Sunday, November 23, 2014
The semi thorn in my side.
I have a co writer at the Reader who writes a column every week like me. I am the only religious writer on the staff and about 50% of my columns have religious overtones. My editor doesn't want me to make the religious connotations overt. He doesn't want me to sound preachy. If I cover religious history, that is one thing. If I say "follow Jesus" it is another. I am narrowly limited because one time I did write a preachy article and he did not like it. Here is my response to an athiest below who wrote an article about all the religious killers in the world since the dawn of time. He has full liberties in all his writings. I wrote a response to him this week:
A lot of evil exists in the world and it cannot be attached to religion alone. Being void of a subscription to a higher power beyond your own intellect is dangerous, too. Being a marine and and educator, I wonder how your stream of thought is so entirely narrow minded. You live in a small town. Do you know 1 Christian, 1 Jew, 1 Bahai Faith, 1 Muslim, 1 Sic, 1 Buddhist or 1 of any religion that practices hospitality, laying their life down for their brother, doing what Jesus and other prophets have asked? The church is still picking up the slack of the government. I know a friend in Santa Monica who is 55 and rides his bike because his head gasket blew. He has been in a bind for six months and then turned around and loaned my friend $2,000 to publish his book. Why? Because he purposely lives a life of inconvenience to serve others. I am a political scientist and it is necessary to focus on 2 sides of every problem. When the Ukranian army recently marched to the Russian command in order to speak, the Russians were poised to kill. But they lowered their guns to speak because the Ukranians sang an old Russian battle song. Dietrich Bonhoeffer sacrificed his life in WWII so others could live. You can't be an outsider ranting about religion. You must walk a day in a religious man's shoes. Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Father Larry Rosebaugh, Phil Berrigan, Dan Berrigan, Bob Graf, Jimmy Carter. You can start with peeking into the lives of those men and women and see where you end up. Violence is an act of anger and hatred. Maybe the Islamic state expects moral perfection of their brothers. Religious or not, they won't get it. They can only do it by taking the log out of their own eye.