Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker:
Or stop dressing like them
that was right up there with our old family favorite from the 1970s, when Phil Esposito was scoring at a goal-a-game clip for the Boston Bruins:
But Espo knocks it in on the rebound
I may well not be the person to critique religious doctrine and practices, since the church militant stopped speaking for me many years ago, and I had my quadrennial fill of fundamentalism during the last election cycle. But the spiritual side of my childhood faith resonates still, as I wonder: who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? And, increasingly, where are we going? I still love the music, the blended sound of organ and human voice. I love the beauty of the churches and the language of King James, and I can still recite much of the liturgy by heart.
But the doctrinal exclusiveness of many sects and their dogmatic definition of the good life turned me away. It is a complicated history. Churches have been both the essential drivers of civil and human rights and the great impediments to universal understanding. And the backlashes against women and gays, which are particularly strong in the three monotheistic religions, strike me as immoral. We express righteous outrage at the treatment of women in other societies but silently tolerate our own Taliban. In most cultures through most of history, women were essential members of the religious communion. As they should be.
Honk if you love Jesus