...one more post about religion?
“Anything except politics and religion,” I was always told, were acceptable topics of conversation. But after all the reactions I got to yesterday’s mini-rant about Politically Correct words regarding various aspects of different faiths, I want to weigh in once more in a different direction.
(PREACHY POST WARNING!)
(Feel free to disagree.)
Have you read about the trial of the man in Afghanistan? The one who converted from Islam to Christianity?
There was a quote in my local paper this morning, attributed to a radical Islamic (is that a redundancy?) cleric. He allegedly said, “The man must die. We cannot allow God to be humiliated.” (“Humiliated?” God? Hmmm.)
Reminds me of a Bible story.
In the Old Testament book of Judges, chapter 6, we find the tale of Gideon, who tore down the altar of a local “god” Baal. The residents of the town got bent out of shape (that’s my paraphrase — the Bible says it a little differently) and demanded of Gideon’s father that Gideon be put to death for his act of irreverence.
Gideon’s dad refused to bring his son out to them and said, “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar." (NIV)
Ooooooo!! Do you think so?! Well, can’t Allah defend himself? Does he need men to defend his honor? Does God feel humiliation?
A related point: What makes Christianity unique among faiths? Oh, okay, probably a lot of things. But think about this one: Christianity is one of the very few faiths that doesn’t require you to earn God’s favor. Without going into the whole argument of faith vs. works, and penance, and all that... The basic requirement of Christianity is that you believe.
People LIKE to “earn” something by their own strength, intelligence or diligence. And guilt is a strong motivator. If you are taught that righteousness is only obtained by DOING something, you’ll want to do it and you’ll feel guilty if you don’t do it. Thus you can be manipulated into doing almost anything in the name of that religion.
Including blowing yourself to bits as a suicide bomber, and other acts of terrorism.
Personally, I’d rather just believe.
End of sermon. (Feel free to take your best shot.)
Tomorrow I’ll be posting on a different topic, I promise. And it WON’T be politics!