Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ye of little faith . . . .

Just taking a philosophical moment before I dive back into an online Linux test this fine, chilly, wet winter afternoon.

Driving by the local Baptist church this morning (it's hard not to - it's a block from my house), I had a strong flash of why I'm an agnostic. The elders of this same church decreed, and the congregation assented, that an acquaintance's son could not lie in state there for his funeral because he had died of AIDS and had been gay.

Whether or not you might agree with one's choice of life (to an point - I still feel that Hitler, Stalin, Mao and their political and philosophical ilk through the ages should roast in hell like an overdone side of beef), doesn't there come a time when we all should show some humanity?

I can't help at laugh at a church (institution and locality) which states that getting down on your knees and reciting a prayer wins you instant salvation, yet at the same time forgets the concepts of forgiveness and loving one's fellow human.

Several times a week, I pass by that church and see people attending Sunday services, Sunday school, youth groups, Wednesday gatherings and other functions. I see the pastor oversee the care and lawn grooming of the church. I see the congregation with their noses out of joint because nearby residents dare park their cars on the adjacent street and deny God's children a place to park their SUVs and sedans near the church doors.

I think of a church which places great mystical stock on taking a dip in water while calling other churches which place great stock in a bite of wafer and a drink of wine or juice heretical. And it works both ways.

And then I think of a father who's told that his son isn't good enough for a church funeral because he contracted AIDS.

And that's why I'm an agnostic.


Blogger Jane said...

They are a piece of work these churches, I thought they believed in Christ's forgiveness.

5:14 PM  
Blogger anna said...

I don't think that behaviour has anything to do with religion or any god. That behaviour is all about those particular people and their jackassery.

6:33 PM  
Blogger jromer said...

what exactly is there to forgive for chrissakes? oh they just need to shut cousin who is christian says all sins are equal. so lying is the same as lying down with men...okay so saying, you don't look fat in that dress is the same as kissing a man and fondling him if you are a man yourself? find it hard to accept that falling in love with someone is the same as murdering someone.
a friend of mine said, it's got nothing on sleeping with and molesting children and frankly that's the worst crime in her eyes. but nothing there....soo....
oh what the hell. i'm screaming at the choir here. the people with their panties in a wad about this are too busy trying to ignore their own sexual tendencies to listen to me about anything.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I'm sorry they did that to your friend's son. There really is no excuse for a religion that professes love and forgiveness to let someone down in their time of grief.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Oh no, that is too sad. Views on sin to the side, funerals are for the grieving survivors. What a nasty blow for that family.

Minister friends of mine do funerals for anyone who asks, whatever their faith. The ritual serves a purpose for saying goodbye to someone who was loved by someone.

I could do without the one who uses the opportunity to preach all day, but at least he's willing to officiate.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Kindness (disarms the difficult) said...

Fronty, that is really sad. Have you had a chance to catch this series, One Punk Under God? Jay Baker, son of Jim and Tammy Faye, started a ministry that accepts everyone... everyone. I haven't seen every episode but plan to download it from iTunes.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Within Without said...

You couldn't have said it any better, Fronty.

It's the lame-brained, shallow, despicably unhuman tendencies of such people that keep me clear of any and all churches if I can help it.

The fact so many dehumanizing things can happen inside a so-called house of God is exactly what drives people away from the church.

There's religion, then there's spirituality. For me, the only choice is the latter.

7:34 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

This is one sad aspect that one is facing almost all over the world. Here in India even doctors refuse to treat a person who is HIV+. He/she is faces stigma in all phases of his day to day interaction.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Dear FFE

On the face of it, this Baptist Church does not appear in a good light

and We all of course greatly sympathize with this young man's parents in their loss

To lose any Child is any parent's nightmare and to lose a Child through Aids is especially miserable - it is such an obnoxious disease - and (at the risk of sounding unsympathetic) it is generally such an avoidable illness

but I wonder if it is fair or scientific to disbelieve in the Good Lord, because of the conduct of his Supporters

After all, you presumably do not fall into agnosticism about Mt St Helens, because you do not approve of the consequences so infelicitous to those who were in the path of its pyroclastic flow

Would it be interesting for you as a journalist to ask the Church for their side of this matter and then report to us

eg this episode would sound very different if this Baptist Church did not have the facilities for a body to lie in state or if there was some other reason for what happened

As to Parking, here in Inglaterra more often it is the selfish & irresponsible parking of Churchgoers that puts local residents' noses out rather than vice versa

I have the honour (err - honor in the American usage) to remain your obedient servant and

Tot siens

G Eagle

11:39 AM  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

Thank you M. Eagle, and your points are well taken.

When I say 'agnostic,' I mean it in the sense of questioning the mystical rituals and beliefs ascribed to a supreme being by whatever 'church.' Historically, agnostics have not been unbelievers or questioners of the existence of a supreme being or entity - they question man's attempts to set up a belief system around it.

I suppose that my view of organized religions in general is the same as my opinions on the 'cargo cults.'

I also place great stock in a comment made by a scientist of whose name I forget, who said something to the effect that one cannot see a sunset and sunrise and not believe in God.

And, lest you might infer that I'm saying religion in and of itself is bad, there's still a lot we can learn from the golden rule, 'Allah be with you,' and shalom.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Dear FFE

Salve [Hello]

Generously spoken

We are all looking forward to your new Web-site

You may enjoy the BBC News Science Site = it says that Scientists suggest that Thomas Jefferson's DNA seems to have come from North Africa or the Middle East

Your obedient servsnt etc
and Vale [Good-bye]

G Eagle

3:36 PM  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

Why is it that every year so many of those so-called Masters of Morality, those so virulently opposed to 'Hummaseckshuall' activities are always gettin' caught with their pants down doin' the same 'gawdammed' thing with pageboys, altarboys or corporate lawyers! WTH!

Now the church like every other club has the right to operate under its own rules and regulations..but DO NOT for one second profess to have some Providential Connection, act like a bunch of grade A arseholes, and expect us to respect them.

Now I know plenty of wonderful Christians who don't waste time judging others..
to me they make up for tolerating some of them thar' others who is
and 'nuthin or nobody is a'gunna stop 'em!

3:59 PM  

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