Friday, April 22, 2011

"Yet cheerful he to suffering goes, that he his foes from thence might free"

Here's a blogpost well worth the read. And here's an excerpt:

If we don’t believe that love triumphs over all, we have no hope. The evil forces arrayed against our lives are overwhelming otherwise. But it’s not enough to cling to a belief in some vague fairy tale, which might or might not come true. We need to see the proof for hope to be real, a fact Jesus completely understood. The story of Doubting Thomas, who had to touch Christ’s wounds himself, shows that Jesus knew that only proof would do.

The miracles throughout the Gospels are all about the proof. Yes, Jesus is the Son of God. Yes, he can and will raise us from the deaths we suffer by injustice and war and homophobia and patriarchy and apartheid, as well as mere disease and old age. In the case of his pal Lazarus, Jesus even waited to intervene till after he expired, old and moldy in the grave (“Lord, he stinketh”) before giving him life again.

But Jesus isn’t here today, we can’t see him, so where’s this proof?

The proof is in my friend Peter, diabetic and morbidly obese when I met him, barely able to walk; he’s lost a couple hundred pounds since lap-band surgery.

The proof is in my friend Leonardo, who should have been dead by now, but got saved by Higher Power.

The proof is in my own body – in all my friends; Helen and Marc in Crawfordsville, who lost their genius son at age 19; in Stephanie, my weeping correspondent today; in all the 1.3 million visitors to my Daily Office websites since 2004. The proof is in Desmond Tutu, in Mother Teresa, in Ryan White. The proof is in the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a bunch of ordinary Lesbian and Gay couples suing for the right to marry, when 40 years ago – the same era when I first heard “Love Unknown” – Gay people were the most stigmatized and hated folks on the planet. (There, I said it, it’s true, and no amount of bitching about racism can change the fact.)

Christ is there in all of them; Christ is here in all of us. You are yourself the proof.
But the best single line in the piece?

So what’s so good about Good Friday? Well, three days later Jesus walks out of the tomb, much to the consternation of Wall Street and the Republicans.

Anyway, here's the hymn:


Anonymous said...

There were Wall Street and republicans 1900 years ago?
And I thought you were supposed to stay out of politics? Suppose the fundiegellicals claimed that "Jesus walked out of the tomb to the consternation of the Liberals with their Socialist Berkeley friends."?
One of the biggest reasons nonbelievers have for not believing this story is that you clearly have little or no impulse control in dealing with your contempt for your fellow believers.
Why should we bother with this story since, if anything, your behavior is made worse by your participation in this organization? At least we don't claim that a "higher Power" is approving our contempt for those we disagree with.

Malcolm+ said...

Some evangelical atheists have trouble recognizing tongues in cheeks. Indeed, it's like hardliners of every sort - no sense of humour.

BTW, the idea that religious folk are to "stay out of politics" is an idea driven by supporters of the dominant ideologies who prefer that religion be nothing but "the opiate of the people."

I'm always curious, though, about avowed atheists who hang about religious blogs simply to be contentious. Strikes me a trifle . . . troubled. Had to ban one a couple of years ago as his posts became simply abusive and obsene.

In any event, Happy Easter, Nixon.