Thursday, 22 December 2016

"We don't get religion"

The editor of The New York Times has said: “We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives” as it becomes clear that the US election result was probably due to a small percent of Christians who had previously voted for Obama, voting for Trump. This may have been on the basis that Hillary Clinton was going to outlaw and marginalise traditional Christianity by requiring it to change.

Serious papers need to employ more literate journalists. They need fewer writers who:
  • admire status, ego and 'supermen'; 
  • see all religions as the same; 
  • do not grasp that it is scripture and doctrine that steers true believers, not bigotry.
Liberals talk about ‘religious bigots’. The religious are not ‘bigoted’ : they are obedient to church doctrine and/or Scriptures. Such myopia not only affects left wing journalists. Most politicians, diplomats and policymakers cannot see the invisible influence of religion in politics, nations, cultures and people’s lives. They also have no understanding of the drivers behind religious extremism which is influenced by the interpretation of certain religious texts.

Worse still, religious illiteracy affects liberal Christian leaders. You only have to hear some liberal church leaders ventilating their doubts to realise that they have no idea of what faith is. Their tea lady probably understands faith and true doctrine ten times better than they do, and knows how to practice it. They seem like blind guides.

In the view of some traditional Catholics, Pope Francis has been overturning or ignoring Catholic doctrine. Being postmodern, he may not realise that he is up against, not flesh and blood, but the collective historic views of the visible and invisible Catholic church developed over centuries (whether it was right or wrong).

Christian doctrine (literally 'teaching')  is a vast body of knowledge: it is not 'bigotry'. It is the labour of centuries, the result of much discussion over Scriptural texts (or traditions) subjected to learned scholarship (whether its results are still under development, or definitively God’s Truth).

We urgently need to develop and promote religiously literate editors, leaders, politicians, diplomats, policymakers, and even church leaders, who understand the concept of 'a body of doctrine'. They also need to grasp that man and woman are spiritual beings, not just economic and political units just motivated by selfishness and greed.

Christianity is not 'a comforting message' but a vast and comprehensive worldview with its own inner harmony, balance and divine rationality. It cannot be changed or deconstructed by modernity or politics - or by one person's political views. Jesus also said that that that 'the gates of hell' cannot overcome it. It may dwindle in the West, for a season, but it is rampaging through the rest of the world.

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