Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Religion Than I Need

This has been one of those days when I bump into someone else's gods all the time. First there was Representative Steve King proposing that the United States Congress reassures Christians, that oppressed minority of this world:

Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world;

Whereas there are approximately 225,000,000 Christians in the United States, making Christianity the religion of over three-fourths of the American population;

Whereas there are approximately 2,000,000,000 Christians throughout the world, making Christianity the largest religion in the world and the religion of about one-third of the world population;

Whereas Christians identify themselves as those who believe in the salvation from sin offered to them through the sacrifice of their savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and who, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation, commit themselves to living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible;

Whereas Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its roots in Christianity;

Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ;

Whereas for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace; and

Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others: Now, therefore be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;

(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.

Why is he so very fragile in his faith? Why is it so fashionable for Christians, that powerful majority, to see themselves as haunted, persecuted and oppressed? Of course I know the answer. Representative King is pandering to the fundamentalist Christians whom the Republican Party has carefully cultivated in victimhood. That victimhood is defined as not being allowed to trample over everybody else.

Nothing much will probably come from all that whereassing, but that is not Mr. King's goal, either. He just wants to fan the flames of the persecuted Christians and to disguise the fact that the Republicans aren't giving them what they want: Our liberal heads on a platter. (See? I have read the Bible many times from cover to cover.)

If that wasn't enough to make a snake goddess grumpy, consider this video cartoon explaining the basics of the Mormon religion. The video is probably not a neutral description of what happens to Mormons after death, as shown by the comments in the attached thread. But the faith surely does look misogynistic for me: women are mere birthing vessels, both here on earth and also in eternity. They don't get to sit at the board meeting of the gods, either. Perhaps this is not a correct representation of the Mormon faith?

Isn't it odd how important gender is for the religious men? I recently read that pope Ratzo believes men will be men in eternity and women will be women in eternity, even though there will be no sex at all. Islam is a little fuzzy on whether women go to the Paradise after death or not, though men can certainly enter it. And of course Christianity worships the Father and the Son but says nothing at all about the Mother or the Daughter. All this sounds to me the way things would be if men had created gods in their own images.