Lay off the Betty Bowers web site – your judgment is beginning to drift. Just kidding. I am extremely pleased with you. I am pleased with your ability with the written word and with your willingness to tackle tough issues. I fear that your interpretation of my post was based more on how you perceive me than on what I actually wrote. Your perceptions have merit – they are based on many years of observation – however – please look at my words – I chose them for you.
Scott Peck, M.D., a noted psychiatrist wrote in “A Road Less Traveled By’ that he used to get most of his patients from the Catholic Church, now he gets them from all churches. He was talking about the use of shame to keep order in the Christian ranks.
I did not say that you ‘…are on a journey to be,’ I said ‘… are determined to be.’ That feels different to me.
I discounted the fundamentalists – they already have a solution to the challenge of Jesus. The conflict is resolved by some by rationalizing that this country was created by God to fight evil in the world. Right wing ding dongs follow a classic human fault – ignore the disparity. Early Fundamentalist Christians solved the problem of humanity being at the center of God’s Universe by declaring that the Sun and stars revolve around the earth. That seemed easy enough – problem solved. The mental-health problems of this bunch run much deeper than managing shame. You already understand this concept.
My concern is about reasonable people determined to follow the true message of Jesus. What is the ‘true message?” Well – he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This pretty clear. The challenge of that statement is at the core of my message. Part of the challenge rests in the inclusiveness of His message – your neighbor is not limited to your fellow Americans. Neither is it limited to people who have jobs and have health care services. You already understand this concept.
My post on ‘Blending Christianity with humanity’ was not intended for a Fundamentalist audience – I discount those folks in this particular discussion – My intention is to say that Christianity challenges the very nature of humanity. We cannot live up to the challenge – but we cannot rationalize poor behavior by saying, ‘Oh well, I’m human.” I am not talking about blind faith in institutions – I am talking about the conflict between who we really are and who we profess to be. I am talking about the difficulty in resolving this conflict.
A last secular comment on the Pentateuch. The Babylonians conquered the Assyrians, then the Israelites in the north, then the Judeans in the south. The Babylonian’s strategy was divide and conquer – they separated the peoples and exiled them into foreign lands. After a couple of generations the exiled folks would assimilate into their new culture. The Hebrews who were exiled into Babylon understood that their descendants would become Babylonians and would lose the faith of their fathers. To insure the continuation of their faith they decided to write down the stories of oral tradition – that was in 587 BCE. They wrote the Pentateuch.
We are trying to cover too many topics in each post. As you said yesterday “It is hard not to do tomorrows work today.”
I love you and am proud of you.