Thoughts at the Equinox and New Year

Just a note on the hypocrisy of the season. At this time of year, we honor the birth of Jesus with exhortations to peace and goodwill, but these days it feels like so much lip service. Making war is easy. Making peace is hard.

In years past, as I was growing up, it was always a surprise to me how quickly the “goodwill toward men” evaporated once Christmas was past. I was raised as a Lutheran and am very familiar with Jesus’ teachings and I am pretty sure that he spent all his time tending the poor and outcasts of society, healing the sick, and he told his disciples that whatever they did to the least of their brothers, they did to Him. It takes a seriously selective reading of the Bible to find a way to call oneself a Christian and to not be able to find it in oneself the ability to forgive others, to be charitable, and basically to try to make the world a better place.

What I see in Christianity today is a love of the old testament “fire and brimstone” type of god. What Jesus asked people to do — to love their neighbors, to do to others as they would have things done to themselves, to turn the other cheek — these things are really hard. It’s so much easier to feel that you need to “help” god punish the sin in others. Jesus even commented on this tendency, saying that before you try to remove a splinter from a neighbor’s eye, that you must first remove the log from your own. Let’s remember that the purported Christian god is allegedly omnipotent, omniscient, and such a being would not, under any circumstances, need any “help” from any of us. So stop it.

Many people have written much more eloquently about the hypocrisy in today’s form of Christianty, and I probably don’t have a unique observation in pointing this out. I would like to state that the world would be a lot better place if we collectively tried, just a little every day, to actually keep the alleged spirit of this season alive throughout the rest of the year. In that spirit I wish you a healthy and happy New Year.

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