My first name is Ray, my father was Ray, my grandfather was Ray, and, for better or worse, my son is a Ray, but while growing up my father was called Ray Junior, even though his “legal name” include Senior and mine includes Junior and he (my father) hated being called Junior.
So my parents called me Steve, most of my school life my friends called me Steve, but at the beginning of each school year when the teachers got the roster of new students, I was listed as Ray, and in the classroom and on the school grounds they called me Ray
My graphic design business was officially named Steve Naegele Design and after leaving college, the only encounters with Ray were legal, and they were few.
My social security card says Ray, yet once I was working my business I used Steve on my tax forms, UNTIL, I was eligible to receive medicare and the next year, social security. I personality went down to the social security office to make sure there would be no problems between their records and my receiving benefits. And there were no problems. I will say this again, they had no problems in identifying me as the same person. Yet since that time I use both names with ‘aka” in between on any official government forms to hopefully remove future problematic situations.
Over the years I have had different reasons to go to the local Social Security office here in Fremont, and through those years there has been the same “security guard, ” or perhaps a better term would be “ombudsmanof the waiting area.” And as you can imagine when you go to the social security office there is waiting. I do not remember the name of this gentleman, it is on his badge, but he is very patient, helpful, knowledgable and very very respectful to everyone.
My name situation became a problem when my mother, two years after the death of my father, had a stroke, suffered severe memory damage and was medically determined unable to make decisions. At that time her legal papers designated me as Durable Power of Attorney under the name of Ray.
This meant I had to function as both a Ray and a Steve, and in matters concerning my mother and the family trust I had to tell the story explaining the discrepancy between the names and my father not wanting me to experience being called “Junior” like he was and so on,
My Grandfather Ray, always used to say, “I don’t care what you call me, just don’t call me late for dinner.” While he had to support a family of four hungry boys during the depression, I have always thought that was good advice about learning to separate things really important from things unimportant.
Im memory, in 1950s Mr Graham refused to support segregated religious revivals in the south and gave Dr King a positive recommendation to then sitting President Eisenhower. Whatever it means or meant is up to interpretation by historians with more understanding of these issues thane me.
While I am not particularly interested in fundamental or evangelical as it has appeared in my life time, (and I do tend to judge people based on their individual qualities and not their group classifications) the changes, as I observe them, in society in my life are mirrored by the politicalization of fundamental/evangelical christianity yielding an active political movement of hate, bigotry, racism, white supremacy, and totalitarianism. Perhaps this image is one scene of a better moment found in the past.
I believe a person’s religion, especially in a country which has “legal freedom of religion, ” is about how that individual behaves not how they tell others to behave. If you cannot do your job because of your religious beliefs then you go find another job, your religious beliefs have no place in the public work place, as far as I am concerned, keep religion and politics out of any public place, your beliefs are only about how you behave, how you treat others, and not how you tell others to behave. If your God is truly a great God, they will take care of you if what you are doing is right but hate and bigotry have no place in a democracy based on consensus based man made laws which come from democratic interaction and compromise.