Saturday, April 2, 2011

Where is the Love?

The recent horrors out of Afghanistan regarding the blowback from a certain U.S. pastor's unconscionable actions towards a different faith group of his fellow human beings have been hard to read about without slipping into the same disrespect and disregard for another's rights and dignity, regardless of whether one feels he deserves it or not. The fact that we should always treat people with the same courtesy and deference we would like shown to us is hard to fathom in situations such as these. The question remains however, is it correct and appropriate to forcefully, and justly, condemn this type of outrageous and hateful behavior as it happens, or are we in fact stepping on another's right to freedom of speech?
Our incredibly short attention span kept this resurgence of Pastor Terry's hate campaign against Islam far from being anything but a blip in the mainstream news media this time around. No presidential wrist slaps, no faith coalition's collective condemnation. Nope, nothing so important as that. Why? Well I suspect it's because we've become used to this kind of hateful, spurious rhetoric and disgusting behavior from the blowhards and talking heads on the TeeVee. Even (or is it especially?) from those who represent Christianity. Whether it's God fearing Americans protesting terrorism or states reacting to the horrors of Sharia, the very people who profess a faith in the God of Love have none of it. It is my opinion that as a Christians we have as special duty to denounce these misrepresentations of our faith. But the duty isn't only shouldered by us, we all have the responsibility as fellow humans to push back against hatred and intolerance where ever it rears its ugly head. Freedom of speech does not change hate into a rational viewpoint, or should it be treated with the same regard as a valid viewpoint and our media should not approach it as such. No, it should be justly condemned for what it is, even if the constitution allows one to spew it.

This is the main reason why our politics on a whole have degraded so much: just because one is allowed to voice an argument does not equal it's validity or the truth of its premises. When the fallacies and poisonous rhetoric go unchallenged in the MSM it secretly condones and justifies them. This goes for our personal lives as well. The very notion of a society where there are different versions of the Truth depending upon ones politics and/or religion is outrageous and shows a level of contempt for the Truth itself. In this type of society no one has rights because they will become suspect at the drop of an opinion poll. The only way to change this trend is engagement. Write or call your congresspersons, or write a letter to an Editor. Take to the streets if need be, but this intolerance in the name of religion must be responded to. If we cannot stop the bullying, the attacks, and the scapegoating then we will end up living in a society where everyone will lose the very American right to worship in the faith of our choice, even if it's the right to practice no faith at all.

It's been a long time....

I've been away from the blog thing for quite some time. Part of it has been my infatuation with Twitter, but most of it has been the shifting currents in my personal life. Many of you know I was in discernment to religious life for nearly four years. I was to make first vows this July. Well, something wasn't sitting right with me this whole time, and I spent the good portion of last year in reflection as to which way to proceed. Many things came to the forefront. One major one was the gulf I felt between my own life experience and that of the sisters in my community, most of which entered directly out of High School. Being an artist, I've always sought work in the creative fields such as photography, or more recently, film making. This has given me quite a diverse exposure to people, places and differing world views that has enriched and broadened my own lens on life. Through discernment I had to realize that I've been given these experiences for a reason, as a gift, to use in service to the people I had come in contact with, which were mostly people on the fringes of culture, faith and religion. I now know what is meant by the statement "grow where you're planted", for I was planted in that particular soil for a reason. This became an Aha! moment, but also a letting go moment. I needed to let go of the idea that the only way to grow in my relationship with God was to become someone I was never meant to be. I am called to flourish in that special soil that is peculiarly "me", warts and all. Integrity is really what draws us to the Divine, the more we act with integrity, towards ourselves as well as others, the more we move towards God. Being honest about who we are is the first step, the next is allowing ourselves to realize that God loves us in this place of imperfection. This is the part that takes a lifetime.

I also came to the understanding that my own experience of the Divine was much bigger than the narrow understanding of the Catechism that religious life would ask me to support, in spite of my own lived experiences to the contrary. I have always been someone to speak my mind, and the censorship that I had to continually place upon myself was eating at me. A lifetime of this would have been unbearable. My heart goes out to those who can stomach it. Perhaps it's my ego, but I was unable to do it. I'm a Homo Loving, Tree Hugging, Bra Burning, politically Progressive, God is Love kinda gal, so you can see the "nun" shoes pinched quite a bit. Oh, and I know that is how many people see religious sisters, but the reality is different. There is much pressure these days to tow the party line, just look at the recent Vatican inquiry into the communities here in the U.S. for starters.

Well for all that said, I feel it's time to jump back into the long form and start blogging again. So much is happening in the world, some frightening, some inspiring. So with my mission statement in mind, it's time to jump back in with both feet. Let the blogging begin!

P.S. For some stupid reason Blogger doesn't have an "Unlink" function in the text edit, which makes me want to let loose a string of profanities, but I'm over it. So for the curious at heart follow the link for a special surprise!

P.P.S. I found it! Text link no longer embarrassing.