I'll start this post by mentioning that I believe we are all on our own, unique, spiritual journey. I consider myself a Christian, but not the type of Christian that makes the headlines. I've felt God's presence in my life, but I'm not going to beat you over the head with it, or insist that you live your life according to my beliefs. As I said, we are all on our own unique journey. Still, I have a question. How come I never received my copy of the new version of the Bible? All I have is the old one, that tells us to love our neighbors, and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
The reason I ask is, I've noticed over the last few years that my fellow Christians seem to be getting meaner and meaner. I found a website today that inferred that the reason the average age of death for rock stars was 36.9 years was because "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days:but the years of the wicked shall be shortened." Now, that is in my old version, it's Proverbs 10:27, but I don't see anything in the Bible that categorized all musicians as wicked. This website lumped every musician on it's list into the wicked category, including Harry Chapin, a man who devoted most of his time and money to causes like ending world hunger. I seem to remember reading something about Jesus feeding a few people, too.
This website (I'm not linking to it, I don't want to give them any help spreading their poison) and so many others like it are keeping more people out of church than the Devil himself. God only knows why they are on that particular path. Maybe it's because the politicians have gotten involved.
My country has hammered it into our heads that it's patriotic to be a Christian. That would probably work out great if we were talking about upholding the Golden Rule, but we aren't really that different than so many other countries around the world that have used God's name to commit some of the most horrible acts in history. We've lost more American lives (men and women, sons and daughter, wives and husbands) in Iraq than we did on 9/11. If you still believe that Iraq was connected to 9/11 you probably did not get this far down in the post, which brings us to perhaps the main problem: I'm preaching to the choir. We all spend more time talking with those of us with a like mind than to those with opposing viewpoints, for the simple reason that it's hard to stay calm when someone you otherwise admire believes something so foreign to your experience, and way of thinking. Tempers flare, and we lose it. Bush got re-elected because the Republican Party appealed to our lowest nature. FDR said we had nothing to fear but fear itself. Bush said "Boo!" and by falling for that tactic, we got what we deserved. Buddhists everywhere are laughing at us.
I think we need to work on our self-esteem, because I believe we deserve better. Not as a nation, but as human beings.