A few months (or so) ago, while surfing around the internet, you know..."researching"...I came upon the Sojourners web site. It is an emergent, Christian political activist, "love your neighbor as yourself" kind of web site. Jim Wallis' God Politics blog resides there. It is a collaborative effort of quite a few emergent, Christian political, "love your neighbor as yourself" activists like Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, Bart and Tony Campolo...and others whose names do not ring a bell. It definitely leans left of center. I would say that 99.9% of the contributors (and readers) voted for Obama. Their readership probably does not include the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart etc. etc. etc. etc.
While I am not very politically inclined, some of what they write resonates with me. And because I signed up for email updates, I find Sojo in my AOL mailbox every morning. I probably would rarely go to the site otherwise. I have so many interesting, thought provoking, inspiring sites stashed in my bookmarks/favorites... sites that I rarely go to. So many sites, so little time. But Sojo shows up in my inbox and so I do sometimes click the link and visit. I visited this morning. I checked out their verse of the day, their prayer of the day and scrolled down the list of recent God Politics Blog entries. This one caught my eye....
When I read this blog post written by Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, I found that I do, indeed, share her snotty opinions about evangelicals. As proof of this, I could probably spout off a dozen or so snotty remarks about all of those people I singled out by name at the end of the first paragraph. And I admit, I do have a problem with some (most?) evangelical, Christian fundamentalists. They seem so cocksure that they not only have God's ear but also a total understanding of His heart.
They remind me so much of the Pharisee in the parable in Luke...the one prefaced with:
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable
The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men -- robbers, evildoers, adulterers -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.
Hmmm...the first thing that seems amiss is that the Pharisee prayed about himself." A "pat himself on the back" kind of prayer (but that is a topic for a whole other post) He went on to say (obvious paraphrase) "Thank you Lord that my sins are so much less serious and so much less of an abomination in your eyes than the evildoers...like, for instance, that guy over there...that tax collector.
But am I exempt from this self righteous mind set? I admit that I have a very difficult time not judging those who set themselves up to subjectively judge the actions and beliefs of others based on their own (narrow) interpretation of scripture. Yet am I ...in a way...doing the same thing? Judging my brothers and sisters? Somehow I think there is a distinction, a difference, that I would be hard pressed to explain...a difference that makes my righteous indignation against the Ann Coulter's of the world somehow less offensive than her righteous indignation against....well against just about everything that does not mesh with her mean spirited, right wing world view. Even Jesus got pissed at the Pharisees!!
Like I said, the distinction is difficult to define or explain...so along with the tax collector in this parable, I will simply have to throw myself on the mercy of the court and proclaim.....God have mercy on me, a sinner.
I have more to say on this subject....for instance....a few quotes from and comments about the blog post by Nadia Bolz-Weber. She is quite interesting...with a full sleeve tattoo and a blog site named The Sarcastic Lutheran. She is also the pastor of the the House For All Sinners and Saints. I want to post something annie wrote that touches on this left wing/right wing, conservative/liberal, evangelical/progressive feud.
I am closing this post with a quote from Anne Lamont for all the aforementioned either/or's to ponder:
"You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do."
More to come...