8/03/2011

religious fundamentalism makes you unclean.

Wednesday August 17th, Matthew 15: 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' We can at least control to some degree what goes into someone’s mouth. There are food standards and controls that do a pretty good job most of the time. We can have our rituals and traditions, which can be rich in meaning and history, which can help us connect to the love of God, which can convey comfort and grace and forgiveness, but in the end of the day, they are all only tools. We cannot control what comes out. In the long list Paul gives of what comes out, we tend to focus on the sex. As we focus on sex, we can pick out individuals guilty of one perceived evil or another, and feel comfortable with our scapegoats. The focus on sex is a way society avoids dealing with the more weighty issues of justice and mercy. It is what comes out of a persons mouth that makes them unclean. It is the rhetoric that degrades individuals or groups that makes them unclean. It is the laws passed to support the very rich at the expense of just about everyone else that makes you unclean. Often it is the concern for making everything clean in your point of view, the very thing of religious fundamentalism, that makes you unclean.

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