On Religious Legalism

My journal entry last Monday was about religious fundamentalism and legalism, and how incongruous it is to the example of Jesus. I won’t go into the many details of that but I have to admit that I wrote this because of a deep disappointment I’ve been feeling about many of the Christians in my life recently, and it came to a boiling point with the issue about Ben Tulfo’s very revealing statement on rape. As in revealing of his state of mind.

I feel that many (not all) Christians have become so insular in their thinking that they’ve lost the ability to move through the world with empathy. They have effectively stepped away from the suffering of humankind and transcended on a different plane where people will only be let in with them if they pay the admission fee–conformity. To look and sound the same. They’ve lost the ability to empathize with people who do not resemble them.

They are largely quiet on very disturbing issues. On allegations that there are EJKs happening among poor communities? Not a peep. Not even curious about it. Issues about how the government is handling the pandemic? Quiet. Issues about press freedom and the erosion of our democracy? Crickets. But in an argument about telling women what to wear so that they don’t get raped, they awaken from their blessed slumber and promptly assert their standards of modesty. Nevermind how arbitrary the term modesty can be. Wrapped in a thick swath of self-righteousness, they pass this off as just being practical and truthful. Sometimes I don’t know how to handle my disappointment with people who contribute (by their silence or their vicious ignorance) to the brokenness of this world. I become harsh and uncharitable with my words. Writing helps take off some of the edge.

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