January 22, 2007

"Whose Side Is God On, Anyway?"

This is a theme I post on periodically, but I don't think it can be emphasized often enough. In recent years, the religious right has hammered home their version of what God wants our society and laws to be and condemning as ungodly any people who hold different views.

An editorial in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel written by O. Ricardo Pimentel questions that approach:

Let's see. When God is on your side, who precisely is on the other side? See what I mean?

Implicit in these circumstances is that the other side is anti-God, though there are thankfully those in the faith movements who have far more ecumenical views about this.

My own view is that the Bible is a handy tool if it is viewed in the context of what in it is contingent and what is coherent.

In other words, stoning adulterers and a host of other practices and beliefs were contingent on a set of circumstances in a distinct culture and historical period.

No one is advocating we do these things today.

But virtues like kindness, charity, peace and justice are coherent throughout the Bible, not limited to any particular culture or era.

There's more good stuff in the column, including the concept of making value decisions with an open mind.

Now there's an idea that is timeless.

1 comment:

  1. So why can't the radical left (or even the moderates) "hammer home" their versions of Christianity? Why is it that in politics, in order to be Christian, you have to be anti-choice, anti-gay, with a pinch of sexism and racism?