And when he entered into the boat, his disciples followed him: And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him? Gospel of Matthew - 23-27 Douay-Rheims Bible
Speaking of Tempests in a tea-cup - I read Steve Chapman, the poor man's David Brooks Conservative voice at the Chicago Tribune, well before break of day. Chapman is too cute by half and nearly as accurate.
This week, Newsweek decided to deconstruct Christianity with the words and counsel of Andrew Sullivan - a gay Catholic Conservative Sarah Palin stalking Christopher Hitchens without the makings.
Sullivan has full media agreed upon standing as an important voice. It plumb evades me. Nevertheless, Mr. Sullivan gets syndicated nationally, along with other strange speaking sophists and bunko-artists like Michael Eric Dyson, Roger Simon, Jonathan Alter, and always hilarious Roland S. Martin. Interesting to note each and every one of those nationally recognized voices were silenced here in Sweet Chicago by the gales of laughter stormed up by readers of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, The Daily Defender and other news outlets.
Andrew Sullivan commands us to "Forget the church. Follow Jesus."
Andrew is just down right hissified that religion has become so politically polarizing.
Organized religion ( read the Roman Catholic Church) is mean, because Catholics who are largely Catholic are disgusted and angry by the Obama Regime's HHS Mandate, along with antipathy to Homosexual Marriage. Catholics are the Jews and Evangelical Christians of the New Millennium - fair targets for group hate. Mormons are really in for abuse in the months to come as well.
Mainline Protestant religions and secular Jews melted away decades ago into Unitarianism - the are spiritual but not necessarily religious and certainly not judgemental. They can be identified as State Religionists with Bill Moyers as Supreme Pontiff.
Jews, Evangelicals, and Catholics know that Jesus not only said "Follow Me, but also added this biblical (Gospel - Matthew the Taxman again) imperative -"And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. " Tough to parse that one away, there Andrew.
Conservative voices like David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Buckley validated Barrack H. Obama's parking pass in the drive way at 16 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008 and beyond.
Not be left out of the faux-conservative Obama bandwagon, Steve Chapman does a great Amen to Andy Sullivan's dumps Churches and Follow Jesus the Community Activist:
So a lot of people who are not conservative but once would have gone to worship services have decided they don't belong. They see the GOP claiming to represent the will of God and run the other way.
"Each year, fewer and fewer Americans identify as secular Republicans or religious Democrats," write political scientists David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. "Formerly religious Democrats (except among African-Americans) have drifted away from church, and formerly unobservant Republicans have found religion."
That may sound like a reasonable trade for conservative Christians. Who needs skeptics and scoffers anyway? But it has some side effects they may come to regret.
One is that they are losing leverage and consideration in one of the two major parties. President Barack Obama's proposal to make religiously affiliated universities and hospitals provide contraceptive coverage to employees might not have occurred if religious folk were more numerous in the Democratic ranks.
Another consequence is that making the Almighty synonymous with political conservatism breeds contempt for faith. Young people now are far more likely alienated from religion than their forebears were. In the 1970s, only 12 percent of people in their 20s disavowed any religious affiliation. Today, 33 percent do.
The change has a lot to do with the fact that "millennials" tend to be liberal or libertarian on social issues. When they hear Republicans invoking the Bible to justify banning same-sex marriage, many deduce that Republicans are too intolerant to bear — and so is the Bible.
The people with no religious affiliation lean strongly Democratic. In 2008, 75 percent voted for Obama, compared to 45 percent of Protestants and 54 percent of Catholics. Even in 2010, a Republican year, 68 percent of them voted Democratic for Congress.
The Republican practice of spurning "none/other" voters (basically, all who don't identify themselves as Christians) could turn out to be a fatal error. The Georgetown University blog Nineteen Sixty-four says they are now so numerous that "Obama could lose both the Catholic and Protestant vote to the Republican nominee — even lose badly — and still win re-election."
As the nonreligious proliferate, the GOP may find it has foreclosed any chance of winning their votes. What it hears from this group comes straight from the old country song: "God may forgive you, but I won't. Yes, Jesus loves you, but I don't. They don't have to live with you, and neither do I."
Chapman starts his piece with a lame joke about God the Father being a Republican, but His Son is a Democrat. I am a Democrat and as I recall from my parents and Catholic teachers, there are two Testaments but one Bible. The later Christians believe to be the fulfillment of the former.
Andrew Sullivan and Steve Chapman argue that if you are to be considered a sophisticated devotee of secular goodness and citizenship, you need to be un-Churched. Get un-Churched and get hip with the State - the Progressive Vatican.
Perhaps, Mr. Chapman hears the giggles among the helots and pew-Occupiers. Perhaps, he is looking for the same comfortable bedding found by lambs who left Chicago's caustic giggling Rubes and Patriarchal religionists: Roger Simon, Michael Eric Dyson, Jonathan Alter and the always hilarious Roland S. Martin.
That Progresive manger has great straw ( pays well).
I'll stick with the Rock.
Religion is not a 12 -Step Program, Political Caucus, or try-out for Salon. It is like trying to train for a sport*. Religion is a tough and heavy set of weights strapped to our ankles while we sprint and struggle up many flights of stairs. We practise religion and some times we manage to actually strengthen ourselves, but we do not get up those stairs on our own. We have voices shouting encouragement, warning, remonstrance and judgement. It is up to us to continue the climb. If we quit, as we often do, it does us no earthly good to make up an excuse. " The coach don't like me; he favors the Italian kids; I broke my ankle last summer; I need to feel good about myself. Some else will carry my load."
Those of us who make it to the top know that run down is easy, but there is another set stairs to follow.
The young people, whom Chapman and other clever dicks call the Millennials, might find fulfillment on Saturday nights, club hopping, or boozing, or dancing with their friends. They need a voice to tell them that lying bed until noon or beyond on Sunday morning and moaning, OMG!!! God! Christ! is not church service. They generally get there after trusting the faith in spite of the tempest.
We of little faith, belong to a huge strong and very unpopular Church. If you belong to a club you go the meetings. Those meetings started with eleven and shortly twelve, because Judas Iscariot's self esteem was challenged. The demographics found in Acts of Apostles pointed to a very healthy development. Romans thinned out the numbers considerably, but this Church managed endure the Big Government Mandates of the Julio-Claudians and the Praetorian Emperors.
Obama is a cupcake compared to Domitian, so far.
* Past Acquaintance -Jesus, Hickey, you were the biggest Pu$$y of all time!
Your Humble Correspondent - Well, runner-up, anyway.