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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Religion: It Makes You Insane Files

Good grief! What's the world coming to? A pastor decides to have one of his congregation arrested for "trespassing" because she came to the church to pray? We're talking a 71-year-old retiree here, with two artificial knees and hips, who's been a member of the church for fifty years. Who taught Sunday school there, and donated 10 per cent of her pension (or tithed, if you prefer) regularly?

Oh, yeah, her crime - apparently, the Church's charter required that a board of deacons assist the pastor in governing the church, and the sinner in question, Mrs. McCaskey, had suggested to the pastor that he follow the Church's charter. A suggestion to which he took exception, accusing her of "spreading a spirit of cancer and discord." The article, in the Wall Street Journal, goes on to say:
Her story reflects a growing movement among some conservative Protestant pastors to bring back church discipline, an ancient practice in which suspected sinners are privately confronted and then publicly castigated and excommunicated if they refuse to repent. While many Christians find such practices outdated, pastors in large and small churches across the country are expelling members for offenses ranging from adultery and theft to gossiping, skipping service and criticizing church leaders.
These people are nuts. The pastor is nuts, the lady is right to refuse to be "shunned" and kicked out of the church, but the congregation - and any other congregation that submits to this kind of bullshit - is nuts.

Holy bees' knees, people! Your very own spiritual leader did not throw worshippers out of the house of God. Money-changers, yes. Commercial elements, yes. But he extolled the widow who gave her mite over the businessmen who sold sacrificial lambs in the temple's confines, yes?

Jesus mingled with the prostitutes and the tax-collectors. He fed the poor (the miracle of the loaves and fishes); he honored the meek and defenseless (the Eight Beatitudes). He washed the feet of those who followed him; healed their wounds, fed their families, and raised their dead to life (the miracle of Lazarus).

In addition to that, the Protestant reformation (a Diet, as it were, of Wurms) came about as a reaction to the hierarchy and formality that had overtaken the Catholic church. The reformers felt that communion between a communicant and their God was a private matter for each soul to determine for themselves, not a matter of Papal bulls for a supposedly inerrant hierarch to hand down to the teeming multitudes.

We'd like to believe Jesus, if he existed, ascended in the body to heaven; because if he didn't, he'd be rotating a corkscrew in the grave right now, watching these preachers condemn and punish their flock. Did Jesus punish sinners? When they brought to him a woman caught in adultery and said, "Master, what shall we do with her, for the law says an adulter shall be stoned to death," he said, "Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone." And he sent her away, saying, "Go thou, and sin no more."

Have these morons forgotten that? And what of the sheep who follow them? Rise up, people. If you believe in God, then only that God can discipline you. No human has the authority to do so.

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At 6:33 AM, Blogger Smirking Cat said...

I don't think Jesus' teachings caught the attention of most Bible readers...not enough torture, condemnation, punishment, or judgement for most folks' tastes.


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