Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama, Notre Dame Mess, and the Left, Right Brain


I started paying attention to the Obama vs. Notre Dame Catholics on the abortion, Pro-Choice/Pro-Life protest last night while watching Anderson Cooper. I've talked before about Obama's approval of new funding for stem cell research, a presidential decision that riled pro-lifers, and as far as the abortion issue goes, I think the Notre Dame controversy is a tempest in a teapot; people need to chill.

My dad's Roman Catholic, I'm not. He's never mentioned abortion that I recall. However, I do lean more toward traditional Christian world views, but leaning that way need not be the pushy position that the religious right makes it to be.

I'm pro-life for me, as in I've never chosen to have an abortion because I believe God would have been displeased with me had I made that decision, and yes, I was once in a situation that required me to make that choice. But, and it's a big but, I'm pro-choice for you. I believe my view of divinity is my decision. I can't prove my faith with science, and so I should not force my faith on others.

Furthermore, I think if we could get Jesus himself on Skype, he'd be pro-choice for you and your moral decisions that require faith but pro-life as omniscient divinity. According to the book of Revelations, v. 3:20, he said "Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me." He did not say, "Listen up! I'm gonna knock down this door and come in whether you want me to or not, and you will follow me because I said so." (No need to comment and tell me that you don't believe Jesus is real. It's not news that some people don't believe in Jesus.)

Choice, yup.

If a worldly government's people choose not to follow presumably biblical teaching, then it seems that's allowed "under God." If it turns out those people were dreadfully wrong and the Bible is true, then somebody's gonna be in trouble in the future, but we're not in the future. We're in the now. Let's wait and see how it pans out.

Is your faith strong enough for that? Is there something in the Bible that tells Christians don't wait for God, but rather run people who disagree with you in the ground? I think believers who are obsessed with shoving their beliefs down the throats of others show that they doubt their beliefs.

Furthermore, I don't think Paul and the Apostles spent time trying to force their faith on others either. In all his writings from his jail, even after reminding folks he was a Roman citizen, not once did Paul direct Christians to go interfere with Roman government.

I think Christians trying to force Christian beliefs on America is tied not so much to biblical teaching as it is to nationalistic fervor, the conviction that the USA is a Christian nation, and the ambition of power-hungry religious leaders who want to keep it that way.

They need to be careful because they're putting their belief that America is and should be a Christian nation above Jesus himself. To them America is a type of god.

What Does Notre Dame Want to Be?

As for the Notre Dame folks, if Notre Dame is to be taken seriously as a university offering a strong education, then its leaders should let the president speak. After all, as one person pointed out on Anderson Cooper, its officials let Bush and Reagan speak, both were pro-death penalty, and the Catholic church is anti-death penalty. Obama should speak and any students who don't like it should stand and turn their backs on him or heckle him just as other students have protested when other government officials have spoken where they were not fully-welcomed.

If Notre Dame wants to be a university that's closed to non-Catholics and outside opinion, if it want to be more like a Fundamentalist Christian Bible College, then its officials should tell Obama, "Thanks but no thanks. We don't you here." After all, Jesus did throw the money changers out of the temple, key word "temple." If Notre Dame sees itself as a temple to God and its leaders believe God doesn't want Obama in it, then so be it.

Addressing abortion in the nation, however, is a different topic.

Everytime I hear people talk who can only see issues in black and white and insist that folks follow the letter of the law or when I consider how polarized we are on some serious issues in America, I think of the study that indicates our brains may be wired as left wing or right wing thinkers. It suggests that agreement between these two types of people may be doomed.

Sadly, if the study results are true, President Barack Obama's tendency to seek compromise will create endless problems for him. Actually, if that study is true this world is on a slow-boat to hell.

Speaking of a slow-boat to hell, as in seeking reason with a fruit loop, Alan Keyes has been arrested in protests against the president's Notre Dame commencement speech.

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2 comments:

Marvalus said...

I feel the exact same way you do. What amazes me is that when I explain my position on abortion to folks, I get the "you're riding the fence" speech. I'm not.

I believe in choice. I believe that God has given us free will. I beleive that it is your choice to make that decision and you are the one that has to take it up with your God the results of whatever actions you choose to take.

Vérité Parlant said...

Thank you, Marva. It sound like some people can't separate the difference between believing abortion is wrong and believing that we as Christians are not commissioned to run the lives of other people.

They seem to think being the salt of the earth means they must act to preserve what they believe to be true and pushing that on others. So they not only want to be the salt but the salter.

I think being salt has more to do with being present and exhibiting the spirit of Jesus through Christ-like example.

Well, that just came out. LOL.

Have a wonderful day!