Sunday, August 28, 2016

In Search of a Progressive Church

I've been attending the same church for years, and I'm attached to the people, especially my choir friends, but more and more I am realizing that it is not the best fit for me.  While I love a traditional service and hymns, I am progressive in my views, and more and more I feel the need to be engaging with others who feel similarly.

Today, the pastor talked about immorality, and he used Terrance McNally's play, Corpus Christi as an example of immorality in this country, and the congregation was gasping and shaking its head right along with him.  I was the only one sitting there cringing and contemplating leaving.

I'm not even that familiar with the play, but I am so grateful to live in a country with our Constitution, and I am a huge fan of the 1st Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.").  Sitting in church this morning, I was struck by the irony...the same amendment that allows us to gather together and worship in the church of our choice also protects Terrance McNally and his play and those who choose to actually watch it before condemning it.  God, this is a great country!

And more than the idiotic use of this play as an example of immorality, I was struck by all the much more disturbing examples of immorality that could have been mentioned but were not.  For example, early in the sermon, the pastor gave a lengthy list of the vast quantities of junk food that are consumed in this country each day; however, he failed to mention the number of children living in poverty in the U.S. (15 million, which is 21% of all U.S. children), the number of people who die of starvation every day in this world (21,000, the majority of them children), or the number of children living in war torn countries (more than 1 in 10 children), while we blithely go about our business.  Now THAT is fucking immoral.

I have a hard time believing Jesus is too worried about Terrance McNally's play, as I am certain He is far too busy weeping over all of those poor, hungry, injured, and terrified children.  But that's just my opinion.  It is also my opinion that the reason so many people are so irritated with "Christianity" is because far too many so-called Christians are more interested in judging others than in actually following the example of Jesus Christ.  From what I can tell, He was interested in healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting children, and loving and accepting the marginalized.

Yay, God!  Sign me up.