September 20th 2001 12-40 CET
Principles of religious 'Justification'
As a young man, 20 years old, I attended a 'religious college'. It was a
college that accepted all shades of 'Protestant Christian opinion' I was horrified
to discover the extent to which the belief system of an individual was
so often founded on 'misinterpreted texts'. It was at that time that
I developed the principle of always, always attempting to understand
the social and historical meaning of the words spoken..at that time they
were originally spoken! For language and social customs are not static, they
are ever changing and adapting.
For example, in the Christian faith much is made of the words of
Jesus upon the cross,"My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?".
These words are used as a symbol of Christ's total isolation in his act of
supreme sacrifice. Many 'christian fundamentalists' use this text to show
the absolute horror of His sacrifice...He even was seperated from God
'His Father', they say in order to save you! (How is it possible to be seperated
if God is Omnipresent?)
Jesus was accepted as, and understood to be, by the society
of the time, a learned Rhabbi. A man whose knowledge of the
scriptures, the 'Holy Books', was even evident in His childhood when
He was found at the temple discussing with the 'learned men'.
Hey, did you know most people couldn't read at that time?
Hey, did you know it was the practice to learn passages by heart?
Hey, did you know a Rhabbi only needed to quote the opening words
of a passage and most understood what he was referring to?
Hey, did you know the opening words of a Psalm that speaks of
victory over evil, that speaks of God's protection of His servants,
that speaks of total trust?
Hey, do you know the opening words of Psalm 22?
Now, how can it be that a statement of final victory - such as Jesus
made in the words 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" -
can be made/turned/corrupted into a statement of rejection and defeat and
used to 'enslave your hearts' in a prison of guilt?
It takes a good imagination to be able to do that...oh, and a lot of ignorance!
Well here's what! Did you now that almost 1000 Muslims are reported
killed or missing at the World Trade Centre tragedy?
Did you know that the Koran clearly, unequivocably, states:
"If anyone murders an [innocent] person... it will be as if he had murdered
the whole of humanity."
And Muhammad is recorded as saying that Muslim rules of engagement forbid attacks
on non-combatants, women, children and men of religion; they outlaw attacks on the
"means of subsistence" of those who "offer no resistance". No miscreant should be given
succour or refuge by Muslims.
But fundamentalists in all religions share common characteristics beyond the fact that they
interpret symbols literally. All are highly selective in "the fundamentals" they chose
to return to, and in what part of modernity they accept. All take traditional texts and use them
out of context (Paul Vallely)
Ignorance and hatred are yet another form of violence...especially so when they are used
by people who know better and seek to defeat 'the lovingness' in order to control people
who do not know.
If it isn't loving..it isn't from the One God. Anyone who argues differently has a
problem with the concept that 'God IS Love' and by definition, therefore, cannot be
The One God does not use means understood by our limited 'lovingness' to influence
creation. Violence, hatred, belief system control mechanisms - anything that limits the free
expression of our potentiality for lovingness.....these are man made misinterpretations.
(thanks for reading this far...smile)
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