Monday, January 21, 2008

Is There a Universal Doctrine in the House?

Christian, Christian, Who's Got The Christian?

The flap about Mitt Romney's religion has become a three ring circus with no ringmaster, so let's look at it all in a broader context:

The Roman Catholic Church claims its authority through the Apostle Peter. It claims it's the only "true" religion.

Protestants have doctrinal differences that have led to over 3,000 denominations of significant size (over 20,000). They all stress "truth" in their doctrines.

Mormons believe that their practices are closer to "original" Christians.

Church of God With Signs Folowing are non-denomational because they believe all denominations carry "The Mark of the Beast."

Snake handlers have a doctrine based on two verses from the King James Bible. That's two more than the Christians who have the doctrine of the "Rapture."

So who has the True doctrine? The Best doctrine? The Only doctrine? Nobody. Is there a doctrine that's common among all of them? There's supposed to be: the teachings of Jesus Christ. Somehow, however, that doctrine gets short shrift. Then, of course, there's alwas this doctrine:

Or this one:

Images: Snakehandlers (ca. 1946), Joseph Smith, Pope Benedict XVI, Televangelist JoyceMeyer and "Rev. Prosperity" himself, Joel Osteen.

Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Harvey Milk

Being assasinated for what you believe in always makes you a martyr. What you believe in becomes secondary. In the Roman Catholic Church, for instance, you can become a saint after you go through a series of testamonies and a miracle or two. But when you become a martyr, sainthood is automatic. Theoretically, Hitler could have avowed his faith as a Roman Catholic after the Holocaust, been shot because of his faith, then instantly venerated as a saint. Would he have become the patron saint of ... silly mustaches?

Instant hero-worship: who's actually worthy of it? Possibly the ones who were worthy of it while they were living. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi and Harvey Milk come to mind. They were also deemed worthy of intense hatred. Just ask the people who still hate them. You say no one comes to mind? Try the ones with tightly closed, lead-lined craniums.
OK, I'll get off the soapbox, but remember that today of all days, people who preach passive resistance in the face of intolerance deserve respect.