Crisis of Faith

Today I met with my “spiritual mommy.”  Usually we get together and share the miracles in our lives and touch briefly on our struggles.  We acknowledge easily how God is working in and through us.  That is what usually happens.

Today I sat on the bench next to Mildred and cried.  The tears weren’t about my life but about the world, my society, my nation.  I cried because I’m having a really difficult time seeing God these days.  The country and way of life I was raised to love and strive for has been swallowed by greed.  Opportunities are falling away.  There seems to be no guarantee for anyone that you will consistently throughout your life have your BASIC needs easily met.  Mega-Millionaires and Billionaires are getting preferential treatment while support for disabled Americans (including war veterans) is being snatched out from beneath them.   The Republican party has managed to attach the moral issue of abortion to the budget so that they can screw over the entire country (well, except for the millionaires and billionaires) and get away with it.  They are manipulating their constituents in the name of Greed, but conveniently renaming it GOD.

So I am having trouble finding the Christ within these political leaders as well as their constituents.  My own father, a retired government worker at a unionized job and father of three middle-class daughters, is a proud Tea Party Republican even though their actions will no doubt lesson the probability of his daughters and granddaughters having comfortable, healthy lives in America.  When I see his pride in the Republican party I take it as a slap in the face.  Unfortunately it causes me to believe that my father and his fellow party members care about no one but themselves, not even their own children and grandchildren.

We are at a moral precipice in this country and I’m starting to wonder where the real God is.  I know there are lots of people pounding on their bibles to fight abortion and gay rights, but so few seem interested in fighting so strongly for the rights of the poor and the weak.  When I wrote about being liberal months ago a few of my Republican friends showed up to assure me that they weren’t greedy and just wanted the freedom of choice of who they donate their money too.  It sounded good in writing, but I’m not sure how it works.  How does a weak, poor, and in essence powerless segment of society manage to “market” themselves to the sympathies of those charitable Republicans?  They can’t!  Which is why we CAN NOT in good conscience cut social programs that provide basic needs to these voiceless masses.

I am watching all of this unfold and I will tell you that I see so much evil in a political party that shrouds itself in Christianity.  I see followers of Jesus betraying his very teachings.  I find myself terrified of the possible pain that will be inflicted on the people of this “great” nation at the hands of these Christian Republicans.  And at the end of it all it makes me doubt the existence of God and I find myself praying for signs that he/she/it is still in control here!  Unfortunately right now the only winners I see are the folks who have thrown ethics, morals, compassion, and brotherly love out the window.

 

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11 thoughts on “Crisis of Faith

  1. Rhoberta Shaler, PhD April 8, 2011 / 12:18 pm

    Oh, I empathize with your feelings. It seems to be as you have written, but we know that evil and error are impersonal. What we can do is to continue to see the face of God on every single person we meet and treat them accordingly. That’s the choice we can make. We can be the generators, not the reactors. Let’s focus on being us–loving, pouring, compassionate people who are not doormats, not passive, but rather pro-active and pouring. Let’s remember to “Resist not evil.” because, when we resist we give it life. It’s not easy but we can make the choices that make us who we are, regardless of anything else that is going on in this world. I’m walking with you. Let’s Sow Peace™ by our examples.

    • lesleehorner April 8, 2011 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you Rhoberta! I have spent the past few years reading so much about a loving and providing God force. I’ve also read so often that the energy behind an action needs to be loving and positive or it won’t be successful. Yet if you look at the success of big corporations they seem to be chugging along doing better than ever even as they put profit above all else. It seems contradictory to what I believe. I am trying to find the balance, a way that I can rest in the peace of God but still express my anger and disappointment at the blatant disrespect and injustice I see in the political landscape. How can I have a relationship with God and serve those in need as Jesus did? When I strive for the relationship with God I tend to go inward, bury my head, and become apathetic. When I strive to bring about awareness and help in whatever way I can I get swept away by anger. So it is a goal to find the balance where I am able to do both.

