Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Give Me a Break, "Passing Judgment"

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
The Dalai Lama

"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion."
Abraham Lincoln

"Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy."
Albert Schweitzer

"God has no religions."
Mahatma Ghandi

"Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion."

I simply can't understand why a minister should be fired from their church if they get arrested for a DWI (had a  client recently fired and a chaplain put on leave). People make mistakes. A church who is living what they preach should show mercy and kindness. The very essence of Biblical teaching is to provide standards to live by, not stones to throw.  Preachers pound from the pulpit "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

Many people make the mistake of a DWI. Most DWIs  involve no victims (people pulled over for traffic violations like speeding). No one goes out with the intent to get a DWI. DWI is more a misjudgment than bad judgment. If the President of the United States can govern the country (George W. Bush) with a DWI, a minister should certainly expect mercy from their church. If not, one should consider the worth of the church to begin with.

When a person gets a DWI, it is a traumatic self inflicted 'gnashing of teeth' punishment (pride, humiliation, embarrassment ). The most hypocritical thing a church can do is to cast them aside. It is repugnant to me that one's church may be the last place they find forgiveness and understanding.

I would simply like to point out that churches have a very important role in society. They provide counseling and guidance to the soul for many. It is time that churches reassess blanket policies that go against their very teachings.  A DWI is a mistake that anyone can make. A church should be a place one would expect forgiveness, compassion and understanding.

To conclude, a wise man (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher, 4 BC A.D. 65) once said "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." No one is saying that religion does not have its good uses...

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