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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Friday, January 16 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

The flip side

Wednesday's entry, I'm sure, didn't quite get through to some who read it. I'm assuming that based on my own experience. It took me years of preparation and some metaphorical bouts of knock-down drag-out late-night bull slinging to get it myself. Life is religion. What could that possibly mean? Maybe the answer is more easily approached in the opposite direction.

I concluded on Wednesday by saying, "Without religion, nothing else in life has a floor to stand on." Its flip side is, "whatever floor you're standing on is your religion." That would be really easy if the "know thyself" of Socrates were as simple as it sounds. But most of us don't know ourselves. The Apostle Paul speaks of this: You look in the mirror and admire what you see, and don't see anything truly, he says (1 Corinthians 13:12). We are all the victims of our own "conceits," to use a term our parents were more familiar with.

If you have the "upper story" conception of religion or relationship with Jesus that I saw as characterizing the politics of Howard Dean in Wednesday's outing—that is, the idea that religion is something you use to get votes in the south or help you justify supporting spousal rights for gay couples, something that's "theoretical" but not "scientific"...such religion is far from being the thing you're standing on, or at least it's not what you're standing on most of the time. Most of the time you're standing on your cleverness, your ego, your ambition, your political affiliations and endorsements. When it comes to using human embryos for scientific research (at the cost of destroying the human life in those embroyos) like Dean, you're standing on not what Judeo-Christian tradition has always (before 1970) taught about pregnancy and birth but on "scientific" priorities.

But if you're trying to live your whole life on the basis of your religion, and your religion is Christ and His teachings and commandments, your science is no less religious, no less Christ-based, than your theology or hermeneutics. Neither is your politics.

Except...except that nothing in life is perfect. We see through the glass darkly even after we've seen the light, so even with our best efforts we make mistakes, have failures, offend people we didn't mean to hurt, cause discomfort to ourselves and others, and on and on; we sin, "miss the mark." Still, life is religion. As Paul says, "to me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). That's the mark that those in Him press toward. And to the extent they're able, they don't try to hide it or mask it, but rather confess, "to me, to live...."

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Signs

On a taxidermist's window: "We really know our stuff."

In a podiatrist's office: "Time wounds all heels."

—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz 

Thought for today

A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.

— Will Rogers

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