Friday, February 5, 2010

Minimalist View - Cultural Christian

I know I can be a grumpy judgmental reactionary son of a gun from time to time. But I cannot but help feel hurt and betrayed by what I have expressed in the term “the God business”.

The politics in the USA is such that church and state are wrapped around one party more so than another and in terms of simple discussions, simple discussions are not possible in some cases, most cases. The mythical town square of my youth is not practical in a virtual age. I am perhaps obsolete with my memories and ideals of that once in many ways real American Town Square.

While I never directly experienced the tent revival kind of religion that many in the heartland experienced in their youth, I am suspicious of all things not from the middle of the road or with a traditional church community mindset. Very WASPish and very snobbish of me, would you not say?

I have seen the media big top business go from people like A.A. Allen to the Bakers and Swaggart who blatantly betrayed humanity for the sake of mere power and greed. And yet people are gullible and keep funding what I consider a lunatic fringe which is the backbone of the almost extinct GOP – the party of Pat Robertson.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why old men with feeble minds are in charge of our national morals – our religions. Truth is, they are not and never have been. It is more like the myth of the town square, while still in the past a real physical town square, that kept the glue and adhesion of our society pasted together. It was also the myth of our religions that somehow we had more control over our lives and our destinies beyond this life.

It is strange how politics has worked in this country for two centuries. A two party system may have worked for a while, but of late, I do not see two distinct points of view. Everyone at the top of politics would seem to want to conform to a poll or a paid sponsor/patron. And if anybody is spouting wool coat fiscal responsibility or middle class stability, they sure as hell do not vote that way once they achieve office.

From the lowliest elected civil servants to the fat cats in the U.S. Senate, American seems not to be represented by any one sane, civil or moral voice. America, though diverse from the beginning of time, always seemed to have some abstract ideal standard that everybody tried to conform to. That standard used to have its base in religion for most people.

The secular world which sprang up out of our consumerism buried religion a long time ago. Religion as it used to be in terms of the age of computers was never user friendly. That fear of death and God and more importantly fear of life is what keeps the old institutions grinding on to the bitter end. No doubt there might be a revival but religion, monotheism across the board, Judaism, Christianity, Islam are all operating in other centuries – in other mindsets.

If you conform to the words written many centuries ago and do not question them in a modern world, then you must stagnate with the old words and not see a new revelation in the modern potential of text or in original intent. While I would be minimal in my beliefs as a Cultural Christian, most people just seem to sit or stand there in a fog of time and kill time here until death.

We are an age at many crossroads. The Internet helps to inform and it also adds fuel to any fire, religious or civil. “It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.” What we hold onto in terms of beliefs, becomes more private and specialized into a custom fit – to suit ourselves. That may be good in one sense. But to use one more cliché – “no man (or woman) is an island”. I do not know if we are blending into together better than the media implies or reports. But somehow, the human mess, the human race survives one more day.

No point in trying to analyze it. It just is. In many ways I think God just is as well. What we make out of the abstract of creation is either good or bad. It should be good for one and all – win win – or the cork may blow out of the bottle of our man made civilization. Whatever.

New Mindsets are needed. New ways of thinking must replace obsoleteness of thought. And that so long as humanity does not get factored out of the new equations of the present and into the future.

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