March 16th, 2013


Won't you be my neighbor?

Apparently there's a thing going around the internet about this shocking fact that Mr. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister and yet *gaspies!!* he didn't say a single religious thing on his show. We saw it and we were like, "Are you kidding me?" Mr. Rogers was all about teaching love, caring, kindness, respect... Last I checked, that's all the kind of stuff you learn in church. It might be because we grew up going to church and watching Mr. Rogers (though actually, I don't think we watched Mr. Rogers all that much; there may have been something similar to our irrational fear of claymation going on with those puppets, but we did watch it sometimes) that it wasn't until we were adults that we discovered people actually lie on purpose (other than for purposes such as surprise parties). We just assumed everybody was taught the same stuff, be it at church or on TV.

...I totally lost my train of thought. But I do want to point out that, while of course I never did the research to confirm this, it makes a lot of sense to me that the whole "won't you be my neighbor" thing is a direct reference to the Good Samaritan story, which was told in response to the question, "Who is my neighbor?" I think a lot of people might or might not already know this, but when Jesus told that parable, the people he was taking to were generally raised to hate Samaritans, and so by making a Samaritan the hero of the story, He was emphasizing two things: the people you hate for no good reason might turn out to have more humanity than the people you don't, and it's possible to do nice things for people who are likely to not like you.

Anyway, we checked all the Facebook comments on that thing about Mr. Rogers, and most of them seemed to agree with us: he was teaching his religion by example. One of the leaders of our church likes to quote St. Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words."

Today I'm thankful for curly cat tails peeking out over the edge of the top bunk, Mr. Rogers, the super adorable Kingdom Hearts wallpapers we downloaded yesterday, the Irish songs we got sheet music for last week, and the beautiful weather outside.