  2. slowdancejournal April 8, 2011 / 7:38 pm

    Even Jesus was sometimes swept away by anger. In the face of a national agenda that so harms the most helpless among us I think anger is only appropriate. But it is not God inflicting these terrible policies on our country, it is human beings–and we are too. We must stand up! Stand up! Blissing out with God is not the right response now, Leslee, you are doing the work that needs to be done. Keep it up. I’m very proud of you–and I’m with you in the trenches.

    Adrian Fogeln

  3. Tgumster April 9, 2011 / 5:21 pm

    Dearest Leslee,
    Yesterday, our mutual friend, Adrian Fogelin, posted the link to your poignant blog. You and it have been on my mind ever since. Pretty sure you passed through my dreams last night; like your post, they were fraught with doubt and determination.

    I have a Tea Party family, too. We rarely communicate but that was true long before the Tea Party. I’m the recessive liberal, lesbian gene, usually unwelcome in a catholic or Catholic world, yet I studied the Old Testament because I wanted to understand what Christianity brought to social law and to literature. Frankly, Buddhism and meditation…. Oh heck, just have an open heart; it worked for Jesus and for Buddha.

    I’m drawn to the courage of your tears for you write them with such conviction. I don’t know you but I’m proud of you. You are what is good in the world, what has always been good, and for now, that may be the extent of your faith, which is a lot, actually. Because of you, I hope anew, and in hope, the community of faith expands.

    Thank you, Leslee.

    • lesleehorner April 9, 2011 / 8:54 pm

      Tgumster-thank you so much for your loving and thoughtful comment! I have always been moved by the political landscape and have tried to keep myself somewhat informed about what’s going on. Lately I feel a stronger pull to get involved. The first and easiest (yet still quite difficult) way is through my writing. I feel too deeply about too many of the issues to not stick my head out…at least a little.

      And as for God, she/he/it shows up through people like you finding and encouraging the small steps I take.

      Thank you again!

  4. Feather April 10, 2011 / 9:29 am

    “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross,” said Sinclair Lewis.

  5. Robert Marvin April 27, 2011 / 12:00 pm

    I find it equally disturbing to see that people who view themselves as open minded and compassionate are just as likely to demonize people who hold different political beliefs as those they rail against. Jesus commissioned us as individuals to treat others as if they were treating him.
    We should not place an impersonal governmental agency in our place and fool ourselves into believing that is a fit substitute for our personal mission. You may criticize institutions such as the Catholic Church for having views that you disagree with, but their members dedicate thousands of hours of personal time and money to help our most needy citizens.
    The best way to promote love and acceptance is to follow His example and give it unconditionally to ALL His children, even those who hold different political views than yours.

    • lesleehorner April 27, 2011 / 1:54 pm

      Thanks for the comment Robert! And I completely hear you on this. This is a whole other aspect of my crisis of faith, finding myself feeling anger instead of love for some of my neighbors. To follow Jesus is to seek to love and forgive everyone. I am in my own way as hypocritical as the people I speak of in this post.

    • ThePioneer May 11, 2011 / 2:26 pm

      Sir, I respectfully disagree. I voluntary donations (of time or money) could change things, the world and world history would be a very differnt place. Indeed, the US was originally founded on voluntary taxiation, with the belief that people would understand it was in their best interest to donate to the defense of all. It didn’t work, hence the constitution. In human history it has never worked. The government has to take by force to help all because we have species limitations that keep us for helping as we should. What is good to protect the citizens from the privations of war is just as effective to protect them from the privations of poverty, just as needed, and just as moral. I am 100% personal donations of time and wealth, but it is not and cannot be a substitute for government redistribution to protect all.

  6. ThePioneer May 11, 2011 / 5:53 pm

    @Leslee
    I think my parents found me deconverting from Christianity as painful as they did me deconverting from Rightwing Republicanism. I left both for the same reason: the facts didn’t support the case. I’m all for capitalism, it is a great way to allocate scarce resources. However, somethings in live have value independent of the market, such as a health. Letting the free market decide who lives and dies based on ability to pay is gross.

    If god is real, he, she, it or they loves free will so much, it’ll let us destroy each other and our world just to exercise it. But that’s OK. We can choose to make the world better just as much as we can choose to make it worse.

    • lesleehorner May 11, 2011 / 8:02 pm

      I’m so glad you’re back! I missed you in the blogosphere!

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