Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Hugo Schwyzer engages in some religious musings:
"But as better Christians than I tend to discover early on, Jesus is not 'nice.' As C.S. Lewis says of Aslan, his Christ-figure in the Narnia books, 'He's not a tame lion!' Jesus was non-violent, it's true -- and peacemaking was at the center of His mission on earth. But Jesus never compromises the truth in order to save people's feelings. He may have said 'turn the other cheek', but he also overturns the money-changer's tables in the temple. That was very, very, impolite of Him.

"Jesus models a new way of relating to the powers and principalities that be. Unlike the Zealots, He will not endorse violence against other human beings. But His non-violence is not passive, and it isn't 'nice'. He makes people uncomfortable over and over again; He is not a proper gentleman. A proper gentleman of the sort I aspired to be would have had lunch with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Romans and the Zealots, and told them all that they were awfully nice people and that God loved them just the way they were, and couldn't they all be just a bit more civil to each other? Pretty please?"

This reminds me of a scene last night in this Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which Troi tells Data that emotions, specifically anger, are neither positive nor negative, and what counts is what we do with them and, I would add, what gives rise to them. This is not a popular thought in contemporary liberal Christianity, which tends to emphasize God's Barney-like aspects. It is, however, one that bears repeating.


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