Tuesday, July 03, 2007

potato salad gospel

We're getting ready for our 4th of July picnic... barbecued chicken, potato salad, cole slaw... the standard stuff most Americans would eat on the 4th. My first husband taught me how to make potato salad, just as someone else had taught him. He said one of the secrets was to boil the potatoes in their skins and peel them after they were cooked. Today I used red potatoes, so I only peeled half of them, to give the salad some color. He was also a stickler for green onions instead of white, and I always follow that rule. He used sweet gherkins, though, and I prefer dill, so in that sense I've altered the recipe and made it my own. We do that in many aspects of our lives... not just cooking... take someone's cherished idea or tradition, change it just a bit, and make it our own.

The followers of Christianity have certainly done that through the ages... sometimes for good, and sometimes not. Doctrine as arbitrary as a preference for dill over sweet has caused cruelty and untold suffering for those caught in the middle, as well as those defending either side. I wish we could just give it a break, this constant need to be right, this constant need to convert others to our version of right.

Independence Day: "We hold these truths to be self-evident... that all men are created equal." except when those men (or women) aren't doing it the way we think they ought to. Then we damn them to hell. So... will I go to hell for using dill pickles in my potato salad? Maybe, but only God knows that... not all the sweet gherkin advocates.


HeyJules said...


Jill said...

Neat, to the point and brief! I wish more christian bloggers had your gifts. I keep pointing people to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering, Sister (Doctor?), if you might give us an example or two of doctrine as "arbitrary" as dill over sweet?