Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A few thoughts about Reverend Wright

Let me state what this post is not: It is not an endorsement or detraction of Senator Barak Obama nor am I trying to justify the particular remarks of Reverend Wright. I haven't done enough research to know much more than the infamous "God damn America" statement.

But, part of my job as a minister is to challenge my people. This past Sunday I made the statement to the effect of, "Madmen from half a world away advocate murder to zealous followers simply because we are Christian." Yeah, yeah...I know. I varied from the text I published. That statement made people feel uncomfortable and one person even was uncomfortable enough to come up and complain. If I have to be worried that my message could be used against a political candidate or if every candidate has to avoid controversial political figures, it's just going to emphasize the idea people have that there needs to be a strict separation between church and state, as though society is better if politicians are uninfluenced by religion. Religion challenges us to live with transcendent ends in mind. And, religion should be an entity that humbles a country. No country is perfect and no one, not even Rush Limbaugh, can truly believe we are perfect. Christianity, in particular, needs to be reminded and remind others of slavery and racism. We need to remind people that all people should be treated with dignity and respect but not all actions are moral even if they are "natural." When politicians are only supposed to be exposed to "safe" messages about everybody getting along and everything is all right then religion has truly lost all meaning and we've managed to become the madmen of Nietzsche's myth ranting about the death of God who we have killed.

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