YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollectionsChurch

Small Wonders: Circling back to Christianity

October 02, 2010|By Patrick Caneday

This is the first in a three-part series.

In August, I voiced my thoughts on same-sex marriage and Anne Rice's much-publicized renunciation of organized Christianity. The feedback I received was, to say the least, energetic.

Were I the extremist pastor of a 50-member church threatening to burn copies of the "Twilight" books, I may have gotten more attention. But, I figure the president, secretary of state, secretary of defense and the commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan have better things to do than quell any civil uprisings I might generate.


To reiterate briefly, like Rice, I've grown weary of a religious institution that has suffered from its own hypocrisy and made others it disagrees with to suffer more. I don't believe it is my mission to force others to hold the same set of standards that are set for me by my faith.

There is most certainly an intersection of religious values and moral values, but in a free and civilized society where the separation of church and state is best for both sides, religious values don't necessarily trump moral values. I believe that organized religion has done a very good job of saving lives — mine included — but also of making too many lost souls feel unwanted or unworthy of the salvation it is preaching.

I believe in the due process of laws, even laws passed by a majority of voters and even if the overturning judge is gay and was appointed by a conservative president.

I wish as much time, resources and money were spent on outlawing adultery as has been spent on banning same-sex marriage. Nothing threatens the sanctity of marriage more than that. After all, it did get its own commandment.

However, while I would renounce the black eyes on the church as I see them, I cannot renounce the church itself; the church is people, not buildings, laws, dogmas, politics, lower taxes, higher ratings or Ann Coulter. And the people comprising that church don't always agree, which makes it a microcosm of our human race.

Not surprisingly, my opinions were called into question. I received some incredibly thoughtful counter arguments from people who have spent much time in sincere study on the topic of faith and the course it should set for one's life. I am grateful for their respect and kind words in challenging me and providing me with their insights, wisdom and brotherly love. I most certainly don't have all the answers, and they gave me much to think about.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles