A part of me was reluctant to post this (I found this January 9), But then I realized nobody reads this blog and what the hell! Great read, in the same vein as the previous post about this same issue.
I think if the revolutionary Jesus of the New Testament ever thought his ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ message would be perverted and abused in this way, he’d have given us a few reminders like ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ or reminded his followers of the special power of religious hierarchy to corrupt. Oh, hang on, he did already!
I’ve sat with the Rick Warren inauguration thing for days, hoping to feel less angry and betrayed, hoping to see a chink of light in the reasoning behind it – anything beyond the tortuous over-thinking and callous calculation it betrays. I give up. Why couldn’t Obama give the people who voted for him one perfect day of happiness? God knows things are gloomy enough besides. And God knows too many people have spent the last 8 years excluded from the party. We live in a fully imperfect world the other 364 days, and reason says Obama can only disappoint us in the future, no matter how hard he tries. So why not share this one beautiful day of unadulterated happiness?
Here’s what it comes down to. The religious fundamentalists simply don’t want other people to be happy. The only joy they can conceive of is that which they allow. There’s no rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s for them. The law of their angry God is inadequate by itself, and needs to be enforced by the laws of men and the power of the state. Their joy is won only in a zero sum game. Sharing it destroys it. Why else do they fight so hard to exclude gay people from the ‘sanctity’ of marriage?
But we’re not two year-olds. We are grown-ups who know that sharing our precious toys doesn’t ruin them forever. If marriage is so great – and I think it is – then why hoard it? Why keep the light under a bushel? There is something so selfish and grasping about the religious right’s vendetta against gay marriage. It’s unworthy of anyone who professes to follow Christ.
I keep on keeping on in the Catholic Church, mostly because it’s what I was brought up in and where I most feel the pain and joy of just being alive. I’ve even been lucky enough to find a home from home in a Catholic community that not just welcomes but celebrates every person in it. But days like today force me to ask myself if it’s even the right thing to continue to associate myself with an institution whose leadership behaves so shamefully. If I believe Barack Obama should dissociate himself from Rick Warren’s Prop 8 hatefulness, what right do I have to keep going to a church I love but that doesn’t fully love all its members?
I can’t argue myself into it, or perhaps even justify politically and intellectually why I should go on enjoying my community of faith. But I do feel it comes down to the joy. The happiness for and amongst others I experience there, and the practical hope that I can keep on doing my bit (whenever I truly figure out what that is). Shutting down or shutting off that profound source of joy would make me feel the bad guys have won. The religious right don’t have a monopoly on happiness, and we shouldn’t let them think they can.
I’ve been trying to avoid this issue but reading the above quoted passage I’d like to write donw my views. Whenever I like to censor myself, or hide within my personal beliefs I sometimes have to read the xkcd comic about dreams and silently whisper to myslef FucK ThaT ShiT!