Friday, November 19, 2004

Let The Healing Begin

I feel better today after watching the dedication ceremony of Bill Clinton's presidential library in Little Rock. There was truly a spirit of bipartisanship there this morning. I even enjoyed George W's speech today, and his daddy's. And now I am left wondering how I can reach out, to the redfaced among us, and help bridge the partisan divide.

There has been a lot of talk since black Tuesday, I mean, election day, about morals and religion in society. And usually the line of thought is something like, "well, George W. Bush is a religious man, more so, than John Kerry, and Janet Jackson showed her tit on the Super Bowl and the Islamist extremist hate us, and the ten commandments need to be in the schools and the court house. Oh, and Saddam did it."

I know all that is confusing, and that's the point. Religion is all-encompassing. You're either in or your out, in Bushworld. Jerry Falwell said that we were being punished by God on 9/ll for our moral decline. And then he went on to say that God put Bush in office to lead the Christians against the evil Islamist.

A lot of times when a liberal pipes up and just ask a few questions, he's said to be a Godless communist. But why can't a free-market capitalist ask, "How can you be sure which religion is the correct one?" Or why can't a conservative, be an atheist? I love the chuckle and sometimes disdain and hostility that questioning Gods existence illicits in some circles. You often here, "There are no atheist in the foxhole!" That may be true, but I bet there are no "faith" base jumpers either.

You can test this theory. Get the most devout person you know. Climb to the top of El Capitan, and tell them to "faith" base jump WITHOUT a parachute. Tell them to put their life in Gods hands. Now, if you do this enough times, you will have some takers most assuredly. These are what the left refer to as "religious nuts". Some guys actually thought the quickest way to get into heaven was to fly airplanes into buildings. These guys are religious nuts also. If you hear Gods voice, the way you hear Bob Barkers voice on The Price is Right, then you're a religious nut too.

So if you are a religious nut, please, don't comment on my blog.

But if you are merely redfaced, then let the healing begin.


Blogger justrose said...

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins

11:23 AM  
Blogger RBP said...

Ah, Rose. You must be wearing your miraculous medal and calling for the intercession of the Saints to help you get through traffic on the way to the market.
The anonymousrowhouse is a heavenly place indeed.
Religious nut- no.
Poet- yes.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Yunie said...

I just wanted to say, thank you! Thank You! THANK YOU. It scares me how many people don't share your point of view!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Jensun_Clemike said...

I think this is where the thunder and lightening strikes begin.

3:35 PM  
Blogger RBP said...

"Thunder! Wightening! Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit..."

I had Elmer Fudd nightmares as a child, which might explain quite a lot. Thanks JC, hey, you got the same intitials as, oh - nevermind.

4:13 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

It has been interesting to see the evolution of Rambo Christianity. There have always been military Hawks in this country and there have always been Christians. Now we seem to have a cross pollination of the two groups. They seem to think they are 100% right about everything.
It's much easier to kill Muslims than convert them.

I think it is possible to be both a conservative and an atheist. Just watch the folks on Fox's saturday morning stock tip shows...I would swear most of them sold their souls long ago in exchange for a hot tip on some biotech IPO. These kind of conservatives don't mind riding the coattials of the religious zealots as long as it helps them get a flat tax passed or prevents the US from taking any real action on global warming.

6:49 PM  
Blogger ALa said...

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 10:32-33

11:30 PM  
Blogger RBP said...

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
Jeremiah 8:20

Why is the OLD testement so much longer than the NEW testement?

12:23 AM  
Blogger riceburner147 said...

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
" 'He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'[2] "
7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'[3] "

Matt 4: 5-7........Apparently, even Jesus is not a "religious" nut. Common sense and faith are NOT mutually exclusive. Isnt it interesting that God forsaw your idea long ago. Also, note that Satan is here quoting the Bible (erroneously).

7:04 AM  
Blogger riceburner147 said...

jm re: There have always been military Hawks in this country and there have always been Christians. Now we seem to have a cross pollination of the two groups. They seem to think they are 100% right about everything.

I am a Christian and convinced that the longer i live, the less i know. i have hunreds of friends and aquaintances that are conservative Christians and also feel the same way. one of my favorite passages in the NT is ICor 8:1b-2 "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up"
(my slight paraphrase). This is not to say knowledge is bad, just that it needs to be tempered with concern for others. Your caricature of Christians as all thinking they are 100% right about "everything" is likely fueled by some media's desire to feature those who are most controversial. i also realize that this belief does have basis in fact, sadly there are some Christians who are so strident on subjects (ex: gay marriage) that they forget to "love thy neighbor".

7:26 AM  
Blogger RBP said...

Riceb. Thanks for your comments. And let me just say that it wasn't the media that did it. I came about my religious views the old fashioned way, I earned them. I grew up in the dirty south,in the church. And we weren't just passive attendees, we were very active in the church (Church of Christ). When I was young, my best friend was the preachers kid, our families took vacations together. We went for Wednessday night devotional, and twice on Sunday. I attended church with other friends at their churches. I liked going to church. I love the story of Jesus Christ. I love his teachings. I still have the bible I was given as a child, my first and only bible, and I still read it ocassionally. But I am not religious.

