A meandering passage recording the life of an ordinary clergyman as it careens from the sublime to the ridiculous, often without knowing which is which.
Yes. I'm thinking what you're thinking. This horrific story that permeats our culture, of an all powerful deity who asks a father to sacrifice his son, and subsequently as a Father Himself, actually sacrifices His Son, for the greater good, so to speak, makes all violence expressed within a framework of "morality" possible. That first commandment is trumped by the deity's own actions. It goes for Islamic fundamentalist terrorists as well as our homegrown loonies who take this story seriously. This fundamental need to be morally correct, in addition to being rewarded for correctness, this fundamental "pride" (because it is wrapped in "meaning") devalues the human life completely. Violence is always permissable if you'be got a damn good reason for it, no?
You are way more subtle than me. I simply saw how the pro-life radical used exactly the same language as the jihadist about the legitimacy of violence. Exactly the same reasoning and language. BTW, you might check out the Fundamentalism Project papers at the University of Chicago,at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Complete/Series/FP.htmlOr this site: http://www.religionlink.com/tip_070611.php
So, since I take the "story seriously", am I automatically one of the "homegrown loonies"? I take the story seriously, but I don't believe in war, capital punishment or the taking of an innocent life through abortion when in over 90% of the cases it is about convenience, not health. About a million lives a year are taken by abortion. So who is more guilty?I believe the man who shot the doctor should be tried and found guilty of first degree murder. I believe those who are pro-choice need to examine their conscience.
Will,I just noticed that jihadists and the killer of Dr. Tiller share the same rationalizations about their acts. We, our society, see them as different, but it may turn out they are more alike than different. As ever, the moral issues are not as simple or as clear as we want them to be. Zealotry, no matter how noble in intent, inevitably tempts one to a fatal pride that one is doing God's will. Once a person thinks that, no act is immoral.
Fred,I believe that few things are inevitable as long as you are willing to think about them. I am a zealot for Jesus. He was zealous to do his Father's will. He taught his disciples to be the same. Yet as I understand Jesus, he would never say it was God's will to take the life of another. I will grant you, however, that people who are sick, broken, warped in their thinking and understanding of God can become so demented that they do what is wrong, thinking it is right. Again, zealotry does not inevitably tempt one to fatal pride. Misguided and warped zealotry can.
Will,When you say you are a zealot for Jesus, do you mean you are devoted to being like him and following him or making me or others see things as you do? I submit that a zeal to live rightly as a person is good, but when that zeal becomes coercion of another person then it is a fatal temptation. I use the term zealot in a sense closer to the original "ZHLWTHS" or the Hebrew "Kanai" with the intent to convey militance, agression, enforcing God's will on others as well as onself.I admire your zeal, and even have a touch of it myself. I despise zealotry as the devotion to an ideologically pure notion to which all people, believer in the ideology or not, can be made to submit.
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