“Anti” is As Harmful as “Only”
Before I begin this musing, please accept the knowledge that this is merely a musing; I am not attempting to be academic; however, this musing is heartfelt and necessary in today’s politically charged religious climate. I have been compelled to write this because of my reaction to a sampling of postings on Facebook.
I have argued in more than one academic essay “the American public is becoming less churched, and as this happens that same public is receiving ‘spiritual’ teaching from the religion of politics instead of theology.” Anti religious rants need to be directed toward the correct source, religion in politics, and not those who profess their faith outside of politics.
I was raised in a typical Christian home; we did not attend church, we did not study Christian scriptures, and yet we were called to live up to an ideology based on the mythology of religion passed to us from our societal influences. As I grew into a religious slumber I began to receive my understanding of God through the attitudes of those around me not from religious scholars or theologians. In my adulthood I have chosen to study religion in academia; studying the history of religions and the impact that society has had on that history causes me to discern the difference between theological religious teachings and the current political attempt to affect religious understanding.
While it is true that I am becoming less confined to Christian ideology in my beliefs, it is not true that I am becoming “anti” Christian; I feel that “Anti Christian” or “anti anything” is as harmful to my well being as “Only Christian”. I also find that as I move out of the box of mythology around Christianity I am becoming encompassed by the vastness of God through the teachings of all world religions; I am also profoundly aware that all world religions, including Christianity, are historically defined by society; although it seems as if in the modern world this is true for Christianity more so than other religions (possibly more on that in a future musing). But suffice it to say that there are fundamental reasons that the term Christianity is a huge umbrella that includes everything from the Orthodox Catholic religions to the storefront churches that can be found in any-town USA.
When I read posting on Facebook discrediting Christianity I am saddened; not by the attack on Christianity but on the falsehood about Christianity that compelled the writer to react. It is disheartening to experience the opening and closing of a mind within a single moment; most of the anti Christian postings are based on pseudo Christian based rants that are anti something, be it anti-abortion, anti-same-sex-marriage, anti-Muslim, or anti-any-number-of -things. The loving and healthy approach to these statements of concrete anti… is not another concrete anti statement; we cannot remove the blinders of limitation by inflicting yet more limitations.
As I become less boxed into my religiosity I am becoming freer in my religious beliefs. As I become freer in my beliefs I am more able to allow others to disagree with me simply because I too have been at that stage of religiosity at some point in time. In other words, I am becoming more able to allow others to grow and discern in the timing that their soul calls for, not in the timing that makes me comfortable. And so I reach an end of this musing, or rant if you prefer, and in the end I ask all who read this to please meet resistance with positive pressure by meeting anger with love, and to give understanding when you receive no understanding. The fight is political not spiritual; however, our spiritual well being, both personally and societal, depends on freeing the spirits of our neighbors; negative energy expended will create negative energy in return; if you don’t’ agree simply watch your own reaction to those who do not agree with you; how readily do you meet that disagreement with loving understanding?