Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Law and the "Gospel"?

I don't know about you, but when something is not settled with me in my thinking, I can't stop thinking about it, even in my sleep (which makes for a restless night (s)). Last night was such a night.

I had come to faith believing a gnostic "gospel"(otherworldly) of equality, justice and mercy, which is in effect, the fruit of love. The laws of our land are made with this standard. And since I have always felt "the little person", I was always taking up the cause of the "little guy" when I thought that justcie was not served. But, I never imagined myself in any place of authority, it was only in regards to the Law that was written on my heart.

Who are the little guys? The little guys are children, mothers, women, workers, minorities, and immigrants. Those who have no "voice" are the "causes of social justice". I can even think about it and it gets me upset. I guess I am "continually angry" as this is not a just world (so much for peace and goodwill to men!).

It is funny that I so berated the "cause of social justice" as that was not the "true gospel", but was in my naive years of "religion". This is why I have found myself resonating with the atheists. While I am still unsure about a "god", I am more and more sure about my desire to see all men as equal, which was the ideal of our founding Fathers. I guess this is why human rights have appealed to me and the issue that the U.N. will allow special "declarations" to the Islamic states under the name of religious freedom appalls me. Human rights means the every individual has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Islam does not allow women that right. And their judicial system is built upon a religious tradition that is legalistic in its implementation. Where Nazism was a political system that oppressed and was prejuidiced and brought about horrendous crimes against humanity, Islam is a religious one. America's cause to see freedom come to all nations, I think is a noble one, but how do we persuade those in power that freedom is good, when it would usurp their all-knowing, all-powerful position and allow others to have a "voice"? I don't know, but the whole subject intrigues me.

There has been much on the news and the blogs about the "shoe throwing incidence". My intitial response was not to look at the position of the President, as an "authority", but to look at the context. People of power must always understand the context in which they are speaking, just as our Secretary of State does when she travels and meets with dignitaries. The customs and social norms are important to affirm so that communication can remain open or be opened and there is no offense.

Conservative/fundamentalist Christians only see a separation of powers where if there is no submission to the "authority" then there is a lack of respect for God, as an authority. This is nothing other than cultish thinking. Justice is not sought, but a submissive attitude no matter the costs is required. This culture breeds inequality, as it accentuates differences of status. Of course, there will be times where roles are important to maintain, but as a whole, is one's attitude toward the "other" appropriate? That is my question and my concern. Our emotional health in feeling secure is based on social contract. It is only when we know that laws are respected that we know where we stand anad that we need not fear subversion, or control from those in "other positions, or roles'. When roles beomce our identity, then we feel threatened by those who question our authority and we desire to control, or manipulate others. When we feel we haven't been heard, "as an underdog", we seek justice and seeking justice is not wrong. It is right, because all men are created equal.

More and more I am seeing more clearly how I view Church and State. And I wonder if there will be anything left of my previous faith, when I am "through".

1 comment:

David said...

It sounds from this post that you are no longer a committed Christian. I had thought from some of your previous posts that you were operating from a "canonical" point of view. Would you consider posting, if you haven't already, a summary of your current belief set?

Regards, David