I saw this quote on my social media page today:
“The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid.A link to the full homily from October 17th can be found here.
“And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.”
“The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?” -- Pope Francis
Did you catch the date? October 17th - the day the rigid ideological positions of the GOP nearly sent the world into another damaging economic tailspin. No - I don't think it was a coincidence. Who knows? Maybe it was even the voice of God, and maybe these days God is being revealed as a democrat. Seems like everyone else is, these days...
What's unmistakable about this quote is the audience. It is not non-believers, or "sinners", or those outside the halls of the world's churches - he is preaching to the choir. And he has terse words. He is saying that Christians who base their beliefs on moral ideologies represent a "serious illness" to the church and are not succeeding in bringing people to their cause. Indeed, it is sending them fleeing in the other direction.
It's no wonder the Republicans are polling at 25%. After all, this is about the same percentage (23%) of the 2012 electorate who identified as born again/evangelicals. Given that 90% of these people are probably going to vote for Republicans as long as they hold true to their "values" of (as far as I can tell) judging gay people, I think it's safe to say that the Republicans have lost the Christian Middle almost entirely. This includes the 50% of the electorate that is non-evangelical protestant or Catholic. Judging by the discrepancy between the tea party/values voters agenda, and the above statement, I think we might surmise they've lost the Pope as well.
In full disclosure, I am currently a candidate for ordained ministry in a protestant church, and I've always believed that Jesus was a passionate progressive and his Dad was a fiscally conservative Democrat.
UPDATE: Thanks for the Rec List, though if I knew that this rather hastily-constructed diary would have been so widely read, I probably would have been less flippant about my descriptions of God. As a clarification, I don't think God is a dude -at all - or that the Pope is actually a democrat. I do, however, think that the message shared in this diary can have a profoundly positive impact on humanity, and communicates a way that God is calling us to be better people.