"God says I'm right, you're wrong..."
A man screams at imagration rights marchers - photo Lorcan Otway
Last week, I sat in a cab and wondered, however did we Christians get into this mess? The driver had the radio playing, loudly, a "Christian" radio broadcast - the point of which, was the Jews did not understand their own scripture, but rather, where tricked by God into proclaiming the good news of the Christian faith, which they were not enlightened enough to understand.
Give me a break.
Now, some ten to twenty percent of Americans are upset that President Obama recognized nonbelievers as part of the American fabric as well...
Give me another break.
Let's get real here. One of the greatest strengths of Judaism, theologically, is the acceptance that God chose Jews - not as the only people who would go to heaven, but as people who should live God's law. Judaism, early on, realized that God's plan was diverse and forgiving.
Then, Judea was conquered by fascists. Let's face it full on. Rome was not a live and let live kind of culture. The pontifex maximus, "supreme pontiff," of the Romans who invaded Judea, held a religious title which was once the literal chief bridge builder of Rome. He built bridges between people, not by accepting their differences, but by enforcing orthodoxy.
There could not be a more distant statement of theological approach between the Roman ideal of peace through conformity to Roman ideals and that light which led Mary Dyer to speak the words, "Truth is my authority, not authority my truth."
It is apparent to me, simply in the way the natural world is formed, that truth is self confident enough to accept diversity. The weak and fearful need everyone to get in line -- behind every empire is a bully, and inside every bully is a person to afraid of others to be accepting.
Yeshua was no bully. He did not convince by denying the light of others. He fed others, asked to drink from those who were not his tribe. It is only when those who invaded his land wrested his faith from his kinsman, that his water of life was denied to those who wore a different cloth.
I am tired of the pride and arrogance of "Christianity", in the same way I would have been tired of the Roman Eagle, brought into the temple, the swastika emblazoned on every wall, the boorish cants of USA as rockets fall. I am tired of seeing writers jailed for insulting "royalty." I am tired of denouncement, riot, pride and war.
It has long been the same. This nation in which a President once responded to attacks from clergy by writing, "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man," still holds a powerful petty few, too fearful of their own infallibility, that they must attempt tyranny over the minds of others.
I am rather certain, that this presidency will be a true bridge builder, not a tyranny over the minds of others. Let those who seek a pagan pontiff clamor and wail, but I pray that God grants this nation the strength courage to rise above ignorance and fear to bend towards that real confidence of acceptance of that of God, fully in others.