Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Church politics

Well, we found out two weeks ago that the Unitarian Universalist church is not without it's own politics. We've been going to the church on and off for about three years now, but two weeks ago, we were really surprised by the service.

Both of the pastors were somehow run out of the church! They both gave a "Homily" sermon and that was the end of that. This past Sunday, there was an interim minister there. Strange. We still haven't heard the rest of the story.

But, I wanted to relay one of the stories that was told during their "homily" service. It's a story about an ancient "Truth" that fell from the sky. I can't remember the exact story, but it went something like this:

There once was the truth and it was kept by an ancient tortoise who lived in the sky. One day, it fell from the sky and broke into two pieces. One piece, fell in plain view while the other rolled into deep grass. The piece in plain view caught the attention of many different animals. Each, in turn, picked it up and held on to it for a little while, but quickly realized that it was incomplete and not the whole truth. It lost its luster.

One day a human found the half-piece of rock and read it. It made him feel special and he put it into his pocket. It made him feel good to know that it was there and every once in awhile, he would take it out and look at it.

Finally, he decided to share the message of his rock with some other people. It said,"You are loved". The people really liked that message. They liked it so much, in fact, that they began to call it THE truth and they made a special place to keep the stone and come see it once a week.

Then they began to believe that they were the only ones chosen to hear this truth and felt that everyone else who did not believe this truth were not as good. Before long, a war broke out.

But one child who was watching the fight thought she might be able to do something about it. So, she went to a far away place during her vision quest and she met the ancient tortoise. He told her where she could find the other half of the truth. She searched and searched and finally, she found it. She hurried home to share the other half of the rock's truth with the villagers.

When she arrived, they were still fighting, so she walked out in the middle of the battle and said, "STOP! I have the other half of the broken truth."

The people on both sides of the battle stopped and their leaders came out to the little girl. One village leader carried the first half of the rock, "You are loved" He placed it in the little girl's hand, and the girl put the pieces together. The rock, now complete, read: "You are loved ... and so are they."


About halfway through the story when the humans started turning against each other, I started remembering a song that we used to sing in our church youth choir and I couldn't get it out of my head for the rest of the day:

(a 1960's era anti-war song written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter)

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven,
justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowin'
come the judgment day
on the bloody morning after,
one tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they'd kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom,
"With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there."


Now the valley cried with anger,
"Mount your horses! Draw your sword!"
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it...
"Peace on Earth" was all it said.



Funny how we used to sing this anti-war song in my church and now I feel like the Christian religion has been totally hijacked by a war-mongering "Christian Right".

A bumper sticker I recently saw says, "The Christian Right is Neither."


1 comment:

Courtney said...

Unfortunately, politics are an unavoidable part of life. It must be part of human nature for the need to feel superior to others.