Hello, my friends.
I don’t think I’ve ever shared a Rolling Stone article with you, so guess it’s time we corrected that. If you’ve ever wondered why so many conservative Christians support Trump and you’ve got 15 minutes to spare, read this: Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump.
I’ve seen other articles address the subject, but none with such a deep level of understanding. The writer (Alex Morris) grew up in a conservative religious family and remains close to her relatives. Also, she remains a Christian, albeit a more progressive one.
At the end of the article she shares a conversation she had with her mother and an aunt. I found it illuminating and more than a little troubling, especially the part where they said it didn’t matter if we ravaged the environment because Jesus is coming soon and they won’t be here to worry about it.
Okay, I might be paraphrasing a bit, but that was the gist of it.
Honestly, I was surprised to know there were Christians who still thought that way.
When I was in high school, I had a friend whose family attended a fundamentalist church. It was my first encounter with that branch of Christianity and I must say, I was terribly confused by it. Especially by their absolute certainty in… well, everything. Doubt was never permitted and questions were regarded with suspicion.
My friend was certain that the Second Coming (she spoke in capitals often) was imminent. To the point that if we were making plans to do something together she would add, “as long as the rapture doesn’t happen first.”
It always made me laugh. (Not sure she appreciated that, actually.)
Anyway, back to the believers who don’t care about laying waste to the environment: I don’t know what your feelings are, but it seems to me that if someone built a house and allowed you to live in it, then when they returned found out you totally trashed the place, seems to me they wouldn’t be too happy about it.
Speaking of articles relating to religion, The New York Times had an opinion piece recently where the writer said what the Democratic Party needed was a stronger base of progressive Christians.
It didn’t strike me as a particularly controversial topic, so it surprised me the comments were so unkind. Many seemed to think she was saying the whole party needed to convert. (Really don’t see how they got that.) Mostly, I think she was saying that progressive Christians needed to speak up and let their values show, particularly in contrast to the evangelicals, as noted above.
It was an interesting thought. (Or at least, I thought so.)
Okay, on to other subjects!
This last Saturday, I was at work recording a presentation given to the Sisters at the convent. It was their “Advent Day of Reflection,” and the subject at hand was Mary and how the Annunciation and Visitation has been depicted in art.
Before I started working here, I only had a vague notion of what the terms “annunciation” and “visitation” were, so I’m not going to assume you do. Here are a couple religious definitions for you:
an·nun·ci·a·tion — noun
The announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26–38)
vis·it·a·tion — noun
The visit of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth related in Luke 1:39–56
The various art pieces the speaker showed were stunning. My favorite was the Annunciation painted by Henry Ossawa Tanner in 1914:
You’ll notice the angel is hazy, more spirit-like than most depictions. Also, I like how Mary has a look of wonder and just a touch of fear on her face. Humility, too.
Ah, humility. So rare a commodity nowadays. Though these Sisters seem to have a firm grasp of it.
Even the fact that they are still attending classes and workshops when most of them are in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. After all these years, they never assume they have all the answers and questions are always permitted.
Also, they are die-hard environmentalists. (Gotta love that about them.)
Here’s their take on the situation: God created the earth and everything on it, and we were placed here to be caretakers of it. Therefore, we better damn well take care of it.
Again, paraphrasing, but you get my meaning.
Fact is, it’s quite possible to do this religion thing without harming either the earth or its people. That is one thing of which I am absolutely certain.
Oh hey, one last thing: As I was setting up the equipment and checking the camera settings, Sister Maurita came in to practice the piano piece she would be playing later.
At some point her cell phone rang and that’s when I found out that this 78-year-old Sister’s ringtone is “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys.
It made me very happy.
That’s all for now friends. Until next week, thanks for reading. ❤️