Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Great article from the Alternapress

These were the articles that got me into the debate at Rod's -- one week apart by Julie Lyons, editor of the Dallas Observer. At her publication's blog, the woman who holds the top editorial position at the Village Voice Media's outlet in Dallas outs herself as having struggled with lesbianism and ends her story (even worse) by becoming a Pentecostal Christian who married after being born again. She underwent some kind of spiritual prayer-healing -- she's vague on the matter, and I know nothing of that side of Protestantism, but that won't prevent me from stating with certainty that it probably involved some snake-handling.

It's a brilliant piece, not the least because of the unexpected location of it (and don't think there isn't plenty of vituperation of her in the Observer blog; and elsewhere). The best line in the original piece, in my opinion, is this one:
The evangelical faith loses every bit of its meaning and power when it is separated from love, the eternal principle behind the gospel of Jesus Christ. But this love is not some squishy, infinitely malleable thing that exists apart from truth—the truth revealed in the Bible. It is a love that constrains: from hatred, and from sin.
"Love that constrains"?? How can unconditional acceptance "constrain"; constraint is denial??

To paraphrase the end of a recent George Will column, if you want to understand the real reason for the religiosity of Red America — read that sentence again. And then read the one next to it. And reflect on the differences in referents and the assumptions they both contain and cause. I'll give Lyons herself gets the last word, from the Front Burner blog, turning a favorite phrase of liberals back at them:
Last week when hostile comments starting flowing in to Unfair Park concerning Bible Girl, my husband ... wrote a very eloquent response ... I advised him not to post it, touched as I was by his concern for me. He ultimately made his own decision not to post. I told him this: Don't waste your breath on people who are unwilling to challenge their own prejudices, regardless of what you say and what you've gone through.
Preach it, sister.

4 comments:

Winston Norris III said...

The evangelical faith loses every bit of its meaning and power when it is separated from love, the eternal principle behind the gospel of Jesus Christ. But this love is not some squishy, infinitely malleable thing that exists apart from truth—the truth revealed in the Bible.


Where does one find Love?

In the first sentence above, the writer states unequivocally that "faith loses every bit of it's meaning and power when it is separated from love..." The writer then goes on to claim that Love does not exist apart from what someone finds in a book.

I unequivocally disagree.

While I agree that "faith loses every bit of it's meaning and power when it is separated from love..." it isn't a book that Love does not exist apart from...it is the heart...for it is only in the heart that one can know Love. It is only in the heart where Love resides. I need not know a book in order to know love. I need not know a book in order to know truth. Truth is revealed within the heart. Truth is not revealed in a book...truth is revealed in Love.

CourageMan said...

it isn't a book that Love does not exist apart from...it is the heart..

That conflates the What (or Who) we love with the how, with the means.

It also leaves no way for the heart to be wrong, unless you're claiming that every human heart is infallible (which I hope you're not).

Winston Norris III said...

That conflates the What (or Who) we love with the how, with the means.

Huh?

Are you claiming that love exists apart from the heart?


It also leaves no way for the heart to be wrong, unless you're claiming that every human heart is infallible (which I hope you're not).

What "wrong" is there in love?

The heart can certainly be wrong, CM. But love? Never.

You seem to be under the impression that the only thing that exists in the heart is love. That's not my experience, is it yours?

CourageMan said...

Are you claiming that love exists apart from the heart?

No ... read again. You're conflating the end (purpose, object) with the mechanism.


What "wrong" is there in love?

You can "love" something bad. "Love of money is the root of all evil," being one such example.


The heart can certainly be wrong, CM. But love? Never.

You were the one who said "it is only in the heart that one can know Love. It is only in the heart where Love resides. I need not know a book in order to know love."

If that's a claim of the heart's infallibility, I don't know what is.