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This gets kind of religious in some ways, although you don't have to see it that way, so I'll cut it, to protect the non-believers from my musings
Interesting sermon from Phil Gulley today, all about the two types of Christians, the ones that spread gloom and doom and the ones who are optimistic about the future and see a better future for everyone, a loving world, a real heart.
He says the pessimistic Christianity is dogmatic and unbending, and he said this:
-In that Christianity, women are second-class citizens, minorities were scorned. Gay people were, and are, denied the most basic human freedom—the right to choose whom they can love. Unfortunately, this Christianity is still with us. The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, Katharine Jefferts Schori, will travel to Africa this week for an Anglican World Conference, where a number of bishops will refuse to be in the same room as her. She’s not killed anyone. She’s not harmed anyone. She is, according to everyone who knows her well, a bright, gracious, caring person. But she is a woman serving in a role they believe should be held only by men. And she had the audacity, three years ago, to say that a gay man, Gene Robinson, could be a bishop. So Katharine Jefferts Schori is seen by some as unfit to lead.
Sad, huh. And I know the Catholics rarely do better in some places. Or most religions really. As if there's some kind of linking force between sex and church, which I don't think there should be. I'd rather not know what my priest does in his spare time. I know he plays golf on a Monday. I know he likes to watch the news and Sex in the City. I know he reads the Guardian Weekly. I know where his sister lives. But I don't want to know any other things. I think that's private. And I don't see how it can make him a better or worse priest. And now that thing I raised about letting priests get married with moth1 is looming but I'd better stop there! I said we could do that one next month LOL!
There's a woman in our parish, I've mentioned her before, who has an exceedingly pessimistic view of faith, church and the world, and believes God would punish her if she sinned. She is almost cowering in her fervour, and she is cross with anyone who shows a lack of intensity in their worship. I don't like to work with her, even though I know she's lovely and intelligent. I feel she's not getting the love she ought to because she's closed herself off from that love - in order to avoid doing wrong she has surrounded herself with walls, like the man in the tank in James K Baxter's story. He didn't come out until someone shot so many holes in the walls that the tank rusted and fell apart. Then he came out, and found who was shooting at him, someone with wounds that were shining like the sun. Cool, huh ;)
JC jnr is always optimistic and that is reflected in the joy in the community. I think, well, I think I much prefer the optimistic version. Be joyful. Forgive others for their little foibles and oddities. I'm getting better and better at that. Embrace friends with a passion. Love life. Strive for goodness. *shrug* sounds very preachy LOL! I just love the idea of people being relatively happy. Not all the time, of course, but more accepting, less judgmental, more caring, less abusive, more embracing, less mean, more loving. More love. There's food for thought... and you don't just have to take the religious aspect, of course, but... Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Try loving those who don't love you. I can do it. It's hard, and it hurts, but in the long run, I think it's a better path, perhaps the road less travelled for some ;) but a more optimistic road, for sure. Okay, end of musing. Now I will take my laptop to bed. vivh will be waiting for my story in a few days! OMG!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
greenpizzazz6
Feb. 20th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
Another example of those pessimistic Christians:

My friend Kevvo is a gay christian. I don't know him well, I met him once at a food pantry and now we send the occasional e-mail, and I read his blog. I know he's had a lot of problems with the church. I wish people could just accept him, and everyone else in the world. Race, gender, sexual orientation, these things shouldn't matter.

Beyond that, good thoughts. Try loving those who don't love you I especially like that.
natesmountain
Feb. 20th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
-I wish people could just accept him, and everyone else in the world. Race, gender, sexual orientation, these things shouldn't matter.
You're so right. If colour isn't supposed to matter, how can gender or sexual orientation matter so much? It's just not right.
greenpizzazz6
Feb. 20th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
You're right. I bet in twenty or thirty years, it will be a little different. Look how far we've all made it on race! Hopefully the progress will come in other areas too.
natesmountain
Feb. 20th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
-Hopefully the progress will come in other areas too.
Well, maybe not. moth2fic was saying the other day that Russia is thinking of recriminalising homosexuality.
greenpizzazz6
Feb. 20th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
That's horrible!!!
moth2fic
Feb. 21st, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
I think everybody, regardless of religious affiliation, should try to 'love one another' and I think all the differences such as race, gender, orientation etc. should be ignored. But despite exhortations to hate the crime and not the criminal it is hard to love people who preach or practise hate, whether they're in Iran or the bible belt of America.

But I am optimistic about attitudes in my own corner of the world. They've come a long way in my lifetime and although sometimes there are backward steps the general trend is towards more tolerance and understanding. I just wish all the world would follow suit and I admire the countries that are ahead of us.
natesmountain
Feb. 21st, 2007 06:59 am (UTC)
-I just wish all the world would follow suit
If only there was a way to say to the world, 'hey, look at what we're doing, you can do it too, here's how' and the world would listen.

- I admire the countries that are ahead of us.
We've been pretty good down here. We got women to vote first in the world *g*. We have civil unions - and the gays don't have to move to Sydney any more. We have shopping seven days a week. The big supermarkets are open almost all night. The churches are always talking about joining up. We just need to pool those advances with yours, with the other countries... I guess there's an issue of what's best. I mean, some people would resent seven day a week shopping, I guess. Some would resent civil unions. Some would resent any religion existing at all... *sigh* so much rich diversity!
moth2fic
Feb. 21st, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC)
I carried on the discussion with Colin (over the pancakes) and he thinks you were lucky to have a smaller population so that in some ways change is easier.
I can see that there are arguments against seven day shopping - at the very least you have to build in safeguards for shop workers. But how civil unions can hurt anyone is beyond me. I don't think anyone has a right to resent religion - people have a right to different opinions - but not to impose them on everybody else as the fundamentalists in various parts of the world seem determined to do. I suppose most things are a matter of compromise and considering the greatest good. But some things are absolute - like no murder/cruelty etc.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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