05 August 2007

Money changers in the Temple

I generally don't read Wendi Thomas- actually, I rarely read the Commercial Appeal. But her latest column is something I wish certain factions in this city, and nation, would take to heart. The fact that these "men of God" are willfully ignoring the facts of the proposed law and essentially endorsing violence against other human beings in the name of their interpretation of "God's law" makes me physically ill. Thomas makes excellent points - are these people incapable of stringing together words that support their (supposedly) faith-based aversion to homosexuality without advocating violence? How limited is their vocabulary? How shallow is their faith that they can't allow for difference?

The absolute refusal of people like these ministers, and our president, to accept incontrovertible facts, not only infuriates me, it saddens me. To see a faith that has potential to change the world warped and perverted to further bigotry, hatred, and ignorance is disheartening. Not that I remotely classify myself as "Christian," at least not by their standards, but the faith does have tenets I attempt to live by - compassion, honesty, sacrifice of self for the greater good. I get so angry when professed "Christians" act decidedly unChrsitlike in the name of Christ. Hypocrisy is a pet peeve of mine, as it was of Jesus.

I am reading a collection of essays by Peter Onuf about the mind of Jefferson. There is an excellent piece about his take on religion. Jefferson viewed himself as a Christian in an almost Unitarian sense (nod to Laura P. - I'll pass it along later)- Christ was not divine, but set forth guidelines that, if followed, brought the individual closer to the divine within him/herself. He abhorred organized religion because of the tendency of the bureaucracy to corrupt faith in the pursuit of temporal power. I feel a lot like that.

1 comment:

Loren said...

An excellent article. I take comfort in the fact that I know there are people out in the world who believe that. They are often over shadowed by the negative, but they are still there.

I spent a long in live letting the type of zealot she was talking about shape my religious world view. I finally figured out that I was doing organized religion a disservice. It's not the fault of the religion that some people twist it to suit their own world view in order to mask their own insecurities and inadequacies. It is, however, an unfortunate and frightening consequence.

I have often wondered if some people, particularly certain people who like quote the Old Testament as justification for whatever particular brand of hatred they are spewing, have ever read the whole thing.

Since you know me, you know I'm refering to Ecclesiastes (yes, I can't spell). Especially since it is directed at people who feel called to preach. It is the most dog-eared of all the parts of family bible that I have and I know that my grandfather referred to it frequently. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. It's God's way of saying that were okay, but we ain't all that and a bag of chips.