With the ever-increasing failings of men evident around the globe these days, I was considering leaving the agnostic camp and heading back into God’s world. A recovering, lapsed-Catholic, I fell out of touch with God at a fairly early age, as my parents no longer enforced the Catholic school attending, church going rules that were in place for my five older siblings. Also, Elton John’s song Levon said that the New York Times proclaimed God is dead, so I guess I took it literally. In place of Catholic school, I attended Catechism classes and learned all about the Church’s history including the sanitized story of the Crusades. Wow, what glorious heroes all of these soldiers of the various Popes, on their beautiful horses, were. Of course there are two sides to every story, but no matter how you slice it, the Crusades represent to the Muslim world a devastation of their culture by the various soldiers of the various Popes. Soon after 9/11, our dim-witted leader used the word Crusade to describe our fight against terrorism, and war enabler Colin Powell used it while coaxing Pakistani General / (President to Friends) Pervez Musharraff to join the coalition of the willing. Similar to his “bring it on” rhetoric, this serves as another wonderful example of a diplomatic-free zone around this White House. In order to fight this permanent ‘war on terror’, we need allies, and starting a holy war with a billion Muslims doesn’t seem too beneficial, unless of course you’re an arms dealer, and oh yeah, poppy Bush is one, so carry on! There is a group here on campus that goes by Campus Crusade for Christ or something of that nature, and I wonder if they are aware of what the Crusades represent to many of our fellow students. What would Jesus think of all of the death and suffering brought in his name? Maybe they just don’t care. Sort of like the Republican leadership didn’t care if their carefully gay Florida Congressman Foley had a sweet spot for teenage boys that had the misfortune to be Congressional pages in proximity to him. If this scandal has a familiar ring, look to the Catholic Church for the bell. The Congressional Republican leadership was acting like the Catholic hierarchy, which played shell games with men accused of sexually abusing children. They might not be heeding the teachings of the Apostles, but they’re using the cover up and spin the child abuse doctrine. Denny, step down already and enjoy the profits from your Prairie Parkway land scheme you helped facilitate. Get out while you can still pretend to have some dignity rather than being thrown out on your ass. So what happened to the morally superior Republicans? Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and they have enjoyed absolute power in this country. When holding power becomes more important than protecting children, and when politicians try to dismantle the constitution and inject prayer into schools and the public square, and tell women what to do with their bodies, this sounds a lot more like a Taliban society than a true democracy. The fundamentalists which are now the “Democracy” we brought to Iraq, are supporters of Hezbollah and Iran, and will impose a harsh new law on the land that strips women of the secular freedom they had with Saddam and will force them to be covered and silent. The Iraqis might have had a dictator with Saddam, but as long as they didn’t speak or act out against the Man, they were able to live somewhat normal, modern lives with electricity, phones, running water, big televisions, and women were allowed to work in the professions and wear whatever they wanted. Now, all of those things are shattered, and religious fanatics are taking over.
Barack Obama was ahead of the curve on this as he called for Democrats to embrace their spiritual inner-beings, and not be afraid to talk values. In his Universal Values speech Obama said:
“In the months and years to come, I am hopeful we can bridge these gaps and overcome the prejudices each of us brings to this debate. I believe that Americans want this. No matter how religious they may or may not be, people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool to attack and divide.
Americans are looking for a deeper, fuller conversation about religion in this country. They might not change their positions on certain issues, but they are willing to listen and learn from those who are willing to speak in reasonable terms — those who know of the central and awesome place that God holds in the lives of so many, and who refuse to treat faith as simply another political issue with which to score points.”
Well said sir, and while you’re all working that out, I’ll be heading back to Camp Agnostic until the return of Jesus. He is supposed to be back soon, isn’t he?
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