Little Texas God on the Radio

You've got to love Ann Whitlock, whose commentary on George Bush and religion is the highlight of Richard Allen Greene BBC piece on religion in America.

This line's good: "I mean, let's face it, Christ would have had a ball with the people Bush doesn't support. The people that Bush condemns would have been Christ's congregation, the outcasts of society,"

But it's her closing quote that's the kicker:

She said she believed Mr Bush was a sincere Christian - but too small-minded.

"God is bigger. He is not your little Texan God."

Greene also includes the standard quote about keeping religion out of politics, this time from Nancy Coulter-Parker of Boulder, Colorado

"Everyone is entitled to have their belief and I am completely supportive of that but I don't believe it has a place in the US in the way the country is run or decisions are made," she said.

OK, so how exactly do we keep belief of policy decisions? Ban people with religious beliefs from voting, or people with religious from office? Or just ban anyone who has an opinion about anything?

I heard almost the exact same comments, from an entirely different source, in the few minutes of a Worldview radio piece about Turkish imams being required by the government to preach the virtues of women's rights in their sermons.

As you may expect, it's not gone over too well. I was writing while driving so this quote may not be exact, but the reporter got this quote from one worshipper she interviewed.

I've been beating my wife for forty years, and there's nothing in the Koran against it.
I don't come to the mosque to learn how to treat my wife. The sermon should stick to religious matters"

The Turkey mosque clip was followed by a commentary from Milos Stehlik on Luis Bunuel’s 1954 film, Nazarin. The film is based on a novel by Nazarin Benito Perez Galdos (which I learned not from Stelik but from this delightful reading group site from England), about a Mexican priest who tries to model his life after Christ's, with disasterous results.

Nazarin, Stehlik says, explores the question of what it means to live as a Christian in a country that claims to be Christian, but falls short of acting out the principles of Christianity.

It's a timely question, that's for sure. How do we connect our beliefs with our patterns of behavior? Too many Christians, myself included, are satisfied with having Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord. Not as example. We are believers, and are not disciples.

That point was made crystal clear to me this afternoon, while I was doing some errands at lunch. I stopped in at Subway, grabbing a paper along with way.

This was the Page 1, above the fold story headline.

Food, water scarce after storm; disease feared

This was the lead:

Hungry, thirsty and increasingly desperate residents attacked each other in an attempt to get scarce food and water Thursday as workers struggled to bury hundreds of corpses six days after the city was struck by Tropical Storm Jeanne.

More than 1,100 were killed and 1,250 are missing, and the toll is still rising. The storm left 300,000 homeless in Haiti's northwest province, which includes the port of Gonaives.

I couldn't read beyond that.

I've been to Haiti, spent about 10 days there back in 1985, in a small mountain village. After seeing the squallid shanty towns of Port Au Prince, I swore I'd never forget what I saw.

Well I did. At least I forgot the reality of what I saw. It's so far away, likes something from a nightmare.

These days I'm more worried about paying the mortgage, the kids, even how the Red Sox are doing. Worried about my own life, as if that was all that mattered.

Lee Ann Millinger, over at Such Small Hand, quoted the line made famous by Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ: "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life."

How in heaven's name can we believe such a thing is true. Is it true for those 2,500 people in Haiti. Was it God's plan that they live a miserable life in a miserble impoverished country and then to be drowned in a tropical storm?

There were so many bodies lost, one witness said, "that you smell them. You don't see them."

Isn't that the truth? I can't see them at all.


Powered by Blogger