Monday, December 18, 2006

How religious beliefs shape today's issues |

How religious beliefs shape today's issues - op-ed by Rebeca Chapa at "...For too long, hard-line Christian conservatives have dominated the national political agenda by focusing on inflammatory issues such as abortion, evolution, gay marriage and stem cell research.

None of these issues is unimportant or easy. Nor should they be, for they force us to face the very nature of human life, how it came to be and what it means to be alive.

Yet reliance solely on biblical Scripture transforms these issues into easy, black-and-white ones. Rather than mine the complexities of human sexuality or consider the human context of Scripture, it's easier to point to Leviticus 18 or the first three books of Genesis and close the mind to deeper understanding.

Recently, Rabbi Melissa Weintraub of Rabbis for Human Rights spoke to a group at St. Mary's University in San Antonio. A serene speaker with clarity of diction, Weintraub addressed a question that applies to many from different religions, backgrounds and philosophies.

Why do we all think we're right?

The Torah and the Bible are complex texts, she said, and any 'holy war' is really a battle over their meaning —- hermeneutical jousting, to use her term."


At 12:56 PM, Blogger mike rucker said...

Man, wasn't this a great editorial? I sent Rebeca an email saying that I was getting tired of being John the Baptist here southwest of Atlanta (Fairburn), crying in the wilderness the very words she penned so well. "Why do we all think we're right?" - so true. And my complaint to the church is that it's that very insistence on being *right* that's keeping us from being the *light*
that Jesus commanded us to be.

I have a meeting in a little over an hour with a couple of pastors of the church I attend - actually, I should probably say attend*ed*: I had to stop going to Sunday School and the Sunday a.m. service because I got tired of the conversation always being one-directional, with no time for discussion or opposing views. I've got my notes scribbled on the back of an envelope - a subconcious attempt to link me with Lincoln, I suppose. I want to challenge them at Christmas, as we celebrate Jesus birth - of God coming into the world - that it's time the church decided to step back into it, to. To me, our
singular problem is that we see our sole purpose is to save people from an "eternal hell" - and that perspective essentially makes this life here meaningless. I don't read that Jesus was all that concerned with hell - he met people in their lives here. I think it's time we do the same.

Oh well, I have a blog of my rantings at, if you care to read it. Please keep posting; glad to come across your blog.

Mike Rucker
Fairburn, GA


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