Saturday, January 13, 2007

Vodoo Christianity

A black hole cannot be directly observed. The size and gravitational pull is proven by what disappears into the event horizon.
A black hole is American spiritual culture.
I read (scanned) with horrified fascination a book on American vodoo, not to be confused with its darker, simpler, purer sibling Haitian vodoo.
American vodoo has become inextricably fused with charismatic Christianity, fueling my belief that the only reason Satanic Christianity has not yet made its debut is because no one has thought of it. Maybe I shouldn't bring it up.
Worship involves waiting on the Lord, waiting for a word to be shared with all the brethren. There's healing, reliant on the availability of sacrificial chickens.
We've Americanized Africa.
Pluralism does not begin to describe the convoluted maelstrom of religion that has become our state religion.
Jesus Christ isn't quite villified, just tolerated, as long as He recognizes his place in our spiritual paradigm.
The Lion of Judah is our circus animal, jumping through hoops, tamed, by us.
Don't get out of your corner.
Christianity has become festooned with dried garlic cloves and smells of incense.
It is a world populated with wandering spirit guides and departed loved ones, beckoning us upward to higher planes.
We are very spiritual, much to our detriment.
Good old fashioned materialistic atheism was baked desert soil, webbed with deep cracks that drank in hard rain. We've traded it for life underneath a flat rock, crawling like worms and centipedes through the mud and flattened, albino grass.
Plenty of moisture and no bright lights.
I don't know that we've become more sinful than previous generations, just more creative, and paradoxical.
. . . white lies, insanity pleas, no-fault divorces, mercy killings, lesser evils . . .
Guilt is something in which we indulge, rather than suffer.
I was listening to a song by Jars of Clay about the bumbling efforts of Western Christianity to try to help our Third World brothers and sisters and couldn't decide if I agreed with the message or was violently opposed to it. (This is why listening to alternative music is so entertaing. You can put a different meaning to it each time you listen to it. It is the musical equivalent of abstract art, or those 3-D paintings that everyone claims to be able to decipher.)
It did occur to me, however, that, try as we might, we'll never truly assimilate with other cultures and ethnicities. We've evolved too highly and rapidly in the area of guilt for anybody else to catch up with us.
Guilt, having become a science, is no longer a grief, because the guilt has become penance in and of itself. It is now the end, not the means. We don't have to crawl up the steps of a cathedral, but the principal remains the same.
No self-inflicted pain can ignite our soul like God's burning purity.
So we lacerate our bodies with feathers, and fast on junk food.
If you are sorry, you get a pass.
If you resolve never to sin again, you are to be pitied.
The guilt trip is a short one, if often traveled. You get good at it, and it's easy to feel really sorry for your sin without getting carried away by delusions of grandeur and imagining what life would be without it.
But humility, well, that's something of which we can all be proud.
There has never been a generation so humble as ours.
We trample each other flat getting to the back of the line.
Is there a virtue left which has not been compromised?
Man's eyes were indeed opened that he should see good and evil, only he chooses to keep them closed most of the time.

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