Walls define and determine differences and distinctions. These are boundaries that help identify things of importance and value. This is what the Church has done through the ages in separating the sacred and the secular. Yesterday's post was about how faith and the political have been defined and understood, as 'the real". I have problems with all of them and these are the reasons, but then, faith is not about reasons, it is about vision and focus.
The Church has defined what one should believe, but can we believe in virgins that give birth? Can we believe that men are totally depraved, meaning there is nothing redeemable about them? Can we believe that we all came from one couple? And what about the discrepecies in regards to the text itself ? Belief become unbelievable in today's scientific paradigm.
Then there are those that believe that one's faith is interpreted by "bearing the cross". These follow in Jesus' steps as the "Christ of faith". But, how is one to identify with a person that lived long ago, without giving up one's own identity? Don't adults have a well-formed identity, as to their personal values and goals?
There are others that want to bring peace and good-will on earth by investigating where the history and the myth intersect and work to dissolve differences between those that are marginlized. These could be those in human need (economic inequality) and/or those that are at political odds (political peace). But, how is one to believe in the free market and the Protestant work ethic if one also adheres to economic equality? And how is peace to come with so many differences that it has been impossible to rectify in the past? Are we at a place where those that have been at political odds can relate differently, or will there always be ideological differences in the world? I believe that ideology drives everything an individual/society holds as a value, and because of these irreconciable differences, then, we will be holding to naivete' to believe that peace will ever come world-wide and still uphold liberty of conscience.
So, where is the sacred and secular today? It is dead, except in segments of sectarian religious traditions. Life can be embraced as a gift of the "gods" or "God", or it can be embraced as a value itself.
Liberty, though, is not a value that is granted by nature, but must be nurtured and valued above all. Political liberty is hard won with shed blood and is not to be taken for granted. Leaders are to values those under them, so that justice will be forthcoming in equal consideration. The world is "at odds" and the walls or the defining elements cannot fall down without a disregard and disrespect for our nation's defining values of liberty itself..
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