What is it that makes a person part of what we call “community”?Â Here I’m using the word as it applies to an area.Â
Wherever people live, there are individuals who take ownership of and feel connected toÂ that community.Â Â Â What is it that they do?
The simplest thing is picking up a piece of trash blowing by.Â Then, there is volunteering to help people less well off, or, for projects that help the general community more than it helps they themselves.Â Of course, there is always the gift of money, or, the payment ofÂ taxes toward projects, causes and goals that do not improve their own lives directly.
There is anotherÂ that is especially important.Â This is making others, people unlike themselves, feel that they, too, belongÂ in the community.
It is in this latter activity that many people of faith differ from most nonbelievers.Â It is the nonbelievers, for example, that are most likely to want a Ten Commandments monument to be removed, prayers at public meetings discontinued andÂ Christian symbolism eliminatedÂ because it promotes a religious view that excludes other members of the community.Â It is the local Christians who are most likely to insist that the exclusion of people who hold views different than their own is a good thing for a community.
I wish it were possible for all people of faith to develop this fuller sense of community.