Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers is a new film by director Dan Merchant who is on a quest to understand why Christians have such a hard time following the simplistic message of Jesus. Like a Michael More film, this " is a fast-paced, highly engaging documentary that explores the collision of faith and culture in America."

Why does it 'divide America' so greatly? asks the director. Why, indeed? And I might add, why such a inane question, especially about this nation, this experiment in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Why in this nation which was carefully set up by the Founding fathers NOT to be a religious state?

A quirk in fate, for certain, that this carefully formed and crafted new nation is now 'torn apart' by religion.

I just returned from a 2-week stay in Europe and visited monasteries and churches which were destroyed or taken over by competing Christian faiths, often in a bloody coup. Entire villages wiped out, burned to the ground because they 'believed' in something deigned 'heretical' by another Christian faith. During the Thirty Years War, the present German state of W├╝rttemberg lost three-quarters of its population.

Today, one of the less-serious results of this religious war is that entire villages in W├╝rttemberg are of a single faith. The small Schwartzwald town of my relatives is totally Catholic while the neighboring village, 3 km away, is Protestant. They like it that way.

Men like Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Jay, Madison, and Hamilton knew their European history. They understood what religious bigotry and hate had done to that continent. They longed for a new nation, free of religious intolerance, free from the deadly grip of religious fanaticism.

Yet, here we are some 230 years later, and the 'religious theme' permeates the politics and government of this nation. Stains it. Defiles it.

Rolling over in their graves.

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