Tuesday, April 24, 2007
God and Politics
It's the end of the semester, so I'm being lazy and making this response to Brian's blog work double-duty as a blog entry, with minor adjustments.
It was Sunday and I'd just finished reading other blog posts about the politicizing of Christianity and thought it interesting (or perhaps not)to mention; as soon as I began reading the post Brian had on his blog, the Jehovah's Witnesses were knocking at my door, reading from Titus. It had something to do with education. The blog entry reminded me of what I found so tiresome about going to church when I was younger--the explication of texts was always the same. It actually became part of the reason why I wanted to write--to find new ways to describe things that surround us. The work has been done before and the comforting phrases that sound good just end up being meaningless as the weekly repetitions grow. Why couldn't people find new ways of saying things? Why the stereotypes? And most annoyingly, why all this arguing using circular logic to prove things that really are, at base, a matter of faith? The missionaries on my porch said the same phrases the same way, as anything else I'd heard. The visit was brief, but cordial. The Witnesses gone, their pamphlet in the kitchen wastebasket, I'd gone to look up Titus. 2:2 was the verse the little girl read with her Mother there to provide moral support: "teach what is consistent with sound doctrine." I read further past the stuff around verse 9 telling slaves to be submissive to their masters and not talk back, etc but what I found interesting in light of the events and readings of the morning, as well as what Sherman Alexie spoke of on Thursday, was further on in the book: "But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. After a first and second admonition, have nothing to do with anyone who causes diversions, since you know that such a person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned." For such people, perhaps less of a focus on legislation and condemnation and more of a focus on what their faith really is to them would be more of a draw. It certainly wouldn't hurt trying.