Sunday, December 21, 2008


Where to start?
There's snow, all over the place and not stopping.
There's my cat, who will not go outside and expects me to fill in the entertainment vacuum.
And Barack Obama has asked Rick Warren, the evangelical, anti-gay right wing Rick Warren, to do the invocation at his inauguration.

I was hoping he would at least wait til he was actually president before he started disappointing us.

I expected some disappointment. As much as I admire the guy, he is a just-a-leetle bit too far to the right side of center for me. Of course, my center is probably just-a-leetle bit too far left for most folks. But I didn't think i would start to have issues so soon.

Now the Rev. Warren has some good qualities. But no one is all bad. Heck, even Hitler wanted his country to produce a car everyone could afford. That's a good thing, right? The fact that the Beetle became wildly popular among people who stood against everything Hitler was for is just ONE of life's little ironies.
Still, Rick Warrens' opinions about gays and abortion and his endorsement of the usual evangelical sex hang-ups don't show any understanding of the reality of people's lives. And they certainly don't reflect the ideal of inclusiveness which animated this country from its beginnings (well, except for the slaves), nor do they relate to the radical inclusiveness of Jesus's teachings. What would Jesus think about "megachurches?"
There is a large group of people, of all sorts, who feel that scripture is a dead document. That is, it must be accepted as written without any thought to the times in which it was written, and how times might be different now.

I'm a person who thinks that you can glean a lot of understanding and enlightenment about the human condition and our relation to "the divine" thru reading of scripture. But I cannot leave out trying to understand the times in which the various parts of scripture were written.

Is contemporary America in any way analogous to the struggles of a small group of people trying to survive in a hostile environment with the possibility, and at times, the actuality of slavery and extinction of their clan, beliefs and way of life?

Physically at least, people who have had to depend upon God for manna are in a different existential sphere than people who can run down to the local Stop and Shop for their daily bread.
When a tribe depends so desperately upon reproduction for survival, it could be natural to have rules against masturbation, abortion, homosexuality. Also rules about keeping the women in the house, not only to assure the proper paternity, but also to try to keep the death at birth rate down. Not saying that's right, just saying I can see the reasoning there.

But we have 300 million Americans. How many more do we need? I'm just bringing that up because I think our present situation means we should look for more timely and relevant guidance in scripture than rules about reproduction. And I am not making a blanket endorsement of abortion as birth control. Women close to me have undergone abortions, and with good reason. And not just because they were too feckless or irresponsible to use other birth control options. I'm just throwing this in because this is one of those hot items the evangelical right likes to jump on.

What I mean is that if you look at scripture in general, and the life and teachings of Jesus in particular, you could find a more practical, responsible guide for living. And if one follows that guide, a lot of these other issues become moot. Not that, say, unwanted pregnancies wouldn't happen, but they might be dealt with in a more honest and humane manner.

We are not the ancient Hebrews (nor the ancient arabic tribes, for that matter) and we shouldn't try to be them, think like them or act like them.

My rant for the day.
How'd I get here? Oh yeah, I started with Obama. He's got my support so far, i hope he doesn't ef it up.

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