Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most
conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to
turn other ideas - uncertainty, progress, change - into crimes.
- Salman Rushdie, author
Ah. We can sense where Rushdie is “coming from “, yes? Think of what that man went through at the hands of rabid religionists. He is not alone. Think of what many Christian thinkers have been through at the hands of their co-religionists! To my view, absolutely anti-Gospel. Anti-Christ. Anti-Allah.
I have two things to say here. One: I consider myself a religious “conservative”. It is my duty and determination in Life to “conserve” what I believe to be at the heart of my religious path. 99% of the things that so-called “Christian conservatives” believe today – of every stripe - are unequivocally NOT of the Christ or the God He reveals, or of Allah, or of the Buddha, or of Shiva, etc. This I absolutely believe. The problem comes when a “path” becomes an institution, a “church”, an Umma, a “righteous and right” community. When power and politics and “right and wrong” and control become the Idol.
I know what I see – and have experienced - the Way of the Gospel, the Way of the Cross, to be. It has nothing to do with what Sarah Palin seems to represent. Nothing. Zip. Nada.
Two: Any path of Faith, or “religion” is essentially about “uncertainty, progress, change”. “Liberals” are people who want to be free of what the core teachings of a Faith are all about. They are the people who read “Thou shalt not kill” and come up with a “doctrine” of a “just war” – a contradiction in terms. War is never acceptable to God. They are the people who think everything is “black and white”. Nothing is “black or white”, because it leads to hard-heartedness. Jesus constantly challenged those who equated the Law with God’s Law. Hypocrites, He called them - people unmindful of Love and of Compassion and of Forgiveness. Such thinking is what makes the Torquemadas of the World, dehumanized in their lust and delusions.
Rushdie is, to my mind, misusing the word “conservative”. The “sacred” that I know understands “uncertainty” to be the soil of growth. The “sacred” I know longs for us to “progress”, to “change”, to be transformed into the image of Divine Love, to learn servanthood and generous self-sacrifice as the heart of being human.
The only religious “crime” is to tear out the heart of the “sacred” and replace it with a heart of stone. Both the prophets and Jesus taught that it was the heart of Flesh, written on with Love, that was “true religion”.