Friday, November 14, 2008

What Would Jesus Do? No, Really. Which Box Would He Check?

We took the girls to their first rally the other night: The giant Anti-Prop 8 protest that started at the Mormon Church. To be honest, I was uncomfortable with the church-focused parts of the protest: I am fine with suporting anti-8 but didn't want to be condenming a religious group for its views. After all, they have the right to their own opinions, even if they aren't in line with mine. And, as evidenced by all the Mormons and ex-Mormons at the protest, not every single one agrees with the Powers That Be in the Mormon Church. Which is not to say that I think the the Mormon church's financial support of Prop 8 it is right or moral: In my view, it is not. And it is serious misstep in separation of church and state and all that. But my focus was Equality and that is the issue here. We are planning on going the City Hall protest on Saturday, unless the rain drowns us out.

Here is another Guest Post from Nicole, who took a much more subtle approach to disagreeing with the Mormon Church's stance:

Jesus Christ preached love and acceptance, so why don’t the churches based on his teachings do the same?

It’s quite simple; Jesus Christ’s teachings don’t lend themselves well to organized religion. In fact, Joseph Smith learned this lesson as well. If you teach people that the Christ is within them, that we are the embodiment of God, that God speaks to us directly, why would we need a Church? If you were told “here are Jesus Christ’s principles, everyday practice them, everyday grow and try to become the Christ,” wouldn’t that be a very individual and personal spirituality? Wouldn’t that be empowering? What if you used The Bible and the “heretic” gospels that were not accepted by the Catholic Church as your guide and you were free to interpret them? Would you draw different conclusions? If you removed the influence of your organized religion what would the impact be? Would you think the Crusades were a good idea? Would you think slavery was OK? Would you still think women are second class citizens? Would you care if gays wanted to marry?

The real question is…would you want this responsibility? Would you want to make these choices? Isn’t it easier to point to our organized religions and free ourselves from these decisions? Isn’t it so much easier to go to church – maybe even every Sunday – and shrug our shoulders and say, “I voted for Prop 8 because my church told me God thinks homosexuality is a sin”? Conveniently forgetting that premarital sex is a sin, divorce is a sin, abortion is a sin, theft (even petty theft like taking a pen from your employer) is a sin, extramarital affairs are sins, coveting is a sin, the list goes on…convenient.

Real Christians step up. Educate yourselves. Look beyond your religion and embrace Christ’s teachings for real.


Anonymous said...

I've commented before on my view of what being Christian or Christ-like is, and it looks like Nicole may share my opinion. I do consider myself a Catholic as I was raised that way and have always felt that church was my church (moreso the more progressive Jesuit and Franciscan orders), but I certainly don't agree with all the doctrine. If everyone who claims to be a Christian would simply follow the "golden rule" - do onto others as you'd have done to you - the world would be a much better place free of hate and discrimination, people would respect life (from conception to old age) and see the good in each other. Didn't Jesus associate with the people others shunned? Didn't he offer salvation to those others thought unworthy? Something to consider when human nature causes us to judge others or to hide behind what our churches preach.

suz said...

I too was raised Catholic but also have issues with the church, particularly its stance on homosexuality, abortion, and the role of women. I went to Catholic schools for 8 years and went to a Jesuit law school. The overwhelming message that I take from my religious upbringing is that love or charity is utmost. Love for god, love for your family, love for your neighbor. I believe not what my religion tells me to but what my heart and conscience do. And I believe that the definitions of marriage and family should have nothing to do with gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. I believe that denying a minority the rights and privileges enjoyed by the majority is wrong.

I am a heterosexual woman in a "traditional" marriage. I have nothing to gain with the legality of same sex marriages. Except a better world where my daughter, regardless of her sexual orientation, will understand that tolerance and compassion are the norm.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think they are all sins, abortion, premarital sex, homosexuality, coveting, aldultery, theft and your right the list does go on and on. But even though I don't agree with you in how you believe, to each their own, if it had passed, I wouldn't have cared one way or the other. You guys are the ones that will have to answer one day for how you lived your lives. It's you choice, your problem, your life.