I belong to the Church of the Sacred Palm

This was a response to the letter-to-the-editor I referred to in the link about Religion and Politics not co existing:

I am glad that the God we worship does not FORCE anyone to follow Him. It is your choice – but one you make at your own peril.

I generally do not respond to comments in any fashion, but this one caused me to think.

The first thought I had when I read this was: If I hand you a lighted stick of dynamite, you are not FORCED to throw it away, but failure to do so is at your own peril.

For a period of time, I watched the television show of a former LDS member on which he took calls.  He was interesting, but finally got on my nerves with statements along the lines of “we are not all children of God, we become children of God when we are born again.” Your choice, but you are literally playing with dynamite.

Anne Dillard in An Expedition to the Pole says this about our religious practices:

A high school play is more polished than this service we have been rehearsing since the year one.  In two thousand years, we have not worked out the kinks. We positively glorify in them. Week after week we witness the same miracle: that God is so mighty he can stifle his own laughter. Week after week we witness the same miracle: that God, for reasons unfathomable, refrains from blowing our dancing bear act to smithereens.

As St Paul wrote, none of us is holy, none of us is without sin, and none of us—not one of us—is worthy of God.

People wonder about me.  Am I a Christian or what?

Probably what.

I was on my back on a beach on Marathon Key a few days ago, trying to stay in the shade of a palm tree and after several hours (I do not read at the beach) of watching the tree and the sun peeking through the boughs and listening to the water splash and watching the birds, I began to wonder why we make such a big deal out of things. And while the first thing I thought of was work—lilies of the field and all—I also thought about the silliness we exhibit when we presume to know God and I thought about Anne Dillard’s prose cited above.

And then: the Palm Tree works for everyone, no matter how they believe it came to be.

It was also under the Palm Tree I decided to use the Co-Exist Banner on this blog.

Regardless of what the former Mormon says, I really believe we all, every single one of us, are the creation of God and loved by God and that for us to decide based upon our reading of a book many claim to be the actual words of God to us while ignoring most of its precepts that God will destroy the vast majority of his children because of happenstance is insanity.

And it is happenstance that causes people to be able to be Christian or Muslim or any of the other believe-or-perish religions.

Our God does not force us, the commenter said anonymously, but believe or I kill you. Lit stick of dynamite. What do you do? These are actual choices?

I cannot believe a God who created us and placed us above all creation (see Psalm 8) will, in fact, destroy the vast majority of us.  I believe the creator God will bring all of his creation home to him.  All.  This belief causes fear in some people’s minds. I have never been given a reason for this.

So, I guess I am a believer of Palm Tree Theology in the Church of the Sacred Palm.

Am I a Christian? You decide.

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