For this Question Everything Friday I want to bring you another dangerous myth that is ingrained into our country. That is that we are so exceptional that you can't be compared to any other country.  Here is my quote for the day about that.

We can’t compare America to any other country! Especially not strange, dangerous countries like Scandinavia or France! We can’t? Why not? How else do you suppose that nations make progress — if not by learning from one another? Americans have been told that other places are “homogeneous”, so America can’t be compared to them — but “homogeneity” is not the reason they are successful societies. There are many more “homogeneous” societies which are failures than successes, just look at Asia and Africa — so homogeneity can’t be why some societies succeed, self-evidently. This myth is exceptionalism, only in a negative form — no comparison is possible. But it is a comparative analysis which teaches us the most when it comes to political economy. Have you ever wondered why you don’t know (probably) how exactly the French retirement system works? How the British healthcare system works? How the Swiss government works? Americans still haven’t learned this stuff because no one teaches it to them — and no one teaches it to them because the myth of exceptionalism says there’s no reason to learn it. 
via Eight Myths Americans Need to Unlearn About America

The way I personally learn almost everything is to see how others are doing it better them me and to try at one level or another to emulate them. If you have been around for a while you have probably noticed that the general format and look of RJsCorner seems to frequently change. I do that because I am constantly looking for ways to make the site more pleasant to visit and to give you my view of the world in more concise stories. If I didn't have something to compare this site to improvements would be far less frequent.

In that same vein, we as a country need to constantly look at others who do things better than we do. Our reluctance to do that greatly hampers us from creating better and better processes. It has allowed other countries to leapfrog around us when it comes to healthcare, retirement systems and such. It was almost an epiphany to understand we are never taught to look outside our country for ways to do things better.  That is a lesson we MUST learn...

Shane Claiborne is one of my favorite Christian authors. He definitely lives the words of Jesus and he is not bashful when it comes to telling others that Talk is cheap and actions are where you demonstrate your beliefs.

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, "I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ." A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That's the ugly stuff. And that's why I begin by saying that I'm sorry.
via Shane Claiborne - Letter to Non-Believers by Shane Claiborne

Sadly for many, the Bible Belt Trumpsters now represent Jesus' church. They very much confirm what the non-Christians see as hypocrites and very narrow-minded people. Maybe that is one of the reasons I no longer say I am a Christian, I am just tired of apologizing for these people.

I realize that many if not the majority of Christian churches try at one level or another to be good followers of their founder Jesus.  They read some texts in their Bible and vow, at least vocally, to follow his words.  But there are too many other words that they blatantly ignore. Maybe they see them as too hard so they just pretend they don't exist?

Maybe they have been told for too long that Christianity has nothing to do with how you act, the only thing that matters is what you believe, so why bother with the hard stuff? I just wish those folks would open their Bibles and read some of the stuff they have not evidently discovered yet.

In conclusion, the sad part of all this "hypocrite" views of the non-religious is that those who do see others as their neighbors in need and do good works in His name are so silent when it comes calling out the real hypocrites. The rest of us need to quit apologizing for these type people and proudly stand up for Jesus' actual words