On the cover of the Rolling Stone… and other matters of faith

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.

john-cameron-0kpPu9WPVmU-unsplash
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

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·tionnoun
/əˌnənsēˈāSHən/
The announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26–38)

vis·it·a·tionnoun
/vizəˈtāSH(ə)n/
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:

annunciation

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. ❤️

20 thoughts on “On the cover of the Rolling Stone… and other matters of faith

  1. Pew Research did a survey of American opinions in 2017, ‘Terrorism’ was at the top of the list; the ‘economy’ was right behind it. The ‘environment’ was 11th and ‘Climate Change’ was almost last at 18th.

    The author of the 2013 article that had similar Pew ranking results suggests the reasons for this order are people’s greed, apathy and utopianism. A fringe element could also misinterpret religious teachings, but the author felt “the teachings in the books of Christianity or any other religion do not support trashing the planet for money, tempting fate by trying to destroy the planet to test the power of their deity, or speeding up the end of the world as we know it or assisting in the process!”

    What promises did Trump campaign on? The top ones were Jobs, the economy, tax cuts, and take out ISIS – the things that aligned with what Americans said they wanted. And that is what he has delivered, yes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The author’s quote on religious teachings not supporting trashing the environment is spot-on, only I’m not sure it’s only a fringe element doing otherwise. It pains me whenever I see people of faith rationalizing their actions, whether out of fear, ignorance or denial. If people were actually following their religion (whatever it happens to be), our world would look quite different.
      In the end though, I still believe the majority of people are good and decent, and we want the same things but have different ideas for how to get there. We just have to keep the lines of communication open! 🙂
      Thank you for the comment, Margy. You gave me a lot to think about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My brother is a Jehovah’s Witness and clearly doesn’t give a fig about the environment. I don’t know for a fact that it’s a function of his religion, but if it is, that’s a big part of the problem. I like your house metaphor, too. We may find ourselves evicted sooner than we expect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have this dream that we finally make it to mars and discover that it used to look like earth before we destroyed it and now we’re going back because we skewed the earth up again… such is a nightmare

    I’ve always thought that Mother Mary has this, Oh no, not you again” look on her face.

    Like

  4. My comment disappeared! But all and all I agree with you. We’ll go to mars and then scew that up too. And on Mother Mary. I’ve always thought her look was one of, Oh, it’s you again,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, quoting Rolling Stones. Love it. I have to say I am suspicious of anyone who doesn’t have at least a touch of doubt. Doubt proves your brain is working. I worry about my friends on the far right.

    And there is a second coming happening soon, do think it could wait till Saturday? I mean Friday is paid day and I’m late on the electrical bill … just asking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. First, the Tanner painting is wonderful.

    Second, I just couldn’t click on the article link, despite generally enjoying (and agreeing with) Rolling Stone features. I’m a bit tender on the subject at the moment, after a discussion thread with some folks back home who were very excited about attending a prayer circle for Trump. I can’t even…

    Third, I seriously wanted to challenge and rebut one of the comments above, but I refrained. This is not my show…

    Fourth, thank you for the ear worm in the title. It’s a gift that keeps on giving… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First, it’s great, isn’t it? She looks so human!

      Second, just be glad I spared you the worst part of the featured photo: a man holding a sign that said, “Thank you Jesus for Trump!” Honestly, I don’t care who the president is, just… no…

      Third, understood. *hugs*

      Fourth, you’re welcome. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never quite understood why so many conservatives have no interest in conserving the environment. Why pro-life only applies to humans. Why lip service is more important than actual service. Am I too hung up on logic?

    Liked by 1 person

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