in what sect you study you will eventually find fanatics in just about EVERY "Spiritual" group. It's sad, but it's true. Those are the people to really watch your back with!
As far as you thinking about sending it back with a note explaining you couldn't accept it because only one of the beads was "CLEAN"...well....it sounds like a very logical thing to do but I'm not so sure if they'd get it. *S* From where I stand...ALL THE BEADS ARE CLEAN!!!! Perhaps you could ask them what they'd do if God Forbid they were blind????? How would they know the "CLEAN" ones from the "DIRTY" ones then????
You said that you hope that your "feeling" that this Christian tract had "racist" overtones wasn't coming up from inside of you and I say: Don't lose any sleep over it because it did! It did not acknowledge and honor inherent differences i.e black and white. It clearly made ONE the better choice. That is NOT Christian and that IS prejudice!!!
As for what you call unusual beliefs, all I can say to you on that score is that you'll probably be as shocked as can be....but I don't find them unusual at all....as they're also my beliefs!!! *S*
As for the "eye of the needle"...I think perhaps you've misunderstood that one! *S* There is NO one "exhaulted" group of people! The eye of the needle is (of course) metaphorical and it refers to something that ALL are able to access....if they so chose.
Art, I know that there's more to your post and I will address it. I'd also be more than happy to discuss this whole topic with you further (although I think we're on the same side on this one! *S*)... but I'm falling asleep at my computer! *LOL* My family also needs their dinner.
I just didn't want to leave the post dangling in mid~stream and have you think that I either didn't see it or wasn't going to answer.
Have a Good Night!!!!
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