Frank Schaeffer –
“In my evangelical days I would have said: ‘Well if you are not in the church I belong to you’ll be lost, maybe burn in hell forever.’ I don’t think that way anymore.”
“A certain type of certainty that writes off other people based on the fact you may disagree with their interpretation of some theological or philosophical idea is just crazy. And it‘s crazy for this reason: It’s got nothing to do with peace and love. It‘s crazy practically. Look, we are like ants–our view of the universe is like ants on a roadside watching passing traffic. We live a few years, we read a few books, we draw a few conclusions, we try to love the people around us and we are gone. Anybody who can stand up in the middle of this process and say ‘I am absolutely know I’m right about something’ I think is hooked into a kind of deadly uncertainty that simply can‘t exist.”
I could not agree with Schaeffer more in regards to the true harm in fundamentalist belief structures.
This “deadly uncertainty” is my only issue with the religious right.
There has to be some room for doubt or else you can justify the worst of crimes as simple religious practice.
In my view absolutes are weakness, and allowing for consideration is an element of true strength.
You may hear those of good-nature and even many secular-types say this:
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
While the message is of the highest importance to us as a people I believe much of this is lost in the changes of how we speak and write and even think in this modern world. The language of our forefathers resonates with some but not with most.
So the greatest of messages of our history are lost to time and to society. I am about to use a modern version of that common quote and I don’t want to be accredited but rather want you to use this on someone to make a better impression if ever in the situation where you might say the line above.
“Let the perfect person among you throw the first stone.”
‘Sin’ is not’ in’ if that makes sense to you at all. The word itself has almost no weight, at least compared to the centuries prior. ‘Perfect’ however is something that anyone can wrap their head around in terms of something that no one actually has about them as is the idea that we are all with some element of imperfection about us no matter what we do. The concepts of Original Sin and the Fallibility of Man were so common in the past that they were assumed to be understood in many messages.
I am only attempting to show why we keep missing the message in this national discussion of gay-rights, same-sex marriage and equality under the law.
December 26th 2008