Saturday, May 12, 2007

Is Your Christianity Better Than Mine?

I lived the first 28 years of my life in Iraq, then another six years in Australia. I never needed to pause and think about my religious affiliation. I was definitely a Christian. Period.

When I moved to the United States, I never knew I shouldn't call myself a Christian. I was told that I'm not a Christian. Instead, I'm a Catholic. Then, I realized that each American Christian domination calls itself a different name. There are Catholics, Baptists, Southern Baptists, Episcopalians, Mormons, etc... The list is very long. It gets even worse when some people try to preach Catholicism to me because I was born in the Middle East. In their opinion, it means I'm not Catholic enough.

This is so wrong. It's even more wrong when it's used in politics. Here's the latest:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Rev. Al Sharpton are planning an in-person meeting, a church spokesman said.

Sharpton asked for the meeting during a telephone apology he gave to two church elders last week after he said during a debate that Mormons don't believe in God.

The Pentecostal minister and former Democratic presidential candidate's remarks were about Mitt Romney, a Mormon who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Sharpton said that "as for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don't worry about that, that's a temporary situation."

Sharpton says the remark was distorted for political purposes and has apologized to "regular Mormons" for the slight. He later told a web site editors that he "wasn't saying that Mormons didn't believe in God, I was saying that we weren't going to have to rely on atheists" to defeat Romney.

My late father-in-law was a Mormon. So, I find Sharpton's remarks very wrong. I met Mormons during the last six years and none of them strikes me as "Godless person."

What's Sharpton's definition of a good Mormon? And what makes him think that Romney isn't a good Mormon? Sharpton isn't a Mormon. How can he decide who is or isn't a good Mormon?

Then, what does Sharpton mean by "we weren't going to have to rely on atheists."? Does that mean all Democrats are atheists? If no, then does that mean Barak Obama - my favorite candidate for the 2008 presidency - is a better candidate than the other Democrat candidates just because he's not afraid to talk about his faith during his campaign? I don't think so.

It's time to clear the clouded religious air in America. At times, it goes overboard for no good reason.

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Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
The squabbling between the various Christian sects is nothing new.
Throughout the history of the U.S.,
various religious groups from Quakers and Shakers to Catholics to Mormons to Anabaptists, etc. have been persecuted, and even subjected to hangings and lynchings by followers of other religious groups.

There was such an anti-Catholic -- Catholics were referred to as Papists -- hysteria in
early Massachusetts, that they burnt down a Convent in the Boston area.

And if you look at Colonial American history, the colonies of Rhode Island (founded by Roger Williams) and Pennsylvania (founded by William Penn) were sanctuaries for religious heretics and Catholics, who were persecuted in the other American colonies.

Alrighty - I hope your finances become better Fay, and you can meet
Father Thomas in Boston or so. The two of you should head out to Legal Seafood or some other seafood place for dinner and have the New England delicacy known as fried clams. Or go to the North End, which is the Italian section of Boston, and have some nice Italian food and stop at Mike's Pastry for some great Italian deserts like Tiramisu.

5/15/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger bruno said...

Interesting remarks, Fay. I particularly was amused by the Catholics trying to convert you to Catholicism because you came from the ME. There was a monster debate on one of Zeyad's recent threads on Catholicism and on whether the Pope was indeed the head of the Maronite church or whether it was the Patriarch only ... so your writing is particularly relevant right now.

You can check it out here if you are interested - but beware it is long and rambling:

5/16/2007 09:18:00 AM  

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