I think religion in and of itself is fine, but I think it should remain personal. And at the same time, I know that religious outreach through charity and orginizing and giving is an important part of everyday life for millions of people around the globe. I know that Christian charities feed and house and provide medical care for the poorest people in the world. Moslem charities do the same thing in the West Bank and Gaza and Sudan.

I don't hate religious people in general or Christians in particular. I hate the guys who have their own 800 number who give out "blessings" in exchange for a donation. I hate the guys who cry out for more "religious freedom" yet condenm and misrepresent other religions. I hate the hypocrisy of people who claim to love and live like Jesus, yet turn out to be the most vile and corrupt among us.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

10:33 AM  
Blogger ALa said...

Jesus said:
"Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
Matthew 10:34

5:30 PM  
Blogger riceburner147 said...

jfm: i really agree with your (i would call it dislike) opinion of many (not all) in the media who use the message of the gospel for their own purposes. my dislike is tempered by the certain knowledge that my own heart is "deceitfully wicked". i am humbled by a God who can love the unlovely (me). i find i can barely love my family (tho i am determined to not stop trying) let alone loving those who hate me. please forgive me if i unfairly attributed your beliefs to just the media, this forum is rife with opportunities for misunderstanding.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Re. Matthew 10:34, according to the Bible, Jesus did say "Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Jesus also said, as recorded in the text of St. Matthew:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4) ("inherit the earth" in some texts.)
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)

While Jesus said he brought a "sword", I believe the word was meant figuratively or symbolically. I believe that the "sword" he brought was news that might not be pleasant for some people to have to stomach, i.e. who do you love more, Jesus or your own family? Pick one. He was asking "how strong is your faith?" I certainly don't think the word "sword" should be taken literally.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia at :

"The "peacemakers" (verse 9) are those who not only live in peace with others but moreover do their best to preserve peace and friendship among mankind and between God and man, and to restore it when it has been disturbed. It is on account of this godly work, "an imitating of God's love of man" as St. Gregory of Nyssa styles it, that they shall be called the sons of god, "children of your Father who is in heaven" (Matt., v, 45)."

I have always believed Jesus was a peacemaker. I believe Jesus came to stir things up, but that he came in the spirit of peace. Otherwise, I don't think he would have said what he said when he preached to the masses.

1:06 AM  
Blogger riceburner147 said...

snave: IMHO, i believe you have captured the essence of the message Jesus was speaking about in re: to ALa's comment about the sword ( I am a fan of hers but not sure why that particular verse was injected).

3:02 PM  
Blogger ALa said...

It was 'injected' because I hate when people try to make Jesus into some kind of Kumbya hippie...He wasn't, he was hardcore -and he obviously believed that some things warranted death...(even if it meant his own).

4:28 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks, RiceB. I don't profess to be a Christian, but during the course of my life I have been involved in quite a lot of church activities (United Methodist). This has included a lot of Bible study, which in turn has led to lots of introspection.

TAFKAA, I never outright said I thought Jesus was a "Kumbaya hippie"; I don't believe what I posted was even meant to suggest that. I merely stated that I believe he came to stir things up but that he came in a spirit of peace. I think he believed that by pointing out some hard truths to people, he could help change their lives (and the world) for the better... and that a better world would probably be a peaceful world. Some today consider Jesus a radical, and his was quite possibly a radical approach for the time. I still think the word "sword" is figurative, and I would never believe he came to be "hardcore" and kick people's asses.

If you know of specific ones, please post some scriptures which suggest Jesus believed death was warranted for people. I don't recall any, but my memory is probably colored by my view of him as being loving. Even if he did think death was warranted in some cases, I believe he would have preached forgiveness first and foremost. I guess I've always pictured him as a "lamb of God", not as a warrior lion type.

But I guess I already professed to not being a Christian, so what do I know... ?

1:34 AM  
Blogger riceburner147 said...

in traditional Christian theology, Jesus is God. Therefore He had knowledge and power beyond all human imagining. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him, HE could have thrown the first stone (no one else). He chose instead love and forgiveness. When the religious leaders of His time here on earth were hypocrites, blind leading the blind, He took a more confrontational tone and manner, i believe, still in love so that they would wake up and see their error. When His eartly friend and relative Lazarus was dying, He chose to wait three days (until L had died) until He went to Bethany to raise hin from the dead. Some around Him were upset, but He said, "Laurus is dead, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him". Jn 11:14-15. Jesus also said shortly thereafter, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believe in Me, will live, even tho he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this" ? (Jn 11:25-26). He then went to the tomb and called out "Lazarus, Come Forth". Thus demonstrating His complete power over life and death. Some commentators have speculated that if the Lord had not specified "Lazarus" when He called out, all the dead in those tombs would have risen from the dead and come forth. The Lord of the universe is certainly not a "hippie", but is filled with compassion for all those in His creation. We WILL see His wrath, though, one day if we choose not to believe (IMHO). btw, how bout those iggles ?

12:28 PM  
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3:48 PM  
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9:09 AM  

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