To the happy Christian, faith in Jesus Christ is an essential component of a healthy life.
To the happy atheist, avoiding “faith” and relying on observable data, reasoning, and logic are essential to being healthy.
To the happy veterinarian, knowing all about how to interpret the nonverbal communication of cats and dogs is essential to making a healthy income.
To the happy person who’s allergic to pet fur, simply staying away from cats and dogs is essential to staying healthy, and otherwise those animals don’t affect their income at all.
To the happy vegan, abstaining from eating or drinking all animal products is essential to a healthy diet.
To the happy omnivore, meat or milk or honey can be essential to eating healthy.
After interacting with someone who responded to one of my craigslist “housing wanted” ads a few days ago, I realized that I should probably include a mention of my eating meat, because the “no smoking” in my ad has been taken once again (as it has by more than one person) to suggest that I’m the type who avoids alcohol and every other substance, who thinks that sex is bad, who only eats vegetables and other plant-based stuff and considers all of that to be encompassed by the word “healthy.” (See also: fat shaming, gym-rats, “spirituality not religion,” white people super into “Eastern” culture/religion/medicine… not uncommon to find the all of those in one package.)
So I added a bit in there where I had already mentioned that I love to cook, and said “I enjoy food and the opportunity to cook (including meat, an essential component of a healthy diet.)” And for me, it is an essential component!
Next day I get a reply to that ad. Not someone offering housing, nope! Someone whose email shows their name as “yogamassage” (seriously, that’s what it showed… the fit for the stereotype is just too hilarious) writes:
It’s all good that you like meat and want it in your diet and are being upfront about it, but why say something so factually wrong as this?
(including meat, an essential component of a healthy diet.)
So now I’m wondering… should I tell all Christians who say that faith in Jesus Christ is essential that they are “so factually wrong?” How about telling atheists that they’re “so factually wrong” for living without faith? Is the vet or the person with allergies the one who’s “so factually wrong?” And does this “yogamassage” person understand that what is true for them does not and never will be truth for many other people? Apparently not!
I’ll end this by quoting (as I often have before) lyrics from Peter, Paul, and Mary’s “Rolling Home” —
There’s nothing big I want to prove
No mountain that I need to move
Or even claim what’s right or true for you…
My sights, my songs, are slightly charred
And you might think they’ve missed their mark
But things are only what they are
And you’re nothing new —
But for me? I think they’ll do.
For me, I think they’ll do.