Friday, February 29, 2008

Religious intolerance?

The Opinion writer at the Daily Democrat seems to be very angry at Ralph Drollinger, the Capitol Chaplin for making "intolerant" remarks about another "fellowship" group at the Capitol.

If you are looking for intolerance, religious or otherwise, it seems to be found in abundance at the editorial desk of the Daily Democrat.

Evangelical chaplain Ralph Drollinger usually confines himself to Bible studies for state lawmakers and is usually out of the public eye. This past week, however, he decided to make a name for himself by saying that God is disgusted with a rival fellowship group that includes people of all faiths.

"Although they are pleasant men in their personal demeanor, their group is more than disgusting to our Lord and Savior," Drollinger wrote on the Capitol Ministries' Web site.

The comments drew immediate fire from others in the capital, including the Republican lawmaker who sponsors Drollinger's Bible study group. Drollinger said "progressive religious tolerance" is an offense against God and causes harm to its practitioners.

Ok, it seems that the "more than disgusting to our Lord and Savior" is the phrase that chaps the hide of the Democrat's editor, but let him finish.

Certainly Drollinger is entitled to his views. He's even entitled to preach them to those crazy enough to listen.

But there is no place in religion - or politics for that matter - for those those who practice intolerance. We see the effects daily of those who feel their religion is the only way. People are killing themselves and others over such foolishness.

We should all be respectful of other religions, ministers particularly so. None of us has a direct line to God to know what he is thinking. Those who claim they do - who claim they know all the answers - are zealots and have no place in a civil society founded on tolerance for differing points of view, whether they be political or religious

Really? No place in religion or politics for intolerance? What planet does the editor live on, some Utopian alternate plane of existence where everyone's views are equally valued and celebrated?

Lets say Bob over here wants to run for President, or open a temple across from your kid's school, and Bob wants to kill all the Jews, lock up every homosexual and castrate anyone who doesn't agree with him. Should we be tolerant of Bob's views? Should we celebrate his diverse thinking and values? Hell no.

Bob has a right to spout his hateful views, but Americans can tell Bob to shut his mouth before we run him out of town, without having some politically correct imbecile tell us we must be tolerant of Bob and his views. The worship of diversity seems only to be practiced at the alter of political correctness, traditional views need not apply. As for zealotry, I think that those who wish to remove every reference to God in the public square run circles around Chaplin Ralph Drollinger.

So lets get back to the 'offending chaplain' shall we. If the editorial writer actually read the Chaplain's blog post that prompted the story in the Sacramento Bee, he either doesn't understand Christianity or doesn't want to. The Chaplin is truly concerned for these people who want to serve up Jesus in a religious buffet. Take a little of Christ's compassion, a little love, a bit of wisdom, but leave out the parts about sin, Hell and Christ saying "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Throw in some Buddha, mix in some Mohamed and a little Oprah, and you have the perfect religious buffet.

I know many non believers who use the same line of thinking the Chaplain objected to. The premise that Jesus was just a great moral teacher is a line of thinking that is simply untrue, even if you don't believe Jesus was the Messiah. If you actually read the Bible, not just books about the Bible, but actually read the New Testament, you have to come away with one of three beliefs about Jesus. He was either crazy, he was the Devil or he was Lord and Savior.
C.S. Lewis says it best.
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
Now that might not seem to palatable to the editorial writer of the Democrat, but is central to Christianity. You can write it off as intolerance if you want to, but Jesus said what he said. If you want to take it up with Jesus, be my guest.

1 comment:

David said...

Great points, Yolo Cowboy. You've correctly articulated the real issue that nearly everyone else seems to be missing (perhaps intentionally?).