Wholly Rambling Thoughts About Faith and Our Culture:

Another facet of our culture in this close of 2006 is the stated belief out there, because we keep hearing it and seeing books published about it, that faith and faith people are the cause of all war and turmoil in the world—we’re the cause of all bad things in all areas of life! In their eyes, all wars and rumors of wars, the Crusades, the Salem witch burnings, the Scopes monkey trial, right down to the present troubles of today—all of that is because of faith people. And somehow the celebration of Christmas has become a problem to some. Just how that came about is confusing to me, but it now seems that a manger scene, in a public place, has become a separation of church and state issue. And don’t let Christmas get loose in the stores either—that is sinister because it means that the celebrators of Christmas have some ominous plot in mind for Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Loews, Home Depot, etc. Any mention of Christmas, in any place other than on church property, is defined as offensive, dangerous, and insensitive to their animas and non-participation in the holiday. It is even offensive to have a store or a person wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, whoever you may be.

We Christian fanatics are out to cause mayhem and murder, and to prove it, just look around the world and see what we have caused. History does indicate that there have been some wars and atrocities to which religion has contributed much—the radical and fanatical sections of numerous religions have caused some real mayhem and misery. Yet history also reveals that these religious comparisons pale and shrivel when compared to the mass killings and butchery that has gone on in the past and is happening now. Just look at the contributions of Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, and Mao Tse-tung. These five ordered the murders of more that 150 million people—and they did it coldly, efficiently, methodically, and completely without any guilt or remorse—and they didn’t have to take a sleeping pill at night to sleep. They cared not a whit for the wars and carnage, pain and anguish they caused. That kind of mass murder is still going on in some countries today—the names of the players has changed, but the outcome in death, destruction, misery and mayhem is the all too familiar—just watch the news to see the starvation and murder that is presented daily, with no one, no country, no UN seemingly very interested in stopping it.

And church/faith people cause problems for the world? And church/faith people are the real killers of life, limb, and soul? If only those church/faith based people just would go away, the world would be all peace and light. I can’t imagine people who do any real exanimation of history and any kind of reflective thinking can come up with such a notion and try to pass it off as accurate. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that in a world uninfluenced by faith, people would no longer find or invent reasons to slaughter and maim each other! History reveals that we humans are very talented in finding ways to disagree very disagreeably. That tendency seems to be original factory equipment and not something that we choose to add on later—and faith is needed to combat it. There is evil in the world and in people—and when it gets loose it is awesome to see what suffering it can cause.

The Christmas/Christian/faith controversy comes up in some unique situations. And I am often surprised that so much can be made of some act or behavior that seems quite innocuous. For instance, recently a British Airways employee working at Heathrow Airport in London was placed on unpaid leave for refusing to cover up or remove a quite small cross that she has been wearing for years. And that bit of news was followed up by another—the College of William and Mary removed the cross that had been in its chapel for 307 years. The reason they gave was they were attempting to make the chapel less “faith-specific.”

These are examples of news items that I find confusing. I guess that I just don’t get it! My question, upon reading about these is this: “What’s the big deal here?” Was the airline employee reading verse from the Bible as she checked tickets? Perhaps she was asking if they knew their eternal destination as well as they knew their geographical destination—that really would be obnoxious. But no, just wearing a very small cross and going about her job. And why would William & Mary worry about being faith unspecific when they had spent the last 307 years being faith specific? The Christian community is not the faith based community providing willing adherents stepping up to strap on explosive vests and blowing airplanes, people, and buildings apart—that kind of religious murder seems to be the specialty of the Muslim community.

I guess that in a society that has become defined as rude, crude, lewd, and common, a person who attempts to live with values, faith, dignity and class is considered to be a radical. So call me a radical! As 2007 nears its dawning, I think making an effort to go through 07 as a radical is a good choice. I hope I can do it! So here’s to a New Year during which we attempt to live our individual lives with a foundation based on values, faith, dignity and class.

Culture war—you bet! The culture of the rude, crude, lewd, and common! National Service for all for two years—this would help everyone.

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