Friday, February 10, 2012

The complex American religious landscape

This is a bit too “rustic” for the Kansas City Star, methinks…

History, should one choose to study it, gives us many examples of the struggles between nation-states and religious institutions. I’m making a distinction between faith and church, mosque, and shrine. Yet faith fuels people to enter them and worship their God, meditate on their Buddha, or even gather as “Friends”. Many of these struggles percolated into armed struggles, genocide, and mass migrations to places like our original thirteen colonies.

I believe that those who believe that this country was founded as a refuge for the religiously oppressed believe in a myth.

Today, our elected Chief Executive President bowed to wishes of the American Catholic Bishops and Cardinals. Don't forget the Cardinals. Don't forget the Pope, Joseph Ratzinger. He took note.

Maybe tomorrow you’ll hear Mitt Romney re-assure you that his Mormon faith is just plain earnest faith; his personal belief. You’ll probably not blink an eye or consider that one of the States of Our Union, Utah, is the State of Mormon. It’s been that way for a long time. Your MidEast foreign policy is steered heavily with Jewish hands and treasure, not to mention will, and dual-citizens some of whom serve as soldiers in the IDF. Visit a synagogue and you’ll probably see the state flag of Israel displayed proudly. Before I forget, how about them Masons? Washington, Franklin...the cornerstone to your Capitol on The Hill was laid in a rather limited audience Masonic ceremony...

Confused? Yeah, me too.

But then again, I understand it and that’s what scares me…

We’re in a bit of a pickle. Add to the pickle juice all of our tax contributions or in the case of religious groups, those lovely exemptions. Spice that with the Catholic Church’s vast holdings of property, businesses, lucrative educational institutions. Other religions in America pale in comparison to the Catholic acumen for “sustainability”. Add another layer of leadership. When the Pope speaks, or writes, American Cardinals and bishops listen. Know the difference between a Cardinal (not from St. Louis) and a bishop? Check it out…

Many Americans have stopped going to places of worship. I know you see all those huge community Christian malls in Johnson County, but those are harmless local franchises with no global, much less county, reach. With the citizenry secularizing their cable-news lives, the citizenry has removed their citizen perspective from the worship halls, the synagogues, the mosques…you catch my drift… Sharia-flavored law, anyone?

Removed, we stand, or more often sit on the sidelines of this pickled mess.

Faith we need. Institutional confrontation and conflict-of-interest we don’t. Queen Elizabeth I and her merry band of royal advisers could not wiggle their Anglican butts out of this twisted post-colonial corset. This ain’t as simple as a Spanish Armada…I think there’s a few armadas on our American horizon. Actually, I see them clearly in view, no telescope required. Our modern armadas sail hospitals, universities, insurance companies, banks, leases, and property…right down your street, my fellow Americans.

To take the pickle thing another step, we can’t see it’s a pickle because it’s relish…and many of us do…relish it, that is.

…pass the mustard, please.

God (pick your pickle) Save the Foundation !

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