At least to many of us in this country. Especially if we rely on the so called mainstream media for our information about anything outside corporate America.
Yes, I’ve mentioned an interest in finally reading the Bible. At least parts of it. I will cheerfully admit to practicing what the Darwin (Charles) family called “skipibus” through most of the first five books. I have no real interest in the dimensions of the portable
Temple, how it was decorated and the
mechanics of the sacrificial offerings. Except to say this. Once a permanent
temple was built I hope they figured out how to deal with the inevitable mess.
Who wants to pray in what amounts to a slaughterhouse?
And I’ll probably be skipibussing along until I get to the prophets. Who I realize were shouting into the wind trying to remind the people what they told to do in the first place. And aren’t doing. Just as a certain traveling rabbi attempted to do several centuries after that. With about as much success as the modern prophets are having. Heck if we really followed the commandment about coveting the advertising industry would be out of business overnight.
There is absolutely no danger of me turning into anything resembling a fundigelical. My list of “do you really expect me to take these literallys” is getting longer and longer. To those who natter on about so called “traditional marriage;” you do remember the story about Abraham, his wife and her maid servant don’t you? Then there’s Jacob, his TWO wives (sisters no less) and THEIR maid servants.
There’s even a passage in Deuteronomy that deals with husbands who fell out of love with the first wife, married another but the unloved wife is the mother of the eldest son. Sorry bub, the oldest son still gets the first born’s inheritance even if you don’t love his mother any more.
And we won’t even get into the murder and mayhem of the conquest of the so called promised land. “God told us to do it” gets real old, real fast.
There was one little entry that made me smile. It was customary to use donkey or oxen to help thresh the grain by having them walk over it. Masters were commanded to NOT muzzle their oxen when they were threshing the grain. Nice touch that.
There is another church. One that’s all but invisible and unmentioned in the MSM in this country. It was born out of the proxy wars in Central and
South America from the sixties to
the nineties. Alive and kicking in spite of the efforts of the new Roman Empire. If I want to understand them I have to
understand their foundation. And that foundation is firmly grounded in
scripture. Scripture that recognizes the least among us. The poor, the
brutalized, the marginalized, the martyrs. They won’t be ignored any longer and
if the traditional church won’t recognize them? Tough, they’ll do it anyway and
they’ll build from the bottom up not the top down.
The Christians, true Christians of the south have much to teach us. I’d like to believe that the fundigelicals fears about the nonexistent persecutions, the so called War on Christmas are fueled by the fear that the theology of liberation will find a home north of the Mexican border. I’d like to believe that, but I doubt if the Limbaughs, Palins and O’Reilly’s even know it exists. In my gloomier moments I find myself wishing that the whiners in this country would be subjected to a fraction of the real persecution endured in the south. Anyway, more fools they. How shocked they’ll be to find that southern flowers might just thrive in northern gardens.
Thanks to the late Penny Lernoux and the very much alive and kicking Phillip Berryman to introducing me to a remarkable group of faithful, caring courageous men and women, Although. that's not entirely true. It started in a brief scene in a biopic about John Paul II played out between the Pope and Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. Curiosity awakened I've been slowing piecing together what can only be called a miracle in the south. Lernoux and Berryman have been a fountain of background information. And if much of it not kind to the US and its policies. Too bad.