Presuppositions

Kathleen Kjolhaug Religion Columnist
Friday, September 24, 2021
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I sat within the cubicle at our local bank, digging through a Safety Deposit Box. I was moving … moving that which was within the three long metal boxes … to one with more holding power. It was a good day!

As I sorted through the items, one in particular caught my eye. It was the vaccination record of my children. Digging deeper, I noted a stiff piece of paper which had written upon it not only my name, but a list of all vaccines I’d received while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

I stared. There was proof before me … I was not, nor am I to this day, anti-vaccine. With the most recent pandemic, many have made presuppositions as to why people do or do not get vaccinated.

So why make mention of this? Perhaps it’s the word, presupposition snagging my thoughts these days. Perhaps it’s the presupposition that name calling is okay to use as a scare tactic in today’s world with little respect for others who might have sound reasoning for their reasoning behind their decisions. Perhaps it’s the presupposition that you are of one political sway because you do or do not choose to get it that drives me right up the wall. And finally, perhaps it is the presupposition that there are only a justified few to be classified as the experts when all of the other experts are silenced in the line of discussion. The presupposition that it is one way or the highway and people are not smart enough to read and make their own choices about it that makes me wonder why the push and the shove is the only method approved.

Have I ruled out the possibility of taking it? No I have not. We waited to get the shingles vaccination and were glad we did because the new one which came down the pipe has two things going for it that the old one didn’t. First, it did not use any fetal cell lines upon which to do testing nor for production of. Secondly, it’s more effective. I’m glad we waited.

People can say what they want, but just because they presuppose something about your life or the lives of others … does not make it true.

I suppose I must not presuppose about a lot of things in life. And it’s a beautiful reminder to look into the mirror to make sure I am honoring with dignity every person with whom I speak. Each and every person is made in the image of God, even those who are presupposing much these days … and I suppose I, too, must not presuppose anything about them either.

Exodus 20:16 must have been written for such a time as this.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

And, so we ask … Who is my neighbor? Luke 10:37 explains, “The one who shows mercy … go and do likewise.”

May we go and do likewise, giving not only grace but mercy in extending our thoughts, words, and deeds to those whom we stand next to, walk by, and talk not only to … but about. Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)

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