Wednesday, July 7, 2010
(queue bad segue music - but it is really what got me thinking and writing today)
Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about the cross-section between politics and religion. I have come to some basic understandings in regards to my personal beliefs and how they play out in the way I act politically. I feel like I have done my part in sorting out what I believe for the most part and don't have to try to convince, persuade or defend my position to anyone but myself, except for the lively banter between friends. However, I've gotten tired of candidates' religion being the 'meat' of the political platform from almost any area of the political spectrum - "Yes, I heard you the first fifty times you said you were a 'Christian', now please tell me what you actually plan to do in office and stop posturing". (And if all else fails, I can check your voting record). I have gotten tired over the years of politicians claiming to be 'Christian' (or even 'religious') and not following the moral or ethical codes from any religion I've ever found. I've come to expect religious affiliation from those in office and don't imagine it will change any time soon.
My political/religious dichotomy lies not only in this learned skepticism but also in a plentiful history of political endorsements from organizations that end up leading people astray rather than educating them and letting them make their own informed decisions. Perhaps it is because I am more worried about actual evidence of morals than someone being able to quote the Ten Commandments or perhaps I've just become too cynical to actually believe what Mr. Smith says on his way to Washington.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I have trouble resolving my a) desire to make a change in the lives of those less fortunate than myself and b) my incredibly cynical, skeptical perspective. One day I want to give away all my money and help the little old lady who's living on a fixed income, all of it (gone before she sees it paying for health-care premiums and filling prescriptions) and gets a minuscule $10 in food stamps each month. She tells me she's okay. "Honey, I get by. Just eat cheap; a little bread, a little water". It makes me want to cry and send her a tear-stained check. I can put off Starbucks for a month and she could have something other than bread and water for dinner next week. The next day I hear about those cheating on taxes, lying to get benefits they don't deserve, stealing food for their already bloated bellies and I want to rant and rave about how dishonest people are and how our society is full of liars and cheats.
I can't comprehend the people that ignore the need in the world with a social-Darwinian attitude or those that brush over the deception with a "that's the way the world works so just let it be". While I embrace -and at times, love- my broken world, I subconsciously long for something better, something perfect, something where the cheaters are always caught and those that are truly hungry are always fed.
That being said, here's a shameless plug: Next week is National Volunteer Week. Take a day or an hour and support your community and those in need around you. Or even take five minutes or 30 seconds to show a random act of kindness and brighten someone's day.
*I just couldn't resist. You can thank the following website for the title: Humorous Volunteerism Anecdotes
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
When I first started on this post, I wanted to show how despite all the End Times arguments, debate on infant versus believer's baptism, and Eucharistic squabbles there are truths around which Christians across denominations can come together, such as those included in the Nicene or Apostles' Creed. One of the biggest issues that seems to shoot this down is the debate on absolute truths in the church today. I, for one, am a middle-ground person. I recognize that there are some absolute truths, but I believe that they are far fewer than many would like us to believe.
My question is, are there rallying points for modern Christians today? Whether you believe in interpretative or literal Creation Story, Catholic or Evangelical, conservative or liberal, Pre- or Post-Millenial, Pre-Trib, Post-Trib -whatever!- is this really that hard to agree on? Can this simple statement of 110 words be so controversial or can it be unifying?
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The holy Catholic* Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.
*Would like to point out here that the general understanding of the word "catholic" in this context is not referencing the Catholic Church, but used to signify the unification of the universal Church (see definition).