Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why is the Religious Right so afraid?

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views

beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing

God's service when it is violating all his laws.

--John Adams

Hat tip to my beloved for sharing this quote.

I was just wondering to myself how the Christian Fundies currently in charge of our country rationalize things to themselves. We've obviously moved into an Orwellian mode here, where "No Child Left Behind" translates through Doublespeak into "We'll teach every child we deem worthy just what we want them to know, provided it doesn't actually teach them to think."

The entire Intelligent Design crowd wants to turn their back on science and force one viewpoint of the world on everyone. The problem with this, in my mind, is that if they really truly believed God was in control, they wouldn't be so afraid of other viewpoints. Me, I believe there's Something out there. Whether it's a bearded old man on a throne in heaven, or an amorphous energy, or a thousand other variations on the theme - well, it's not for me to know, right? The basis for FAITH is believing in something you don't know. So I have no problem with the Bible story of Creation. I see facts as we can percieve them from science, and they make sense, and I can believe them. I don't see the two (or rather three, as there are two versions of Creation in the Bible) as mutually exclusive. I don't know, I won't know in this lifetime, so I ponder and pray and read and think.

God made it very clear that FREE WILL was an integral element in the creation of Man. He wanted us to think and pray and feel and CHOOSE who we are and what we believe. If He hadn't, there would have been no Tree of Knowledge in the Garden. Those who want to shove religion down our throats want to remove that option. This is behavior fundamentally against God's design as outlined in the Bible.

If they really believe that God makes Himself known to those who search for Him, then they should encourage seeking. They should welcome discussion and argument and thought, if what they really want is their children to find God. But they don't.

They have so little faith in God that they must control the ship for Him. They have so little faith in their children that they doubt their children will find God without them. I believe they also have so little faith in themselves and their ability to do right that they must constantly harp on others to redirect attention from the sin in their own lives.

There is nothing wrong with teaching your child your own particular brand of God. The people I love and respect most in this world are those who have taught their children about God by example. These are people with a strong faith, who live that faith in their every breath, giving without receiving, always accepting others with love no matter the circumstance, never saying a bad word about anyone. That is an education. Children soak that up through their skin.

Those people that surrounded me in my teens never had to limit my exposures, or curtail my thinking; they just showed me in every action what it meant to have a relationship with a Higher Being. I learned from them what it means to love, and in true loving, I learned the rules that I live by.

I met the other type of Christian too; the Bible thumping, condemning, rule based type. The kind that went to church regularly, sometimes even daily. The ones that looked down their nose at a single mother struggling along at the poverty line. The ones that didn't appreciate my lifestyle and made it very clear. The ones that were so kind to my face, but whispered behind my back. The ones who cut corners when it came to their pocketbooks. The ones who lied. The ones who told my five year old that he would be going to Hell because he didn't go to the RIGHT church.

I've studied Catholicism, Judiasm, Buddhism, Hinduism, and even Wicca. I have found pieces of Truth and bits of God in each of them. I believe our perception of God is limited at this stage in our evolution, and that this is why we have so many religions on this Earth. I encourage my children to find God in their own way, because I have faith that God will lead them to Himself eventually, in His own time. Mostly, I believe that God honors the search for Him above all (is that not why he put us here?) and that if we are sincere in our search and truly live what we believe in our hearts, that He will welcome us one day.

Of course, I could be wrong.


Anonymous said...

I tend to think of God as non-gendered, as in GodsSelf or whatever. Interesting to see all the "He"s from my feminist friend :)
Yup -- even the Bible says we shall be judged by our fruits, doesn't it? Look to people's behavior not their pious activities. It's much easier on the sanity.
I tend to think my job (as a Christian) is not to make it any harder than it already is to believe in God. Maybe I've succeeded?
love u -- your little/big sister

Cherizac said...

I agree; just as I don't see God with the crook and beard, I usually don't think of Him as gendered. But "It" seems offensive, so I've used the masculine pronoun just for convenience.

I'm glad you know (and I've known for a long time that you do!) that actions speak louder than words... It helps to clarify the cognitive dissonance when certain people make you question reality. Like oh, I don't know, someone living in Alaska? If it sounds nuts, and it feels nuts, it IS nuts...

I'm very glad you were around to give me an example to live by. Without you and Doug, I'd have been sunk in so many ways long ago.