Sunday, June 23, 2024

Corrupted Faith

Washington, DC – This world is choking on theologies, the study of whatever version of a god by whatever name. Theology is the product of some individual’s thinking about the way things are and the way he thinks things ought to be. There are writings ancient, old, and new. Every seminary, divinity school, and scholar of every religion feels quite free to interpret, reinterpret, or turn everything on its head to malignantly bend the original philosopher’s ideas to fit whatever the goal is.

It is important to note that theology has nothing to do with faith. Faith is simple. One has a gift of faith which encompasses a notion of how things were created, who their god or gods are, and what those gods may or may not do.

Theology takes those simple ideas and works them over in vast treatises with endless blather. The actual message of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, or any other faith is manipulated to manipulate.

Over the past few decades, the world has been roiled by a grossly distorted interpretation of Islam, picking and choosing from the Koran with strategic editing to justify violence.

Christian cognoscenti somehow found reasons to justify several centuries of slavery, and some currently use personal editing of the original texts to suggest that all Democrats are going to hell.

Religion is not a faith. Religions are institutions created by humans to provide a structure for the practice of a faith. Religions pick and choose and strategically edit the original texts to create rules. There are versions of Christianity for every taste. As yet, I have been unable to find anything which separates one version of that faith from any other except the “religion’s” rules and structure.

Institutions whose mission statements are filled with blather about service to god’s people on earth have instead been dedicated to preserving the institution’s reputation. The folks who take their status and income from those institutions have a vested interest in protecting those institutions. Thus we have a plethora of sexual brutality instances that have been hidden for decades, if not centuries.

In the 1850s, there was a great famine in Ireland. As a result, tens of thousands of Irish migrated. Many came to North America. At the time, those god-fearing Protestants who were here already raged that these Roman Catholics “Papists” would outbreed them and thus force their brand of theology on the US.

As it happens, that fear is being realized by the current Supreme Court. Five of the conservative judges are very conservative Roman Catholics. There is one liberal Roman Catholic. Six out of nine judges are Roman Catholics. They are making decisions heavily loaded toward the interpretation of the Constitution through the lens of a very conservative version of Roman Catholic theology. As a country, we are to have no official religion. Having the Supreme Court stocked with what over a Century ago was anticipated with great misgiving is now the sorry state of affairs. The Catholic Church has consistently been very conservative. It has an outsize influence on the politics of most western countries.

The current Vatican’s internal politics are a conflict of the old-line conservatives with the somewhat less conservative vision of Francis. Some even question the legitimacy of the Pope.

Yet, in this country, a very conservative theological vein influences the worldview of the majority of the court. That viewpoint is not in line with the body politic of this country.

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M.A. Callahan
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