Friday, September 26, 2008

Ruminations on the Upcoming Election

This is a very interesting post by Andrew Cohen, a writer whose work I only recently encountered. I don't know much about him, but I want to know more -- at least based on this post.

On the one hand, I think my own disenchantment with Christianity came out of the same "Stop The Madness" impetus as this article. I'm not interested in a religion that focuses only on pie-in-the-sky-after-you-die. I want and need the kind of religion that will help me in the here and now as I attempt to navigate the tricky passages of growing up, growing older, and letting go of people and things I love.

My personal disillusionment with Christianity in the post-post-Modern world began niggling around the edges of my soul more than a decade ago, but it overflowed after 9/11/2001. I realized the churches (full though they were for a few weeks or months after the attacks) had absolutely nothing to offer us in the wake of that tragedy.

I continued to participate in a church for a while in the hope that I would rediscover the joy or that the Church would get "fired up" in the post 9/11 world and start to focus on the issues facing us in this Post-Modern, Post-Christian world. It never happened.

When the churches encourage us to focus on the unknown future and ignore the reality of the here-and-now, we are in trouble.

When church leaders seek to use their "authority" to control and manipulate the people in the pews for political ends, the Church falls into sin, and leads the People astray.

Religion should not be about the afterlife or some transcendent, mysterious unknown and unknowable god up there in the sky, in a galaxy far, far away. Real Religion, true religion, valid and useful religion, Religion that Matters a damn, should be about how (and why) to get out of bed in the morning and how (and why) to bother about "doing what needs to be done" (as they do in Lake Woebegone). That's the kind of religion I want and need.

It strikes me that is the kind of religion/spirituality Cohen is talking about.

Voting in this presidential election is not just a civic duty or a privilege. It is a sacred obligation.

I am not optimistic that Senator Obama will be able to change very much.

I am absolutely positive that Senator McCain will not change anything.

Senator Obama's grassroots experience making a real difference in organizing neighborhoods in Chicago, strikes me as the best possible experience for the job of President. We will say nothing of administrative experience as a shill for interests of Big Oil in Alaska.

In any case, I like the idea that spirituality is not about fairy tales (despite my passion for fairy tales) or pie in the sky. Spirituality is about caring for Creation.

What we buy at the grocery store, what we drive, the size and location of our homes, and who we vote for are all a reflection of what we believe about how we should care for Creation.

This is our World. According to Genesis, it was given to humans to care for. We in America have a chance (maybe) to vote in the near future. However we vote, it should be an outgrowth of our spiritual vision.

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