Sunday, July 05, 2009

Faith & Values, Rutherford Style

The Lifestyles section of my local newspaper is subtitle, “Religion: Rutherford Faith and Values.” Rutherford is the county in which my town is located. What are Rutherford values? What is Rutherford faith? Here are few highlights from the Lifestyle section:

Under GOOD IDEAS a local pharmacist warns us that the sin of America is “the abomination it truly is to God,” and urges us to repent and follow the example of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately she doesn’t define the abomination. In this town the abomination could be abortion, homosexuality, occultism, or voting Democratic.

The main article, “Letters to God,” is about a movie being made in Orlando, FL. inspired by a Rutherford boy whose faith in God helped him and his community deal with his cancer.

Beneath the fold is an essay called “Share your faith with humility” in which we learn that “Sharing your faith isn’t an easy gig… Most of all it requires you to abandon all assumptions that you know what’s best for someone else.” Really? I thought the whole point of proselytizing is that you have the truth and the other person doesn’t. If you don’t know what’s best for me, then why bother me with your faith?

The rest of the Lifestyles section deals with various church fundraisers, Bible camps, and faith programs, a complaint to Abigail Van Buren from a guy whose girl friend wears see-through cloths and no underwear, advice on how to say “no” to a wedding invitation, the comics, a listing of 125 churches—I counted— and their upcoming worship services (the town’s mosque and Hindu Temple do not list; we have no synagogue), and the daily horoscope…

…. Wait for it… DAILY HOROSCOPE!!!!!

What kind of faith and values is this? The Bible is clearly anti-horoscope: “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD…” (Deuteronomy 18: 9-12)

While the constant invoking of Ronald Reagan by God-fearing Republicans might be considered calling up the dead, it is the fact that interpreting omens, which includes the stars, is an abomination to God that really matters to me.

Remember the local pharmacist’s concern about abomination and how she failed to make clear what abomination she was talking about? Now we know why she didn’t make it clear! The newspaper itself is promoting abomination by printing the daily horoscope! She clearly had the horoscope in mind, but could not say so for fear of having her “good idea” removed from the paper. If we are to repent we have to get this abomination removed from our newspapers. I don’t know about you, but I will get on this very soon.

Not today, though; my horoscope said this was a bad time for me to take up new causes.

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