When God outgrows religion(s) and faith(s)


Where is my home when the God of Religion invites me beyond religion?  Where then do I lay my head – where then is my community – in whom then do I put my trust?

Two news articles on the BBC website caught my eye this morning:

“Childminder numbers in England plummet”  and “Supreme Court: Why a fight over US abortion law now looms”

The first carried this quote … “Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-School Learning Alliance, said: “It is incredibly concerning to see that the number of childminders has continued to decline. To lose 27% of a workforce over less than six years is simply unacceptable, and it beggars belief that the government has still not seen fit to do anything to tackle this ongoing trend. Childminders offer parents a vital source of quality, flexible care and education and the services they provide are absolutely crucial to the sector as a whole, especially at a time when the government is trying to expand the childcare offer in this country.””

The second this … “In 2016 the open court seat ended up helping Mr Trump by spurring evangelical voters and cultural conservatives to stick by their candidate despite his various controversies and missteps. At the time, Republicans were on the defensive – facing the prospect of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia being replaced by a liberal jurist. Now Republicans are on the attack, with the opportunity to cement a conservative court for a generation. Democrats may not be able to do anything to stop it at this point, but flocking to the polls in November may give them some measure of comfort – or revenge.”

Two words jump out at me: “unacceptable” and “revenge”. Both are of self-interest, both are of “I am right and you are not”.

In the first report, the unspoken assumption is that parents should be working – rather than at home bringing up their own children and being a “drain on society” (I have seen that “justification” used by the government in past debates): “Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said: “We want every child to have the best start in life. That’s why we are spending more on childcare than any other government – around £6bn a year by 2020, including an additional £1bn a year to deliver our free childcare offers.”

That “we are spending” righteousness is actually my taxes that I am legally obliged to give – and the “free childcare offers” is why many “childcare facilities” are log-jammed with shiny new SUVs at every dropping-off and picking-up time.

In the second, the focus is on “bigger fish”: Abortion … Gay rights … Death penalty … Affirmative action … Some of the key societal foundation stones now polarised in the usual political punchbag of “We won and you lost!” (with the unspoken “Suck it up … Loser”)

I always wonder why we like giving every foetal heartbeat the intellectually correct “right to life” line in the sand … just so we can then pass them over to “free childcare offers” facilities (so we are not a drain on society AND can afford that shiny SUV) … before educating them of the correct “line in the sand” in who they can and can’t marry … whilst at the same time telling them who is and who is not normal (and all those fluctuating “lines in the sand”) … before executing them when they step over “that (really big) line in the sand” …

Lines in the sand …

Religion has lines in the sand.  Religion has consequences for stepping over those lines in the sand.  Now concreted in and reinforced with every ology and ism.

Religion mirrors politics and society because religion cannot function without its own list of lines in the concrete sand.

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And more and more I find my home to be somewhere else.

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