Mary Pitt: Dude, I Want My Religion Back
Dude, I Want My Religion Back
by Mary Pitt
Despite a very long lifetime of studying, of being trained in moral behavior by conscientious study of the Holy Bible, and despite many prayerful hours of seeking the peace of mind of being able to accept the recent events in history, I find myself angry. I realize that anger is a non-productive emotion and to be avoided if at all possible, but I find it no longer possible to ignore the assault that has been launched against the core beliefs of my very soul. The Eternal Truth that is taught within the worn pages of the Good Book has been turned into a virtual excuse for the invasion of foreign lands and the unforgiveable slaughter of innocent civilians, many of them children. Even Jesus lost his temper with the money-changers in the Temple!
Now, I find myself besieged by a type of "Christian" who want to assume the powers of government, to pass laws which discriminate against whole classes of people whom they deem to be "unworthy" and to coerce people to live within the tenets of THEIR interpretations of the Word of God. They insert their words into public documents and intrude their religious icons into public places at public expense. They pass laws regarding the conduct of holy matrimony and private commitments between individuals. They proclaim their religious practices to be right and all others wrong. They turn their backs on the proclamation of Jesus that His Kingdom is not of this world but in the hearts of man.
Those of us who, in good conscience, study the Word of God as given to the Gentiles by the life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and live according to those principles are told that we are "lost" and must instead accept the Gospel according to Falwell and the ancient prophets as "interpreted" by a phalanx of fellows wearing silk suits and riding in chauffered limousines. We are told that our reliance on the Words of a sandal-footed, dusty common Man who sometimes rode on a borrowed ass is not enough. We must, instead follow them.
(Lord, I have tried to "turn the other cheek", I have forgiven those who have done evil against me, I have concentrated on the beam in my own eye rather than the mote in the eye of another, but I cannot forgive the misuse of Your Word to justify the atrocious behavior of some people who take Your Name in vain, misusing your prophesies and commandments in order to further their own ends.
(I believe in You, Lord, and have been baptized into your fold. I follow your Good Shepherd, Your Son, Jesus Christ, and strive to follow His path wherever he leads. I work to help the fallen regain their feet and overcome their faults, I feed the hungry, and I contribute to a healthy life for little children, but I feel that I am as beset by contrary forces as was your servant, Job. We are surrounded by Pharisees and Sadducees, shouting their prayers on the streets and announcing that we who do not worship as they do are wrong and doomed to punishment. We are urged to deny forgiveness to our enemies and to confront evil with even more evil.. We find our great nation hated throughout the world because we choose to make war against peoples for the sins of their leaders.)
I treasure the words of Jesus in the 5th Chapter of Mathew, verse 44, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you". I consider this chapter to be the very essence of the faith that was taught by Jesus, particularly verses 3-11, best known as "The Beatitudes" which instruct us in the ways in which we should follow Him.
Verse 3 is one that I cling to in these times, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." I am certainly poor in spirit these days and so are many others as we see great cities destroyed and the slaying of all who live within them, death, hate, and destruction spread throughout the world and all done in our name and the Name of God. This blasphemy must stop! It may be accomplished in due time by God Himself, since there appears to be no man who can control it.
If man ceases to strive for true peace and brotherhood, the wrath of God will surely erupt, and it will not be pretty. For those so fond of study of the Old Testament, I recommend that they study the punishments which God visited upon the Jews during their many trials. They wandered, homeless, for forty years in the desert because of their arrogant disobedience of God, They lost their great nations and had their major cities destroyed by "natural disasters", and even the whole world became inundated because of their wickedness. These modern-day prophets may rely on the Jewish Law, but most of us prefer to rely on the Love and the Grace of God through Jesus Christ to guide us through our lives.
The Fundamentalist Christians, who have seized our government in alliance with the New World Order multi-national corporations, have placed our "Shining City on a Hill" in such a position that there can be no good outcome in order to accelerate our descent into Armageddon and The Second Coming of Christ. This arrogance in challenging the prerogative of God to set His own time for such an event is a sin equal to any of the violations of Law that were perpetrated by the ancient Jews. In the words of Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 24:6, "ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye are not troubled: for all these things shall come to pass, but the end is not yet".
He adds that we must persevere through the "false prophets", the natural disasters, and the iniquities and endure until the end and then will be saved. Lord, give us strength to persevere!
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is self-employed and active in the political arena. Her concerns are her four-generation family and the continuance of the United States as a democracy with a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people". Comments and criticism may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org .