Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Time to let Father Abraham go

The carnage in the Middle East this summer - the latest turning in a 4,000 year old cycle of bloodshed - forces us to confront a very basic question. Is it time to abandon the Abrahamic tradition. It is - at long last - time to move on...

We are taught that Abraham-Avraham-Abram-Ibrahim is the father of monotheism – belief in One God. But along with that came the notion of Chosen-ness – One Chosen People. If there is only One God, He must be ‘Our’ God.

Abraham had two sons – he cast one out to die in the wilderness, and he tried to cut the heart out of his favored one. Yet, incredibly, the entire Western belief system looks to this filicide as “our common father in faith.” And the children of his sons Isaac and Ishmael have been locked in a dance of death ever since, with the gentile world joining this ‘danse macabre’ in the Fourth Century.

Much of the carnage in Western history come from the theology of ‘Chosen-ness.’ “We...” (insert Hebrews, Christians, or Muslims) ”are the Chosen of God.” And all three traditions have understood this more than once to be a license to kill.

Is it possible God’s words were mistranslated or misunderstood? That instead of asking Abraham to clip off the foreskin of his penis, God told Abraham to get a vasectomy: “Since you are unfit for parenthood, I will find another.”

I do not mean to be flip – these are very serious issues but I never hear them raised. A ‘cradle Catholic,’ I stopped going to Mass after 50+ years because I could no longer worship a God who “From age to age gathers His Chosen People unto Himself, so that from East to West our perfect offering is made in His sight (and all others are rejected?).”

What broken God would make all the people, then arbitrarily select only some as His Chosen, refusing all others? Such a One deserves our pity or our anger, perhaps, but not our reverence and awe.

Maybe instead of asking how to bring the children of Abraham together in peace, the better question is to challenge the entire underlying assumption of “One God and His One Chosen People.” Perhaps the notion of Chosen-ness was valuable when it was ‘our people’ against a hostile world. But now, as the song says, we are the world. And perhaps the legacy of Abraham – this theology of Chosen-ness – has become a millstone around the neck of humanity. Maybe the time has come to move beyond the exhausted Old One who said, “I will be your God, and you will be My People.”

Old Gods (or rather, old notions of God) die all the time, and new notions are born. Maybe the natural sciences now have more to teach us about the inter-being of, and harmony between, all things, from subatomic to intergalactic, than those ancient books that perhaps served their time well, but now seem to be leading us inexorably to Megiddo.

Perhaps this is why there is a resurgence of fundamentalism in all three Abrahamic faiths: it is the death rattle of a corrupted theology. The horrific events of this summer are not only the reductio ad absurdum, but also the logical outcome, of a belief system based on “One God and His One Chosen People.”

Pray for peace; work for justice.

5 Comments:

Blogger Gloria DeGaetano said...

Thank you for your thoughtful words. As a woman growing up in the Catholic Church in the 60s I appreciate all you are saying. I am also interested in moving out of mechanistic model and into living system models of change processes. I have worked for the past 20 years on helping parents understand the unintended consequences of overuse and misuse of screen technologies. I am excied about reading your e-book as I think coming to a mature relationship with screen technologies is the most imperative task of our times, particularly for parents. Once the children are shaped by the industry-generated culture through the small screens everywhere, they are lost to authentic meaning and meaningful authenticity.

I started the Parent Coaching Institute to provide relevant information and affirmation for parents. Life for moms and dads today can be overwhelming with the amount of stress in today's world. And in addition, the industry-generated culture that I talk about in my book, Parenting Well in a Media Age makes parenting even more complex and stressful.
I belive it is only through relationships (reconnecting) that we can build new structures and societal forms, but those relationships must be built upon a new paradigm of what it means to be human in a technological age where the technology is the delivery system for corporate greed and globalization, enslaving the spiritual and creative force within the masses, mostly to their unawarenss.

Thank you for helping us all become more aware.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Gloria DeGaetano said...

