While pulling that last post together regarding the Blog Against Theocracy, I also read through Blue Gal's latest post addressed to all the non-believers who are planning to take part in this weekend's blog swarm. It got me thinking...
So often I talk or email with fellow lefties who have just had it with the religious right to the point that they can't stand Christianity or even religion in general. It's as if there is such a slippery slope in their minds between any admission of faith and total fundamentalism that it's just not worth it to go down that path. No religion is better than any religion, because in the end we all become Pat Robertson or Al Qaeda.
Ok, that's pretty much me. Conservative evangelicals and conservatives within my own Catholic clan largely started telling me a few years ago, "its our way or the highway"...fine, I chose to take the highway. I decided I would rather not sacrifice logic and reason for religious dogma. Evolution was never a problem in my church until members started worrying more about being conservative than being Catholic. That and some economic hypocrisy on the part of our priestly elite and it was enough to push me out the door...
I'm actually quite sympathetic to those lefties who think they hate Christianity. Funny thing is when you engage these lefties in conversation, a great many of them think Jesus was a cool guy, and some actually revere him. Even those who reject Christianity outright are not nearly so angry as they let on.
Yep, I actually happen to think the historical figure of Jesus was an interesting person (even with the understanding that a lot of the New Testament was written to make him appear more than he was). I actually find the Bible much more fascinating now that I'm not obliged to read it as a theological treatise and can appreciate it as the historical text it is (complete with all the errors, re-writes, biases and outright falsehoods that go into any humanly produced manuscript). And why is it that all of us who don't buy into Christian theology are the ones perceived of as "angry"? If we're angry, it's because we know Christianity has had to distort and outright lie about history and science in order to validate their views before a generally ignorant public.
Let me point something out here, again. Jesus of Nazareth was nailed to a tree by the political and religious CONSERVATIVES of his day because they mistakenly thought they had power and that he threatened that power. ANY Christian, myself included, who thinks they would have rescued Jesus from the cross, that certainly WE wouldn't have gone along with Pilate and Judas and abandoned him like Peter, are just kidding themselves.
Boy, got that right. It was becoming very difficult for me during my last days as a Catholic to logically distinguish between priests/bishops and the Pharisees...hard to tell the two groups apart.
It's that the religious right/Republican Party has so often set the discourse that "God/Jesus equals us" that some of us lefties tend to believe that. Rejecting hate speech, intolerance, and fundamentalism becomes rejecting all religion.
Again, that's me. I know there are the Jim Wallis's, the John Shelby Spongs, hell, even the Henry Neufelds, and Christopher Heards out there, all of whom (often) make me wonder just a little bit about the nature of my spiritual search. But then there's those loud-mouthed, obnoxious fundamentalists who keep taking center stage and I'm forced to pull out Dawkins and Harris again...
And then finally, a little hope:
And if I believe (and I struggle to, at least) that God is Love and that God loves his creation, I think smart, funny, gifted non-believing bloggers have one of the better tables at Divine Love's cocktail party. You certainly do at mine.
Here's the deal about Christians, though. We're not all Pat Robertson, and I refuse to allow the Religious Right to define what Christianity is, for me, or for my readership.
Amen, sister. If I'm wrong, then I'll be happy to toast to my error at Divine Love's cocktail party!