Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Partisan Jesus

Today Gary Wills reminds us, in his essay published in the New York Times, that Jesus was a complicated and mercurial figure.

I prefer the uncomplicated image - that so many of us nurture - of Jesus as a kind, tolerant teacher of love.

In fact, I base my ideas about the need for a compassionate and inclusive political agenda on his teachings about lovingkindness.

As our culture has become more greedy and rapacious under Republican leadership, I have longed for Democrats to embrace liberal Christians and call us to new and better purpose. Not a self-martyring purpose, but a loving, sharing purpose.

I would dearly like it if Democrats of faith stopped being afraid of speaking about God, got real and got genuine about any faith they had.

But - let's face it - spirituality in democratic politics is like homosexuality in the army. If they don't ask, you don't tell. In fact, if they do ask, you just sidestep the question and move on because Democrats are committed to maintaining a secular society (as opposed, for instance, to what Iran has.)

It doesn't matter what experiences we've had that have convinced us that we are better persons when we are aligned with God's love.

Neither does it matter that calling upon the power of God and enlisting the power of the greater Universe seems, to many of us, to only make sense. Why go it alone when you can receive unlimited help and wise guidance?

There are also many of us who believe that, unless we each - on our own and not as any kind of imposed mandate - begin to seek meaning for our lives through learning love for everything and everyone (in short, through embracing spiritual values) that humanity will eventually destroy itself (and perhaps the world), becoming not a triumph of God's love but a failed experiment.

In my world view, we are here to evolve and to become more and more like God - more and more loving and joyful - in human (manifested) form.

From my point of view, it's too bad Democrats didn't embrace this view of God ten years ago because the only recent images we have of God in American politics are negative.

Still, Wills is a clear thinker and gives a powerful argument against Democrats embracing a partisan Jesus and flaunting Him in public.

Definitely food for thought.

A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. Proverbs 24:5

Gird up the loins of your mind. 1 Peter 1:13


At 5/10/2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Judas said...

I love Tarpon Springs


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