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The Watercooler ~ Religious Rhetoric and Politics

I know there's a message in there somewhere...

Some diaries just flow. Seem to come as naturally as water flowing down hill and can be put together in ten minutes or less. Others take time to percolate and develop gradually — many times as a reaction to events that require (some would go so far as to say “demand”) a response. That is, at least to those of us who are partial to expressing ourselves in writing — and on a political blog, no less.

I have one such diary percolating right now. It’s been simmering off and on, actually, for a couple of years. But at this point, it still seems barely half-baked so I hesitate to begin.

For one thing, the subject matter could easily be divided into several categories and each could be turned into a lengthy discussion. Which I don’t have time for. So for now, I’ll just consider this a confession of a pet peeve.

The religious/political rhetoric that tries to describe social conservatives — i.e., Christians — who live and love their faith and the God who undergirds it all, are commonly referred to as exercising their first amendment right to “practice their deeply held religious beliefs.” The term bothers me, like fingernails on a chalk board, and doesn’t quite fit for me.

Some of that has to do with my religious background. In fact, the word “religious” — in my neck of the Christian non-denominational woods — actually carries with it an almost derogatory sense. A cold term disconnected from the reality of a personal relationship with a loving God. Calling someone religious could mean anything and most of what it conjures up in my mind is negative.

I would never tell someone that the reason I am opposed to promoting homosexuality, same-sex marriage or abortion is because of my religious beliefs. I would say something like I learned the hard way that God means what he says in his Word. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you or I think, feel or believe about it (so in that regard, they are not “my religious beliefs,” but God’s laws and precepts to live by). Scripture, contrary to what some would like us to believe, is pretty simple to understand. Our duty as Christians, in my view, is to find out what it says and out of love and respect for God, obey.

That to me is a beautiful thing.

The Watercooler is always an open thread.

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