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Me and my brother

When we were kids my brother and I were closer than most friends, and I didn't have many friends so that meant a lot to me. Me and my bro went to ball games, we joked around, we did all sorts of things together, and we talked about anything, everything.

Then my brother met Jesus, and fifty years later Jesus is still with him. Jesus is his best friend. He walks with him and he talks with him, and Jesus is the most important thing in his life. His wife is a very sweet lady, but that's her perspective too.

To me, Jesus is nothing. I don't "hate" God, as my family sometimes slanders, same as I don't hate caviar or the streets of Paris. It's just ten-thousand miles beyond my experience and my interests. I don't care about your god, or anyone else's god. 

Of course, if believing makes your life better, makes it easier to face the challenges we all face, I can understand that, I endorse that, and I'm happy for you. But for me, that need is filled by Doctor Who. In my life, God is not something taken seriously.

For my brother, everything about God must be taken very, very seriously.

God has been good to my brother and his wife. They have two great kids, a growing fleet of cute grandchildren, a nice house, a comfortable bank account, and a close relationship with Christ. My brother is happy, and I am sincerely happy that he's happy.

But my brother's Most Important Thing is not even my Least Important Thing; it's not on my list at all. My brother and I can't talk like we used to, because God is so huge in his head and I just don't want to go there. We can't go deep on most topics, because his response is to quote a Bible verse or explain what God says about it. When he goes into the topics he feels strongly about, I fall asleep, because about 60% of what's in his head is of no interest to me.

When we talk about politics and religion, or right and wrong, either he's offended or I'm bored. And once you've taken those topics off the table, all the other conversations start getting crimped, too. I simply don't care about Calvinism, Determinism, God's Law, or the square footage and pillow firmness of Heaven, so there's a narrow range of topics we can talk about. We talk about movies, long as they're G- or PG-rated. We talk about baseball, and family, and how's the weather out there? How's your car running?

Before religion took over his life, there were no limits to what my brother and I could talk about and laugh about — the more outrageous, the better, and funnier. Now he sends videos of "clean comedians" doing stand-up. And sure, some of it is funny, but I wish I could tell him the joke about the priest and the rabbi and the mullah who walked into a whorehouse together.

Jesus Christ, I miss my brother. Thanks a lot, God.

 

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