Monday, April 11, 2016

Trust me; I’m a Christian

Ugghh, we’re used car shopping once again for child #2.  Between her, my wife and me, we often have 5 different opinions when it comes to picking a car so there was a glimmer of hope as my wife and I trekked off to see a low mileage Versa posted on Craig’s list.  My initial contact went smooth, excepting what sounded like a heavy Russian / Ukraine area accent making comprehension somewhat strained.  An initial meeting was set up at a neutral location and both parties arrived timely and we quickly departed on a smooth test drive.

During the course of our interaction, we posed the usual, “Why are you selling?” question and it was explained by the seller that he had purchased it for his son, but his son had decided that he wants a car with a manual shift.  On 2 or 3 occasions within our conversation, the seller would support his assertions with “trust me, I’m good Christian family man” or words to this effect.  As a devout Pantheist (and survivor of a “born again” upbringing), I found this reassurance more unsettling than reassuring.  Further, the car had been cleared of personal effects, except for an ethnic Bible and Easter religious service artifact.  Now perhaps, this gentleman was truly devoted to his faith; I cannot judge – it was Easter weekend (Saturday) so it is very possible that he had traveled from a religious event.  Regardless, I’m a suspicious (untrusting) type of individual and when I know that someone is looking to me to make a purchase decision, I become concerned that Christianity is being used as a prop to make the sale – “hey, you can trust me; see, I’m a Christian and of course a Christian wouldn’t lie to you…”

This is not the first time that I’ve received the “trust me, I’m a Christian” assertion from a seller.  I don’t know if it is a cultural thing – my experience has been that I have encountered this more frequently when the seller has some foreign affinity (appearance, accent, etc.) so I don’t know if this is an attempt to try to mend a cultural gap by trying to establish trust by saying that we share the same faith.  Perhaps we can make a deal – you don’t assume that I’m a Christian and I won’t assume you’re a terrorist – both assumptions are equally absurd and for those of us with some Christian baggage just as offensive.  Furthermore, I find the “trust me, I’m a Christian” tag line highly presumptuous.  Are Christians a homogenous group when it comes to honesty?  What is this statement saying about other faiths?  Trust me; I’m a Christian… but if I were Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or whatever, you shouldn’t trust me or you should trust me less?

In general, when anyone says “trust me” I start to trust them less.  Fortunately and ironically, this deal quickly fell apart when we were gathering the vehicle ID number to proceed with the deal.  At that time, I spotted a ding (chip) in the windshield and from there we spotted a second chip on the passenger side.  The seller continued as though this were not a big deal; I tend to disagree.  Yes, this might have been something that could be cheaply repaired, but it wasn’t.  Moreover it seems to be a defect that someone who drove the car regularly definitely would know about and should have disclosed…even if they were a Christian.  Trust me on that; I’m a Pantheist.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are appreciated. Please note that comments are moderated, but will generally be published if on topic and free from excessive profanity or hostility.