Southern Religion

What do Christians believe?

Which Christians? Gary Laderman, professor and chairperson of the Department of Religion at Emory University, writes at Religion Dispatches:

Same-sex marriage, euthanasia, immigration, race relations…the list of topics that demonstrate the vast and often heavily contested views of Christians goes on and on. Indeed, it’s much easier to talk about how Christians differ than to identify just what they all agree on, and that may be the point. Perhaps all agree about the life and teaching of Jesus? Or that the New Testament is God’s revealed word? Any investigation beneath the surface of these possibilities would reveal the impossibility of consensus. Just take a quick glance at conservative responses to Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity to get a feeling for the way this debate takes place in real time.

We may despair of a valid, modern definition, yet still find, sometimes, people who are gently clear about what they believe. Yet launch no inquisitions.


April 2, 2010 - Posted by | Religion |

1 Comment

  1. The tragedy of criminal acts, covered over by the Vatican, is long overdue for uncovering. The recent display is only one of several kinds of criminality they adhere to. But there are many hidden and open acts of criminality hiding behind a façade of goodness that pervert the natural desires of our children, inculcated via many forms of religious indoctrination.

    There will be some who say that the church leaders have nothing to do with their own real faith, but dismissing it easily only ignores the damage to the psychic composition of many young men and women, the world over. Ultimate authority is either implied or outright stated in the Catholic as well as Protestant clergy. It is stated in all faiths around the world. It is undercover of this authority that the players have played on for a good long run, using positions of power to hurt and kill children, men and women, some just for believing other than what was the exact coin of the realm for a belief psychosis.

    Taking authoritative responsibility carelessly, using it to gain access to children’s vulnerability, destroying a young person’s life is more than a secular crime, it is a crime against the Holy Spirit. The people that have taken trust so carelessly into their teaching, using it to sexually abuse a child or woman, should be brought to bear along with the sum total of the Catholic church’s crimes, over millennia. When the slate is finally washed clean, if it ever can be, perhaps then we might recognize a simple pure faith, quit building imaginary and concrete monuments to lies and inaugurate love, real LOVE, not the ersatz fantasy that passes for the real thing, now.

    Does the church, do churches, religions in general, do good? Yes of course. But it is this same goodness that is used to cause great harm, under cover, as it were. Remember, these people are trusted to do good. Perhaps many will step forward and confess that they are complicit in the human condition that results in criminal behavior, take appropriate punishment, (god knows what that should be!?). This may help save the good souls and work that follows the Holy Spirit. As future leaders, perhaps they can show a way with which to build a church, a mosque, a synagogue, temple, etc., under the open sky. Under the open sky, without manmade vaulted ceilings, the clear light of day may straighten out the overblown imaginations of people who are naturally fallible, as we all are. But we cannot forget that even under the open sky religious psychosis has committed atrocities, the aforesaid crimes against “sinners”; as if those who accused were not themselves terrible little devils. No one should be given license or title to cover their criminal acts or, once found out, have those crimes further covered. As if their religion, whatever faith they hold dear, might fall apart if it were revealed to be materially false, leaving them without a little job. Well then, let it all fall apart.

    It can appear at times as if dogmatic religions are set up to do such criminal acts, purposefully. Those with healthier relations towards their fellow humans might not think so or say that this goes too far. But it makes one wonder why, when children come home to say they have been abused, they have been told to shut up, be quiet, as some have come forward to say after many years. More adult complicity, even though somehow, well meaning?! Again, is it the fear of a belief falling apart? Children are brainwashed, brought up to segregate, hate and even kill in the name of narrow religious views. It is time for people to actually GET healthy and quit pretending it by hiding behind a strict, dogmatic belief psychosis.

    In one recent example challenging the status quo of secret tyranny, singer Sinead O’Connor ruined her career, calling the Catholic church the actual evil. Over hundreds of years others lost their lives for that challenge. Her opinion was born of years of Irish struggle. She spoke the other day as if the Catholic faith might still be brand new, once the truth was exposed. What a blessing…hope springs eternal. However, we are all children of the Universe, born to wonder and wander with open and clear eyes, gaining wisdom on the path of life, life that can well teach where one may find LOVE…if we have not been preemptively sickened by the adult imposition of beliefs.

    Those of good conscience and healthy acknowledgement of human frailty, of human need that requires healthy, normal, sexual expression, human inquisitiveness and, not least, the human disposition to connect with something larger than themselves that builds humility and real LOVE towards all of life…maybe they will share the leadership asked for by the Holy Spirit, but denied, for timeless aions.

    Hope springs eternal, especially in little children. Maybe some of us can live up to that promise, yet.

    Comment by Templar | April 2, 2010

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