January 30, 2006

Don't Trust the System, Trust the Lord

After today's vote in the U. S. senate, it is all but a certainty that Samuel Alito will be confirmed tomorrow as the next Supreme Court justice. I'm not knowledgeable enough to say conclusively if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I do know most GLBT rights groups feel strongly that his confirmation will move the Supreme Court further to the right and be a blow to their fight for equal rights.

It is a frustrating time in our nation for anyone who believes in the rights of individuals. There is little dialogue anymore. People are neatly distributed in red states and blue states. You're either for the government or against them. We're in a very black and white society that doesn't deal well with the infinite shades of grey that exist beyond the very rigid doctrine conservative leaders are pushing to make the law of our land.

The frustration of those of us working against that doctrine can be debilitating, if we allow it to be.

Education about issues is a critical, and I believe a frequently missing, part of making decisions and forming policy. There is something much more important, however, that I feel is even more sadly lacking in leaders and voters alike--the education that can only be provided by The Holy Spirit of God.

People need to work to influence our political system to effect change in our laws because it the only process available to Americans to do so. What leads us to choose a side on an important issue? Is it the loving spirit of God, or is it a personal agenda working toward protecting a person's perceived standing in society at the expense of everyone else who is not like them.

So much right wing policy has "traditional family values" wrapped around it. One of the leading religious organizations pushing the move to the right is Focus on the Family. "Preserve traditional family values," conservatives say. "Marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman," they cry.

It is absolutely true that the traditional family has a man, wife, and children. It is also true that tradition used to be that women were treated like property. In Jesus' time, if a woman's husband and sons died, she had no recourse but to beg for mercy from others. It used to be a tradition that familes had slaves--actually OWNED people.

Thankfully, our society has grown beyond those dehumanizing practices. Proponents of keeping those traditions in place often used scriptures to defend their positions, but enough people saw through that to slowly, sometimes painfully, effect positive social change.

In the United States today, scripture is again being used to slow, if not stop dead in its tracks, social change that would give GLBT individuals the rights that others in our society take for granted. God's own word is twisted to treat homosexuals as lesser beings, subject to hate crimes and denied the right to enter into the holy union of marriage.

If you remember, the devil used scripture to tempt Jesus when he spent 40 days in the desert. The bible is the greatest single source of wisdom in the history of mankind, but even that can used to promote the agenda of people ahead of the agenda of God.

As individuals, we need to seek God's will for our lives, and His plan for how we should affect the lives of others. We then need to ACT on those plans, inside our churches and within our political system, two seperate and distinct venues to improve the quality of our lives and those we come in contact with.

I am confident that His plans never include hatred toward our fellow man, committing unprovoked acts of violence, or denying rights to people based on what gender God made them natrually attracted to. If anybody tells you differently, no matter how many millions of dollars he may have at his disposal or how many books he has written, I feel with all my heart and everything the Holy Spirit has blessed me with, that you must seriously question that person's motives. Are they trying to lead you to follow God, or themselves.

YOU are responsible for seeking God's guidance for your life. If you yield that power to any other person, then you will see their filtered version of God and literally put your eternal future in their hands.

There's only one person I trust with that, and His name is Jesus Christ. If you don't look for Him to guide your decisions every day of your life, I urge you to get connected to Him and yield control to Him. You will never, ever make a smarter or more important decision than that.

3 comments:

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. Except for one thing. God IS with us. He's with each and every one of us. God is our father and even when some of us reject him, he never rejects us. The problem is that too many Preacher and so called religious leaders have pushed gays and lesbians away from the father. It's not fair and it's not right. But they are not winning this fight. The homosexual community is beginning to push back. We are standing up and telling them that they do not speak for the lord. His love is great and vast enough to include us. And as my own father continues to tell me, "A union doesn't have to be sanctioned by the state in order to be blessed by God." I pray for the day when the fundies will open their eyes to the signs that HE has left. But you are absolutely correct. Through God we have the right of way, so to speak.

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  2. I have trouble trusting this idea, as much as I am attracted to it. I am attracted to it because you describe a God I would agree with, one who promotes love and acceptance. However, could this be viewed as another way to use God to justify actions? How can you tell the difference between your own agenda (and thereby using God to defend it) and God's agenda? It's an old question. Folks turned to God through the Bible, and ended up defending slavery. Once I turned to God and asked for Divine will in my life, and I came to the conclusion that I needed therapy to "turn straight." Was that God, or was that my own psychology on a bad day?

    I like your message though. I think it's positive and pointed in the right direction. Thank you for writing it.

    Andrew

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  3. The right-wing agenda is a kind of conservative sharia, isn't it? The only difference I see between the mullahs and ayatollahs making women wear veils and not drive cars, and the biblical governors and party leaders who push GLBTs into closets and women into submission is in the name.

    It's all sharia to me.

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