Watch Aaron in the film Holy Wars

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Virtue, villian, and the complexity of reality

If it seems like I'm conflicted in my feelings regarding the Christian right, I am. By now it should be obvious that I feel a Reformation needs to take place in American Christianity, and a significant part of this Reformation demands the rejection of core philosophies and beliefs held by the so-called leaders of the Christian right (at least the ones that have the attention of the secular media anyway). After writing "Pro-Life Killers" yesterday, I feel it's necessary to bring some balance into the discussion. I think it's wrong for anybody to focus so much on the negative side of one particular group of people as to completely overlook the positive.

The truth is, while many who would call themselves "liberal" despise the Christian Right for not caring about poverty related issues, the ironic thing is, some of the most active people in the world in addressing poverty related issues are right wing conservative Christians. I'm not the only one who has noticed this. One of the things that Stephen Marshall, the director of Holy Wars, learned through his "hanging with the fundamentalists" was that the "fundamentalists" are some of the most active people on the ground when it comes to disaster relief. Just like I've chastised my own side on many things, Stephen has also chastised his "left-wing" friends for merely talking about Global poverty issues and railing against the "fundamentalists", while the "fundamentalists" are actually the ones on the ground clothing the poor and feeding the hungry.

My point is this.

People are complex. If we look at the spectrum of good people in the world verses the bad people in the world, most people are somewhere in between and, as much as I hate to admit it, that includes Christians. I can rail all day long against the hypocrisy I see in so-called "conservative Christianity", but if that's all I see, I'm dead wrong. The same holds true for those on the "right" who criticize those on the "left."

As much as I've observed people around the world from different races, colors, and religions, the truth seems evident to me that most people (regardless of their background) are a combination of virtue and villian.

Not only are people complex, but morality is complex. Not only is morality complex, but so is religion. Not only is religion complex, so is the Bible. Not only is the Bible complex, interpreting the Bible seems to be the most complex.

If you're frustated by the complexity of reality, you're not the only one. Sometimes I've wondered why God would make reality so complex, but then I think to myself, if I substitute the word complex for interesting, then it doesn't sound so bad after all.

2 comments:

toby said...

good point. the whole complexity issue is one of the reasons i like the movie crash so much. people aren't all good or all bad. every individual makes good and bad choices.

Aaron D. Taylor said...

I agree with you on the movie Crash. It was excellent.