Sunday, November 27, 2005
  On Theology
Ok back to theology...And point two from Friday's blog...

At this Unity Service I went to last week, the sermon was basically an extended metaphor. The church, the preacher said, is a hospital; when you go to a hospital, you expect to see sick people, so why are we surprised to meet people who aren't spiritually perfect when we go to a church. In a hospital, there's a pediatric ward, and in church you will meet children, as well as some adults who act like children. Most hospitals have a psych ward, and you'll meet some of those patients in the hospital. But, the preacher said, I don't let those folks ruffle my feathers, because I am busy taking care of people in the ICU. By which he meant people like myself. People who aren't Christian.

It wasn't just the exclusivity of that message that made me cringe, but the entire metaphor. The view of the world as sick, or rotten. Another metaphor the preacher used was that the world is like an apple. When Adam sinned, the big, beautiful, ripe apple fell from the tree and got a bruise on it, just a little spot, but that's where the rot set in and now the whole world is rotten.

I just don't see it that way. People aren't rotten, they are fallible. God doesn't expect us to be perfect, just to strive to be our best. Sure lots of people do things that are stupid, mean, selfish, etc, etc. But I honestly believe that the vast majority of people do so thinking they are doing good, or in moments of uncontrollable passion. Most parents who hit their kids believe that they are giving them the discipline they need to get ahead in life. (They need to read a few child-centered child raising books, but I know they do think they are doing their kids a favor) Most republicans really do believe the trickle down method is the best way to stimulate the economy and make life better for all. (Despite the obvious problems in our economy and the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor.) And so on.

Fortunately, God is Understanding and Merciful, and forgives those who are sorry.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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