Wednesday, November 22, 2006
'When religion loses its credibility'
By Oliver "Buzz" Thomas
What if Christian leaders are wrong about homosexuality? I suppose, much as a newspaper maintains its credibility by setting the record straight, church leaders would need to do the same:
Correction: Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God's followers. ...
It's happened to Christianity before, most famously when we dug in our heels over Galileo's challenge to the biblical view that the Earth, rather than the sun, was at the center of our solar system. ...
This time, Christianity is in danger of squandering its moral authority by continuing its pattern of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the face of mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice. ...
Read all about it.
(As seen at Grrrl Meets World.)
It seems to me that those who profess to be Christians are essential one of two sorts. They are either focused on Love and it inclusiveness, or they are focused on Evil and its exclusion. The languaging of the former, of Love, is "We & Us". The language of the latter is "Them & Us".
Pointing the Love alternatives out to the "Them & Us" folks and suggesting the "We" alternative is not only more positive but more Christian, does not provide convincing evidence at all. Quite the contrary. It seems to provide evidence that you are arguing for the inclusion of Evil … which they claim to Hate, as an act of luvin' God … a God who either was insufficiently Omniscient to realize Evil was sneaking into His creation from just beyond Omnipresence OR a God who intentionally created Evil so that He could replace the Omnipotence of Unconditional Love with Conditional Love so that everyone could squabble about having special access to and knowledge of 'IT', like a buncha seagulls squabbling over garbage, like they do over at the Trucker-Tugger's.
That is a problem.
We all have a sense of things we think are right and true AND most of us think and believe differently. So what are we to do about that? How do we live 'there'? Go to Love, or Go to War … or is there 'Other'.
The "Other' might be some sorta middle way, where you at least dialogue (or attempt to is creat it), where attempting to understand the other position(s) is practiced however inadequately, to see if there is any way of living together. Any way other than 'playing' gawd and wiping the 'other' out … the Mono-partisan 'Solution', of which the Nazi 'Solution' for Jews, Gypsies, the sick, etc., is just one example, as is all genocide.
If we are NOT Mono-Partisan AND yet still have convictions, then in that struggle, we are NOT being exclusionary, a position for which genocide is just the logical extension.
I think that is the ultimate question, be it human, Christian, Islam, etc. ... DO we or DO WE NOT practice genocide in the face of differences?
Sigh. To so loudly and violently *defend* God, or the Body of Christ from *evil* is a slap0 in the face of the Creator, I think. What kind of "God" needs His creation to go to bat for Him?
Problem with fundamentisms, of all strips, is that compromise is capitulation. Which means they are ready for war at all times. Which means, to answer your question, that they are ready to launch genocide against those who are different -- or to pray for it, which is its own form of evil.
And, sadly, I can't actually argue that such thinking is "unChristian," judging from history! I can, however, that it is not Christlike, as part of an underlying effort to divorce biblical literalism from the faith of my fathers -- a la John Shelby Spong -- and to divorce the violent God as depicted in the Old Testament.
Because as long as Christians tacitly accept *that* God, or even embrace Him, ignoring the message and example of Jesus, then, why, they really aren't Christians at all, in my book. They're fake orthodox Jews.
We need another Reformation, and I count myself among those who are calling, and working, for one. Maybe God hasn't changed, as some are quick to claim, although I don't know why since every other creature changes and we creatures are supposed to have been made in His image. But humankind's conception of God has changed mightily -- and I am personally DONE with the concept of God that has He, Himself, commiting genocide, killing innocent
babes and the infirm, as depicted in the O.T.!
And, totally off subject, hope your Mama and brother are doing better. Keep us posted.
And, thanks for the link. This is a discussion that will last the century, and is far from settled -- and until it is, I say, continue to 1., love neighbors as ourselves, and 2., judge not.