Beyond the Cusp

October 6, 2017

Religion Under Assault in America

 

A couple of hundreds of some of the most prominent Christian leaders in the United States who came from across all denominations came together in Nashville, Tennessee where they signed a missive called the “Nashville Statement.” They conveyed their total support for the New Testament reaffirming over two millennia of Biblical injunctions and directives declaring the reaffirmation that marriage is between one man and one woman, G0d made us male and female and therefore transgenderism is incompatible with the Christian faith, and that the Bible lists homosexuality as a sin thereby rendering its acceptance as incompatible with the Christian faith. This drew many denunciations from among which the condemnation by the Mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry, seemed unexpected. The most preposterous condemnation came from those who objected to the timing coming as the people of Houston and surrounding areas of Texas are suffering from Hurricane Harvey. I’m sure when these leaders of faith planned their assembling months ago they did it with the divine providing them with information that a hurricane would have devastated a large area of the southern United States and this was included in their plans. Please, give the world a break and please, if you are going to object, please find something more believable and applicable, something more real than attempting to shame them for a natural disaster coinciding as if such could be planned. But these were the least of the objections and the least damning as well.

 

When the content of the “Nashville Statement” was officially released, there were numerous condemnations denouncing the signatories as hateful, homophobic, as well as deceitful and not speaking in the nature or with the passions of Jesus. The word “hate” appeared to be the favorite uncivil invective thrown with obvious intent to harm the signers. But not to worry, keepers of the faith in all ages share one remarkable quality, their ability to shrug off scorn over their treasured beliefs as they often have experienced far too much practice allowing such to pass without taking offense. Their skin has developed a tender strength allowing them to be sympathetic and to understand that the people are defending their pet political beliefs and, they hope, not their deep moral beliefs. Religious people have come under more and more rejection for their beliefs which is regrettable as they mostly are the ones least likely to reject those who show them disregard. Religious faith is supposed to allow for people to come together but in this instance, it appears to have had the opposite effect. For that reason, despite my not being anywhere near an expert on the New Testament or, unfortunately, the Torah and remainder of what is referred to as the Old Testament, I wish to contest one of the reported points and make a distinction as a matter of mending fences.

 

Hebrew Bible and Christian Bible

Hebrew Bible and Christian Bible

 

The accusation made that they stated that the Bible lists homosexuality as a sin has to be inaccurate. If my knowledge is near accurate, the Bible states that sodomy is a sin, not homosexuality. One may love whomever they choose but the act of sodomy, whether performed between two men and by a man with a woman are equally a sin as both are sodomy. The Bible teaches us not to hate anyone else but to love everybody. We are to love the person and hate the sin, and that makes a huge difference as we are instructed to love the person including homosexuals and to hate the sin of sodomy no matter whether it is homosexual or heterosexual in nature. Unfortunately, the fact is that the act is the sin, not the emotions between people, which are to be judged. But this is lost in the arguments because if an act which can be either heterosexual or homosexual in nature, thus applicable to all men and not just those attracted to other men, then the argument loses all its political clout. What good is the naming of an act as a sin which has no political application when one can make a political stand claiming that religious people hate a certain group of people. One of the major problems with society today is that a certain group of political positions have decided that religion is their enemy and that if their visions of the world are to come true, then the first step is to rid the world of religious beliefs.

 

The absolute worst result from the “Nashville Statement” would be its use in the political war against religion and to attack and besmirch people of religious faith. The war against religion is simply a manufactured war being used as a ploy to attract disaffected people to a certain political viewpoint. Those of the viewpoint that the state must replace religion because religion ties people to a false premise and the state can be and is better suited to caring for people, are ignoring the benefits which came from religion as the force responsible for caring for those in need and the government taking care of the structures such as roads and other inanimate objects. The war against religion desires to claim that man has no divine spark and is no different than an amoeba, just a few million years more evolved which permits eugenics and other forms of population control and the classification of people instead of treating all people with respect and love. The war against religion would reduce humanity to cold calculations and nothing more and that would be a sad world in which to live. But that is exactly how the cold of heart will interpret the “Nashville Statement” and make nothing more of it than claiming it comes from those who hate, but the real question one need answer is who are the real haters, the ones who wish to turn humanity into nothing more than statistics in a government ledger. When one has that answer, then they will understand which respects and treasures people more, the political or the religious. I know which group we would trust our future to between the two.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 10, 2012

President Obama Loaded the Next Campaign Issue

The first contentious issue of the Presidential campaign mutated from the demand that the religiously aligned workplaces such as hospitals, food kitchens, shelters, educational institutions and others would be required to provide insurance coverage for birth control, abortive drugs such as the so-called morning after pill and other medical coverage despite religious objections. This was guaranteed to be resisted and cause loud objections from those on the religious right and they did not disappoint. After the loud protestations were given ample opportunity to be voiced and be identified with those religious conservatives who it is often claimed wish to take society back centuries negating many actions they find objectionable. Then the plan was executed and the objections against this became the war on women. The success of this ploy has been debated with some believing the left overplayed their hand and may have ended up foisted on their own petard while others rejected the arguments from the religious right as narrow minded and anti-women. Whichever side you find yourself siding with, this little skirmish has run its course and played out to give each side gains and losses that the pundits and pollsters are still measuring.

So, now it is time for a new skirmish to be forced into the campaigns. And right on schedule, President Obama came out today and set up the subject and now we wait for the response against the Presidents latest opinion and the next war will be declared. President Obama talked about his evolving thoughts on Gay marriage, another hot button issue with the religious right. I’m beginning to see a trend here. Apparently our President has attained the highest level of awareness on the subject of same sex marriages. He has finally accommodated himself with the right of those who are committed to another person to be married whether they are a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and another woman. How universally accepting of President Obama. He also pointed out that this was a subject that, though he supports not just the right to civil unions but actual marriages, he is not in a position to do anything to allow such. President rightfully wrapped himself in the constitution and stated this was an issue for each State to decide. Imagine that, President Obama enforcing the Tenth Amendment and defending the Constitutional rights of the States. Now we get to wait and see if and who will take the bait. Should there be those who believe that the President has negated a Federal Law, the Protection of Marriage Act, with his statement must have missed when Attorney General Eric Holder announced a couple of years ago that the Justice Department was not going to defend this particular law as he and the President did not approve of it. Well, now we might just get to listen to the two sides each screaming as loud as the other for the next few weeks, again.

I really hope that the entire Presidential campaign is not going to simply be an endless series of each side poking the sensitive spots on the other and then ranting about the fact that the other side reacted. Surely we can have a campaign for the highest office in the land that is just a little bit more mature than a grade school game of gotcha or tag, you’re it and no tag backs. We have an economy that has shown almost no signs of life, Iran is rapidly approaching nuclear weapons capability, the Palestinian-Israeli talks are moribund, job growth is so lethargic that they are close to straight-lining, the streets are likely to become battlegrounds for protesters this summer and fall, and the country is more divided than it has been any time since the end of the sixties. Perhaps I am expecting too much than to have the race for President of the United States to be on a level higher than that of running for High School President. I’m waiting for somebody to offer no homework on weekends. Hey, it worked in High School.

Beyond the Cusp

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