Freed On the 4th from Politics & Religion

Freed On the 4th from Politics & Religion July 3, 2019

Having never once been taken to a church or other house of faith until I was 34, I was tremendously attracted to this tradition of walking on water; surviving in the wilderness against all odds; finding a way out of no-way-out; discovering a God who could do for us what we could not do for ourselves; seeing presumably dead people come back to life ~ all while leaving stories in our sacred texts about what horrors we can sometimes be when we turn away from God and opt to follow our own devices. I was baptized at age 43 first by fire and then by immersion in water.

That is part of what the fireworks of July 4th means to me. Planes and tanks in D.C. or not; divas and celebrities on the Capitol steps or not; warring factions of religious and political encampments or not ~ I celebrate freedom and independence from addictive and dysfunctional systems of all persuasions.
I stand with many people, including those who believe July 4th is best exemplified in a hot dog, a slice of watermelon; and a patriotic parade. I also stand in solidarity with the political and religious equivalent of anti-vaxers who find poison in this holiday. My spirit will be held prisoner by none of them. And all of them are invited to take a scoop of my joy.
With the guidance of the Christ who loves me more than I love myself ~ and in the company of friends, relatives and strangers ~ I live in the tradition that proclaims that walking on water is the expectation and that sinking is the exception. That is the truth and good news I am pleased to know and to hear proclaimed.
I thank God, the Christ, and everyone who has stood and knelt outside the tomb, softly chanting my name, until I emerged from the domain of the dead. I am no longer dead, and I will not be deadened by rhetoric or rage.
I do not have hope. Hope has me. So it has always been, and forever shall be, for eternity.

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  • Melissa Rashid

    I tried to walk on water once…. yeah, didn’t get that far before I sunk.

  • AntithiChrist

    Age 34? I’ve argued for some time that if you could somehow shelter a person from being exposed to “faith traditions” or “revealed wisdom or dogma” as truths, until they’d gotten old enough to develop critical thinking skills, that that person would be safe from believing in, well, at least magical beings, if not creation myths, reanimated zombies and so on.

    So from an anthropological standpoint, I have questions.

    Before you’d “been taken” into a church at age 34, what were your upbringing and childhood surroundings, including adulthood like, in terms religious instruction or exposure, magical thinking, etc?

    In the sacred texts you mention, in which folks do horrible things when they “turn away from god and follow their own devices,” did your study include any of the many instances of when these horrible things were done specifically at the command of the god character or his current right-hand patriarch?

    Did your critical study of sacred texts include sacred texts of more than one religion? If yes, how many and which? Did you find anything questionable in any of them?

    Are you aware, from a broader standpoint, that your evident unquestioning acceptance of these dogmas, however uplifting or benign they may seem in your own world, serve as a normalizing influence for the more radical elements of your faith tradition? For instance, the significant christainist element of your faith tradition who would vote (again) tomorrow for a guy who’d commit atrocities, all while praising Jesus?

    Things to think and talk about in church.

  • AntithiChrist

    Next time try using a broad stand up paddle board, or just walk in shallower water, no deeper than level with your toenails. Either of those methods should work for nearly anyone with basic balancing or walking ability, during any period in history, including myths.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    To borrow from the Declaration; “Governments are instituted by the People and derive their powers from the Just consent of the People…” Not a word about God, Jesus, Thor, or Osiris – the Declaration was a statement that People, not Gods, make up governments and governmental systems. Sadly, this concept is anathema to certain cults and sects of the Christian religion, yet it is the backbone of that later document, the Constitution of the United States of America, which begins with, “We, the People…” and not a word about any deity at all.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    Had a friend many years ago did hard drugs then came to christ. Some say he traded one drug for another.I heartily agree with those sentiments.