Sunday, February 22, 2009

Living in the buckle of the bible belt, talking from my heart

At last, I hear it from the pulpit. There are others as well who have never understood or thought that a good God would kill his own child to save others? That never made sense to me. Why would a loving God bonk his or her child on the head with a wooden cross, nail them up and make them suffer to forgive me for something I did not know I did. I really could not think of anything I did that could be so horrible that would make a loving God kill someone. I have never been able to make the connection or know how that works. And, I really don't like singing "Onward Christian Soldiers." Just call me a Unitarian Quaker or a peacenik. I just never understood Easter except for the Easter egg hunt. And no one ever had a very good explanation until today.

Today, John and I were walking to the shuttle bus, to hitch a ride to church. We had barely got out our gate and here come to shiny faced ladies with Bibles under their armpits trying to save the neighborhood. Jesus knocked and I did not hear him. Or was it the ladies knocked and I was already getting ready to go to church and did not hear them. We tried to act civil although the hair on my neck was beginning to stiffen. "The neighbors are out of town and the house next to them is an illegal business in a residential neighborhood." We said as they knocked on the doors next to our house. And to keep from having an in depth conversation, I replied, "And we are on our way to church, Unitarian Church." Or do we always dress this way on Sunday morning and look we are on a mission. I figured the words Unitarian Church would make them step back as the fundamentalist think we are heathens.

Yes, we live in the bible belt and we had a second incident today as we headed to lunch for a burger and a cold draft beer and another semi-homeless guy handed us each a little white slip of paper that said "Jesus is Alive, Are you?" and on the back it said, Please pray this prayer out-loud,
"I know that Jesus died for me at Calvary, so that all my sins could be forgiven......" Not again!

I hardly had a moments peace before the Jesus fan club was after us again. The fan club would not bother me so much if they were kinder and a little more (or a lot more) open minded.

Paradise in now and here according to the soft and lovely words at my church today. And, it is all about history. The sacrifice information as well as images of Jesus dieing on the cross for us started in the 12th century. Get it? 1200 years past the life of the life of Jesus. That is a lot of time for translation and misinformation. Before that, the Jesus message was life is great now and you don't have to wait until later. And, the political implications that "war in the name of God" is OK became popular then as well. Before that God and Jesus appeared to be more loving. OK, this is in a nutshell but I intend to read the book, Saving Paradise by our guest Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, first female permanent head of an accredited theological school.

This is my muse and yes, I have probably offended plenty again. That is not my intent. Generally my religion is my business and I respect the rights of others to choose their path.
There is no new religion. Over all these years every type of religious belief has a label.

Blogs are a bit weird. This is journal writing for public eyes. This is publicly looking inward. This is sharing my private joy that religion does not have to be threatening to be effective. If you just live a decent life and treat others with love and kindness that ought to help.

Paradise is here and now if you please. My God is kind.

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