Thank you for your thoughtful words. As a woman growing up in the Catholic Church in the 60s I appreciate all you are saying. I am also interested in moving out of mechanistic model and into living system models of change processes. I have worked for the past 20 years on helping parents understand the unintended consequences of overuse and misuse of screen technologies. I am excited about reading your e-book as I think coming to a mature relationship with screen technologies is the most imperative task of our times, particularly for parents. Once the children are shaped by the industry-generated culture through the small screens everywhere, they are lost to authentic meaning and meaningful authenticity.

I started the Parent Coaching Institute to provide relevant information and affirmation for parents. Life for moms and dads today can be overwhelming with the amount of stress in today's world. And in addition, the industry-generated culture that I talk about in my book, Parenting Well in a Media Age makes parenting even more complex and stressful.
I believe it is only through relationships (reconnecting) that we can build new structures and societal forms, but those relationships must be built upon a new paradigm of what it means to be human in a technological age where the technology is the delivery system for corporate greed and globalization, enslaving the spiritual and creative force within the masses, mostly to their unawareness.

Thank you for helping us all become more aware.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Stephen A. Fuqua said...

Definitely time to put "chosenness" behind us. At least if your goal is the betterment of humanity.

I'm reminded of a document written by the Baha'i International Community (an NGO) for the U.N. a few years ago (http://info.bahai.org/article-1-7-3-1.html). In it they wrote:

"The central spiritual issue facing all people, Bahá'u'lláh says, whatever their nation, religion, or ethnic origin, is that of laying the foundations of a global society that can reflect the oneness of human nature. The unification of the earth's inhabitants is neither a remote utopian vision nor, ultimately, a matter of choice. It constitutes the next, inescapable stage in the process of social evolution, a stage toward which all the experience of past and present is impelling us. Until this issue is acknowledged and addressed, none of the ills afflicting our planet will find solutions, because all the essential challenges of the age we have entered are global and universal, not particular or regional."

11:55 AM  
Blogger No Hassle Loans said...

Hey nice blog. I need some info on Payday Loans or a Cash Advance .. I found this site to be very helpful Advance Til Payday

1:09 PM  
Blogger milf said...

black mold exposureblack mold symptoms of exposurewrought iron garden gatesiron garden gates find them herefine thin hair hairstylessearch hair styles for fine thin hairnight vision binocularsbuy night vision binocularslipitor reactionslipitor allergic reactionsluxury beach resort in the philippines

afordable beach resorts in the philippineshomeopathy for eczema.baby eczema.save big with great mineral makeup bargainsmineral makeup wholesalersprodam iphone Apple prodam iphone prahacect iphone manualmanual for P 168 iphonefero 52 binocularsnight vision Fero 52 binocularsThe best night vision binoculars here

night vision binoculars bargainsfree photo albums computer programsfree software to make photo albumsfree tax formsprintable tax forms for free craftmatic air bedcraftmatic air bed adjustable info hereboyd air bedboyd night air bed lowest pricefind air beds in wisconsinbest air beds in wisconsincloud air beds

best cloud inflatable air bedssealy air beds portableportables air bedsrv luggage racksaluminum made rv luggage racksair bed raisedbest form raised air bedsaircraft support equipmentsbest support equipments for aircraftsbed air informercialsbest informercials bed airmattress sized air beds

bestair bed mattress antique doorknobsantique doorknob identification tipsdvd player troubleshootingtroubleshooting with the dvd playerflat panel television lcd vs plasmaflat panel lcd television versus plasma pic the bestThe causes of economic recessionwhat are the causes of economic recessionadjustable bed air foam The best bed air foam

hoof prints antique equestrian printsantique hoof prints equestrian printsBuy air bedadjustablebuy the best adjustable air bedsair beds canadian storesCanadian stores for air beds

migraine causemigraine treatments floridaflorida headache clinicdrying dessicantair drying dessicantdessicant air dryerpediatric asthmaasthma specialistasthma children specialistcarpet cleaning dallas txcarpet cleaners dallascarpet cleaning dallas

1:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home