Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012

Thomas Jefferson was a Christian?  Many say he was not... but he did what many do; use the bible and select what he wants from it.  His form of Christianity was certainly a "cut and paste" as he LITERALLY cut passages he liked and created his own version.

I believe the bible is not "agenda" driven by those who wrote it... I do believe letters and sections were written for specific audiences... but apply to us all.  I believe in the miracles, virgin birth, resurrection, etc... but much of the essence of how Jesus wanted us to live are in Thomas Jefferson's version.

I'm not saying we should cut and paste like Jefferson, BUT he carefully read through and thought about the bible.  I admire that.  He searched and came up with his version.   On one hand, as a Catholic, I find huge problems with this, BUT, on the other hand I admire his searching for truth...  (I don't want to debate this issue, I'm just stating what I think)

Many "so called" Catholics (and Protestants) do what Andrew Sullivan noted in the attached article:  "What does it matter how strictly you proclaim your belief in various doctrines if you do not live as these doctrines demand?"  This is a thought that has been going around in my head lately, life-long Catholic that I am.  

Here are two articles regarding Thomas Jefferson's "cut & paste":


I do find Andrew Sullivan's article troubling.  But it made me think about my Christian faith and whether I have taken responsibility to KNOW it on a personal level.  

In order to "Live the Message" we need to know what that means individually, and not worry so much about what others think of our journey.  The important thing, as I see it, is that we take a journey and search for answers to our questions.  

Happy Easter, everyone.


Fireblossom said...

Happy Easter, Margaret! As always, your photography is so beautiful, and the blooming flower is perfect for Easter Sunday.

I love Easter, but I feel such a mix of feelings today. It may surprise you (or not) to know that I, too, am a Roman Catholic. But I feel estranged from my church because, as a lesbian, I feel that church doctrine teaches that who I am (as opposed to what I do, or what I believe in) is wrong, and I can't accept that. I can't get married in my church. I feel excluded. And yet, I love the church from a deep place, I miss it, and my faith and belief in God is strong. In my poems, you may have noticed, I love to poke fun at religion, but never at Jesus. I believe in the Resurrection, and therefore, in hope, and that's much of why I love Easter.

So, Happy Easter, dearie. I'm glad you're a Toad!

Margaret said...

Fireblossom - Go to church. Go the Catholic Church. If people shun you, that is their problem. There is a lot to poke fun about when "Christian" people respond in non-Christian like behavior. But love them, for that is what they need. Raise your head high, go to the church that feeds you and don't apologize. I don't know if you can turn a blind eye to the marriage issue... but I have a similar issue with contraception. I DON'T contracept (I KNOW, CRAZY.. ha ha) and EVERYONE else pretty much IS... and they are receiving communion. So WHY shouldn't you? See my point?

I don't say that lightly, and I know many, many people will be shocked reading that. But we must search for the answers, always questioning, and I know this goes against Catholic teaching, but decide ourselves what we deem right and wrong.

Doesn't sound very Catholic to me, in many ways, but I do always regard and consider the doctrines and disciplines...

Happy Easter, my friend.

George said...

Happy Easter, Margaret. I haven't read the full Andrew Sullivan article, but, personally, I think that the critical words of Jesus were "follow me"—not believe this doctrine or creed, not meet certain legal requirements, not adhere to the teachings of a particular church, but simply this: Follow. Again, however, I respect the view of those who disagree.

Margaret said...

George. Yes. I don't disagree with you. I can't honostly say that I agree with everything the Catholic Church teaches (and there lies my conflict) but I do give what they teach a lot of thought and consideration... And then make up MY mind. That is really quite a "revolutionary" thing for me!

Laurie Kolp said...

I'm a lifelong Catholic as well and I do have a bit of a problem with its strict, close-minded adherence to outdated principles... BUT, I have learned to separate religion from spirituality and therefore can accept things as they are and remain devout. Does that make sense?

Margaret said...

Laurie... once upon a time I would have said "no". BUT being "older and wiser" it will most likely be my "saving grace". :) Thank you, as I like the way you expressed this... it has been quite an issue for me.

Mary said...

Interesting discussion, Margaret. I am a Lutheran, not a Catholic. But really the important basics we believe are much the same. I do think we each have to know what we believe and decide how to live our lives based on what we believe. I admire Thomas Jefferson for really figuring out what he believed and living it. We CAN learn from this. As for any church excluding someone for being lesbian, gay, practicing birth control, being divorced, etc., I say to that church that it is not the church to judge. GOD is the judge, and I believe God to be a loving and accepting and understanding God. If a person has figured out his/her relationship with God and lives in a way that he/she feels it is a right relationship, no church should turn him/her away. If one does, well then there are others who would not...and he/she should seek one where he/she can feel at home and loved as God would love. I guess I have gotten carried away with my thoughts here.

Mary said...

Forgot to say Happy Easter! I love EASTER for so many reasons.

Ginnie said...

Forgive me if I giggle a bit nervously after reading this, Margaret, because of my Vision and Verb post today. We Protestants have our "jokes" about You Catholics (like we vs. them) probably just like you have them about us. In the end, our faith is within us and needs to be lived out into the world in which we live. Jesus himself had a problem with the religious establishment of his day, didn't he!

Margaret said...

Mary, I thank you for saying what you did. It isn't too much.

Ginnie ... :) I very much believe christian "Love" is a verb. That trumps everything else. As George says above, Jesus said "Follow Me".

Laurie Kolp said...

I also agree with Mary and am grateful that our pastor is more accepting than other Catholic churches in town.