June 23, 2007

Amri broke it down really well. What else can I add to this conversation? Well, there was this great episode in the first season of The West Wing, titled “Take this sabbath day.” Martin Sheen’s character, U.S. President Jed Bartlet, a Roman Catholic, has to decide whether or not to pardon a death row inmate who was to be executed sun down on sunday (according the show, the American legal system does not execute people on the sabbath). He ultimately decides not to stay the execution. Meanwhile he calls up his priest from his hometown in New Hampshire. President Bartlet shares with him the awful dilemma of deciding the fate of a man who may have not had a fair trial. The priest shares an allegory: You know, you remind me of the man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. And that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’

The waters rose up. A guy in a row boat came along and he shouted, ‘Hey, hey you! You in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’

A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, ‘Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.

Well… the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?’

God said, ‘I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?

To this I add, don’t wait for the floods to come to prove your faith. If faith keeps you from doing good deeds like saving girls from a burning school, even if they are not dressed properly (Saudi Arabia) then you need to abandon that brand of faith. If faith makes you kill a female member of your family because she dishonored you, then you need to abandon that particular brand of faith and focus on the good kind like charity or almsgiving or something. Maybe you should go on a pilgrimage or something and think things over before making a drastic decision. If faith makes you think that going to war is okay because God told you to do it (Bush) then maybe you need to have your head checked.

There’s faith and then there’s Faith. One ‘s supposed to give you hope when you’ve exhausted all other options. The latter is a blueprint for this life and the next. In my opinion if your faith and Faith makes you a jerk to other people then it’s not worth a whole lot. Backhanded compliments to nonbelievers or those believers who don’t quite meet your expectations are not welcome either. I suppose personally I am tired of the attitude that some Mormons have, which is the same attitude as those who don’t like Mormons; that if you don’t believe as they do then they are ultimately damned. Almost evey Christian sect has this quasi-Bushite “if you’re not with us then you’re against us” mentality and both think they are justified while not realizing that it’s highly offensive to their intended targets.

One comment

  1. Wow, what an amazing post. I appreciate your perspective – it’s nice to hear it from time to time.

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