Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jesus, Yeshua and Isa

OK-I'm going to start my series on the Inaugural Speech. However I think I need to start with Rick Warren's prayer. While I had misgivings on Rick Warren being involved-I shouldn't have been, because nothing did more to showcase Warren "overiratedness" or lack of relevancy like his performance at the Inauguration. The prayer was boring and so loaded with cheese, my cholesterol jumped up. His vision and theme were sappy and had the whole "Baptist-fake" sheen.
For example, the way he pronounced the Obama girls named (yes, Jon Stewart made a similar observation) but he was obviously trying to show off his coolness and "acceptance" of their "ethnic" names so he said them the way white people who try to hard-he over-pronounces. My mom does it ALL the time. Its not real, I don't care what anyone says or what his intentions were-its fake--which is my biggest problem with religion and religious people-they (and I when I was a kool-aid drinker) think the intentions are paramount-even over the actions, or consequences or being real. -This will OBVIOUSLY have to be another blog post now . . . :)
However, the biggest thing I took away from Rick Warren's prayer was the misguided, fake-ass attempt to be multi-cultural. When he ended his prayer he said he prayed it in the name of the one who had changed his life-Yeshua, Isa, the son of God, Jesus. Well this is only inclusive to right-wing evangelicals-whose ignorance of Christology, theology and other religions is an open sore. Just using the Hebrew and Arabic pronunciations of Jesus is simply the equivalent of saying "Hey-soos" in Spanish speaking countries. Yeshua is NOT at all recognized in Judaism (outside of the man who led the army around Jericho) and while Isa is Jesus in Islam-the approach and understanding is not the same. Using the other versions of Jesus doesn't reach out to other believers. There were not Jews and Muslims sitting on their sofa going "Oh, I'm so glad he used our language, now I know who he is praying to. That is how I pray too.". That is the worst case of being "just smart enough to be ignorant.". Jews and Muslims don't pray to Jesus, Yeshua or Isa-at all. In fact both are MUCH stricter than Christianity in termsw of monotheism. There is no trinity in Islam or Judaism. They don't believe or pray the same way as Christians, but with an accent. The only thing sadder than that ending to that prayer is how many Chistians didn't pick-up on how ignorant it really was and how many of them felt it was magnanimous and inclusive and cosmopolitan for him to reach out that way. . .

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big Love and Gay Marriage

It seems to me that perhaps the non-compound, non-extreme, still-practicing mormons and gays and lesbians seeking legitimazation through marriage should hook-up. If the "normal" polygamists who have multiple but equal marriages between consenting adults and homosexuals who want something similar can "come out" and show their normalcy and how they are from opposite ends of the political spectrum, yet can come together--maybe both can advance their cause and image.

Of course, this sounds a bit "Kum Bah Ya" even for me. I personally think polygamy among equals is more of a fairy tale than Britney's comeback; and I think polygamy among unequals-even if not underage-is a greater threat to the sanctity and legitimacy of marrige than two loving gays or lesbians.

Big Love

Ironically I have fallen in love with the HBO series-Big Love. The premise is a devout yet "secular" Mormon family in Utah that still upholds the tenets of polygamy. This family, the Henricksons spans the gap between the FLDS and their "Amish-wear" and compounds and the main-stream "Apple Pie" Mormons of suburban Salt Lake City. It is not just the intriguing premise, the excellent acting or the amazing writing, directing and production. All those things this series has in spades as well. It is also the underlying values. The unassuming way-almost "pilgrim-like" approach to religion. The plea of "We know you don't agree, just give us the space to believe different from you.". It is enticing and fresh-NOT that I am interested in converting to the followers of Moroni and the debatable Joseph Smith, NOR am I interested in acquiring more than one wife-Sephania is ALL I want or need. Rather it is the "pilgrim-like", unassuming approach I mentioned before. There is something breath-taking and refreshing in it. Something that is all to absent in the current flavors of right-wing fundamental evangelical Christianity. I think it is humility-and the reason it rings so true-is that no other message was at the message of Jesus's philosophy. Not that the individual beliefs are to my taste-but the humble approach is long missing from Christianity-and "approach" is one of the biggest characteristics of the original Jesus-brand that I know.