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Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Cruel Side of Religiosity's Passion

As you try to follow Jesus, are you becoming more free to love others, or becoming more constrained by religious rules? Why? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1442).

There are virtually no religious impediments in the Methodist church to loving others.  In fact, my local church has a plethora of service opportunities.  The social pressures today that encourage a chilling approach to others include such statements as: the poor are lazy and want everything handed to them on a silver platter...don't succumb to addressing their alleged needs.  Never humor the poor.  A fair minimum wage would undermine capitalism.  Fairness must only and always be determined by a free market.  Economic considerations must always be determinant at the expense of "soft" speculations regarding social justice and fairness.  The gatekeeper for healthcare is and should only be private wealth.  We must never do anything that could be interpreted by anyone, anytime, anywhere as weakness.  We must always employ hard as nails strength in domestic and foreign policy.  All Christian virtues can be interpreted as weakness.  Therefore realpolitik must always rule over Christian values.  There are no gray areas where prayerful guidance is required, everything is always black or white and hardened principles must always rule over the fantasies of weak, romantic, religious folk.   Never look further than the individual for causes of crime.  Put criminals behind bars and throw away the key. Righteousness and rectitude demand it.  These are just a few of the rules we are constantly encouraged to live by--and these are not church religious views so much as political views widely endorsed by a major U.S. political party.  The fervor of their adherents indicates a "true believer" passion that approaches rank religiosity. 

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