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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Very Interesting

I read a book by an author whom, it turns out, has very little in common with me. Usually we like to encounter people who are like us in some way...whether we meet them on the street or watch them on TV or read them in a book we want to have some kind of obvious, tangible connection. Well, this book Infidel by Aayan Hirsi Ali has no obvious connection to my life in any way.

She is a politician...I think politics is silly; she is a woman...although I like women, I am not one; she is from Somalia in Africa...I am from Minnesota in the USA; she was raised as a Muslim and is now an "atheist"...I was raised as a Christian and still am (although I must admit her atheism never sounds like a strict rejection of God, but rather of religious traditions...which a lot of Christians could claim too); she has a death threat against her...I am free from such constraint. (You want a fun Google search? Google this woman and read all the comments posted about her. Absolutely scary.)

But as different as we are, she did remind me of one thing on which we agree: if women are not free, neither is the society in which they live. This is so central to the Christian understanding of life that without it, you could not have Christianity. Any Christian tradition that does not accord full respect and freedom to women will fail...now I realize there are certain Christian traditions that do not accord to women the same freedoms they accord to men...in fact in the Christian scriptures there are even attempts to indoctrinate discrimination based on patriarchal arrogances...but they are minor and pale in number and vibrancy to the Christian scriptures that speak for the emancipation and freedom of women and men in Jesus Christ. I thank God for the women of faith who have walked in my journey with me...they have been a blessing.

So I read a book by a former Muslim politician who reminded me of a central tenent of my faith: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3.28) Thank you Ms. Hirsi Ali, although we share little in common, in some way I hope what we do share together makes for a better world.

4 comments:

Pam Brewer said...

I live and work in Minot, ND. The same folks who don't want "oil trash" in their backyard also don't want tax money money spent on renewable energy sources. Go figure.

Scott Frederickson said...

This is a true mystery...entropy is always in play. Even in Minot. Peace.

Pam Brewer said...

I just realized that my comment has nothing to do with your "Very Interesting" blog post. My comment is meant for the "New Neighbors" blog post. Oops.

Scott Frederickson said...

Dear Pam,
I understood that to be the case, however, we are pretty flexible at this table. Thanks for reading!
Scott