Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This Desert Life (Updated)

According to a news story I heard on NPR this morning, apparently Santa Fe is in serious danger of being in a spiritual desert, at least that's what a group of fundamental and Bible-based Christians are saying and that's why they are conferring here in my lovely hometown. Apparently, our mayor changed his mind and decided not to speak at the opening of this gathering because of its anti-gay agenda. A few highlights from the article from the Santa Fe New Mexican. The Journal North also posted an article about the "revival" of Santa Fe. It fills in the rest of the picture. I loved the quote from Martin that said that the mayor has been known to attend church on Sundays-- at a Catholic Church-- like that's a bad thing. Oy... I suspect these are the kind of Christians who don't consider me, a Catholic, a Christian.

Coss said he was troubled by the Web site's assertions that the country is heading toward destruction. Reasons for this, on the site, included the removal of God from society; "so-called social problems" like violence, rape and abortion; disintegration of the traditional family; a spirit of selfishness; Supreme Court decisions on abortion and separation of church and state; and the "homosexual explosion."

"Enough is enough," it (it being the website) says. "The comparisons of Sodom and Gomorrah to the United States are, unfortunately, accurate. We must stop affirming the homosexual lifestyle as an accepted behavior within society."

Idiocy abounds! I just can't believe that people think and believe this crap and they are everywhere! Yes, I'm a Christian, but I don't believe in literal interpretations of the Bible and this sounds just like bible-based Christianity to me, with it's literal interpretations and fundamentalist practices, which are just wrong. Like so much going on with the religious right, they are co-opting Jesus and the Bible to suit their agenda.

The mayor in his refusal to address this group is standing up for the fair treatment of all human beings, rational thought and our City's history of tolerance and celebration of diversity.

It also claimed this: Questioned about his comments that the Santa Fe River is dry because of the sins of mankind, Martin quoted from 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

That cracked me up the most. The City damns the river to provide water for all its citizens. This is a desert, but it is not a dry spiritual desert. We've had long periods of drought, and we have a ever-growing population with huge demands on our water system. The reservoirs are full, water has been released so the river is actually flowing right now. If they'd been here two weeks ago they would have seen just how much of a spiritual oasis this city is, the Fiestas are both a secular and spiritual time here. The spirituality here is not just Christian, but every kind of spirituality imaginable, to people with no spiritual beliefs what so ever.

I checked out the website revivesantafe.com and found myself amused, offended and annoyed all at once. Grrr Arrgh! The blog which was mentioned in the article no longer seems to exist, so I guess I can't leave a comment. Bummer.

Oh... and they've held their own press conference.

ETA: Had the start of a decent discussion of this post in comments, mostly a Catholic view of the Bible. Had I been keeping up with my blog reading I could have sent the commenter to this post, at Stuff Catholics Like for a good commentary on Catholics and the Bible. America Magazine also had an article I wanted to point out as well. I think this might have been it. Not sure thought.


Anonymous said...

So are you saying that your Christianity is not based on the Bible? If not, what is your basis?

Have you actually studied the Bible yourself, or have you only read about it or listened to what others say about it?

Maria said...

No. I can see where you may infer I said that. Christianity is Christianity, though there are many denominations that make up the Christian faith. Many quite different from others, many believe in the Bible literally, which can be a very narrow approach when studying the Bible. I believe the Bible is both the Word of God and divinely inspired. I don't believe in literal interpretations of it either. What I believe, as a Catholic and a Christian, is that the Church predates the Bible. Tradition actually predates the Bible. The Canon of the Bible was created in the 4th Century. Before Christians had a book, St. Paul and the other Apostles spread the Good News of Jesus through word of mouth, they wrote letters and the evangelists wrote the Gospels in the early days of Christianity, but those were not the Bible as we know it.

Those early Christians were trying hard to keep their fledgling community alive, fighting for their very lives as well as preach the news of the Lord. They told and retold the stories, they followed the traditions and probably the lessons they preached they may have learned from those who possibly heard the Word from Jesus himself. In their ministries, they read the letters and the teachings from the Jesus and subsequently the Apostles, but they didn't have a bible in which to refer back to like we do now. The early Church was about tradition, just as the Church today. Tradition which now uses the Bible in its liturgy and worship.

So to answer your question about my experience with the Bible. Of course I've read the bible and yes, I've studied it. As a Catholic I'm fortunate that I can hear God's Word proclaimed every day at Mass if I choose to. I own at least two Bibles, one a study Bible, and I do read from them.

Anonymous said...

So the early writings of the apostles were not preserved when the canon was agreed upon?

Maria said...

Of course they were, what do you think the Canon was comprised from?

Anonymous said...

Ok, so your comment,
"Before Christians had a book, St. Paul and the other Apostles spread the Good News of Jesus through word of mouth, they wrote letters and the evangelists wrote the Gospels in the early days of Christianity, but those were not the Bible as we know it."
was referring to format, not content.

Maria said...