The cartoon is so spot on today – but not just for the GOP. This also happens when churches fight.
I’ve told the story of how my Fundamental Baptist preacher told me I was marrying the Devil himself. And several people in my fiancé’s church told me to my face that I was not welcome there because I came from ‘that church’.
A total feud broke out – and a nasty feud.
That feud made the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud look like a picnic in the park!
My husband stayed in preaching for a year in that church until we just said OH HELL NO and he quit preaching, he dropped out of his last year of seminary (during the year) and we left the church.
That is when I lost all faith in churches but I did not lose my faith in God.
But my faith in God has also changed. I no longer believe he is some Supreme Being sitting on some golden throne in Heaven. Rather – I believe God exists as a positive energy force. God can be seen in the beauty that surrounds us – the blue sky, the yellow sun, the green grass.
God can be seen in the smiles of children playing. God can be heard in the laughter of children.
God can been in the faces of my children and grandchildren.
When my brother died from liver cancer, I remember riding in the car to his memorial service. It is a nine-hour road trip. I was starting my second round of chemotherapy treatment. It was grueling. I looked like death warmed over. My surgery was still fresh on my mind – even though it had been six months before.
I sat in the front seat of the car and looked up into the beautiful blue sky filled with fluffy white clouds. I began to wonder where this Heaven might be – was my brother and my other loved ones that passed on watching me? Were they ‘somewhere’ that the veil is so thin they can see us but we can’t see them?
During the worst times of my cancer surgery and all those 32 days in the hospital, I felt my Grandpa was nearby. My Grandpa died in 1971 – so his physical body was nowhere to be found.
What I do believe is this: love is a powerful force. And in that time of crisis and desperate prognosis, I believe my Grandpa’s love broke through that veil and showed himself to me several times. Oh, he did not perform any miracles – he simply let me know that I was not alone and my loved ones were watching over me.
And – in the end – isn’t that all what we really want? To know that we are loved and cared for – even by those that have died and gone?
I saw my brother once after he died. He told me that he was not tired any more. The last phone call with my brother (4 days before his death) was when I knew he was telling me his final good-bye. He kept telling me – that he was tired – so tired. I told him that it was okay to leave when he was ready and his wife Nancy was waiting for him.
So – you see – my view of God has changed tremendously. I remember sitting in that Fundy Baptist Church with the preacher man wailing, yelling and screeching as to how God sits on his throne and all men will bow down to him. This preacher also seemed to relish in those sermons where all the sinners were thrown into Hell and all that fire and brimstone.
While I do believe in basic morals – and the Ten Commandments are a good start – I don’t believe that one religion has been given the ‘only’ right way to get to Heaven.
Because – as I’ve said many times before – if Heaven is where these Bible Thumpers are going to be – why the Hell would I want to be next to them for eternity? That would not be Heaven to me.
BTW – those children playing are also not even thinking about issues like – who is black, who is white, who is Christian, who is Muslim, who is rich and who is poor.
Maybe this is the true Heaven? When babies are born – they are not born with hate.
Maybe Heaven really is here on Earth – but then babies grow up and learn how to hate – so Heaven doesn’t last very long in a person’s life.
And – the Bible does talk about how God and Jesus is all about love. And Jesus did talk about the children and how a little child shall lead them.
Maybe adults need to just STFU and learn a few things from babies?
But – then again – John Lennon summed it up quite nicely in his song ‘Imagine’ – didn’t he?
I also remember what Holy Hell broke loose when John Lennon infamously said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
Remember that? Lennon was always seen as the Jesus Hater from that moment on.
I know I’ve told you before that ‘love’ is what I think it’s ALL about, what saves us — and, by that I don’t even mean I believe in being ‘saved’ for life after death. I’ve often thought it would be comforting to believe in a life after death. I was told often by many at the time of my Mother’s death that she had been reunited with (put a long list of loved ones names here). What a comforting thought and I’m sincerely happy so many have that comfort. I, instead, don’t think my Mother was ever separated from those she loved and that she carried their love with her. I know she left her love and I have it every day.
There is no religion, no race, no ethnicity that has a ‘lock’ on love. It’s shared by all and not even limited to humans. Look at all the people who share love with animals and plants and do good deeds and kindnesses for our neighborhoods and even our world. God is love and so is Allah and all the other names used, just like there are many books believed to be full of instructions on morality and the words of faith. I’m not able to look around our world and miss seeing hate, bitterness, immorality, and downright meanness everywhere, just as I see love, kindness, morality everywhere. We’re all humans and because I believe in love I think most of us are trying to be better humans with or without religion.
I agree, totally: “love” is THE message! And the answer, too.
I am never sure if the Sunday school class that my wife and I go to cringe when I walk in or are joyful when they see me walk in? I am just as opinionated and outspoken there as here. But the only one who does react much is my wife! And even she has gotten where she does not kick my leg under the table LOL…
What indy has described reminded me of Huber v. Thorn, 189 Kan. 631 (1962). There’s just something special about disputes in a Baptist church.
fnord – can you make this you tube video pop for me?
It is Dana Carvey as the Church Lady – remember that character ?
Isn’t that Special..
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