The Ghetto Cardinal on how Christians think

I thought it might be interesting to post on Christian thought (yes there is such a thing!) and how we view certain events, and how we attribute these events to God rather than chance occurrences in the course of day to day life. I’m not referring to political/social views or organized religions such as the Catholic Church and its doctrine, only to a typical individuals thought process concerning religion.

Not too long ago I had my molars out, hence the pic of dental horror atop this post. Due to my age (not as old as Mike-when Mike was in school the Civil War wasn’t taught in History but in Current Events – but I’m still old) the doctor insisted I be knocked out. I became convinced I wasn’t gonna come out of the anesthesia, nervousness turned into apprehension which turned into genuine fear.

The morning of the procedure I was sitting in the oral surgeons office alternately crossing myself, praying and saying Hail Mary’s. Before I go on, I should mention the instrumental Pachelbel Canon D has special meaning to my daughters and I. It played in Father of the Bride when the father spent a last few moments playing basketball with his daughter the day before her wedding. I raised my girls as a single parent so the scene and the song have meaning to us. I’d gifted them both with the CD, and hearing the song always makes our eyes meet and a good thought always passes between us.

You can probably guess what’s coming next. The receptionist apparently turned on the office sound system and yep, Pachelbel Canon D began to play. My fear and nerves and apprehension disappeared because it was a sign from God. I thanked Him in prayers on a daily basis afterward.

I’m fully aware there are millions if not billions of random intersecting events and their resulting causation-and not all of us leap up and run out of whatever room we’re in shouting “It’s a miracle!” whenever something fortuitous occurs. From the non-religious persons viewpoint, he or she can easily point out how coincidences happen on a regular daily basis. They may also ask if God answers my prayer regarding dental work, where is He when I pray for wars to end? Or why would He answer the prayer of an old guy scared of a pill and a drill but not the prayers of the mother of a starving child in Zaire?

I don’t have an enlightened response to any of those questions. I believe, I just do. It may sound nutty and it may sound stupid, but that honestly is the way most of the Christian and Muslim and Jewish faithful view life’s events.

One other observation I might make, is that if your faith is real there is no need to be defensive about it, or judgmental. Which is why other viewpoints don’t bother me; I never get offended by people sharing their atheist or agnostic beliefs. All of us are shaped by our environment and our interpretation of what shaped that environment.

I believe in Heaven and Hell, I believe He rewards those with faith. I further believe we are judged on our basic decency. If one believes that, come Judgment Day there will be a whole bunch of surprised atheists boarding the UP elevator to pick up their harps, while a whole bunch of equally surprised racist hateful Christian fundamentalists will be trudging into the DOWN elevator.

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Posted by on April 14, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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20 Responses to The Ghetto Cardinal on how Christians think

  1. teeluck Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Well I do understand what you are saying about God, about belief, about not knowing or being able to explain…but it is not really “nothing” as Atheists say it is. You are correct, it is not coincidence…but it also is not God.
    There is a third element untold in your story…you. You are the one that causes some of these “events” to happen, when you learn to use your mental facilities…not your brain but your mind and spirit. Your Spirit accompanies you and controls you on Earth much like a puppet, this physical world being an illusion. You in spirit form, are part of a much larger “system” in play in the Universe. It is what some of us refer to as the Spiritual Consciousness of the Universe. It is a real force that the uneducated ancients 8000 years ago called “God,” as they did not know anything else, they meant well…out of fear and ignorance. There is an actual “Community” of our spirits in the Universe and a whole largely unknown existence, real life and order in play, that most do not know about. In it the force we call God is too small an object, and is the equivalent of a story, as “He” is restricted to a box of dogma and rules which were made up 8000 years ago, along with the idea that “He” must exist. This “God” is a minute entity compared to the real force that the real “God” is thought to actually be, “IT” not even being a single entity. It is quite simple really, and you shall have ample time to research it when you read my book, as I have given you the whole lengthy story there. I shall have signed copies for all of you…my friends soon, I have been promised the first proof copy in two weeks.

    • osori Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm

      Tee,thank you for your thoughts and explanation.Spiritual Consciousness has real merit and I’m interested in learning more, looking forward to the book coming out man!

  2. Bee Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 7:36 am

    If one believes that, come Judg ment Day there will be a whole bunch of sur prised athe ists board ing the UP ele va tor to pick up their harps, while a whole bunch of equally sur prised racist hate ful Chris t ian fun da men tal ists will be trudg ing into the DOWN elevator.

    I can live with that 🙂

  3. Holte Ender Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Famed psychiatrist Carl Jung, talked about “Synchronicity” or meaningful coincidences of inner and outer events that were related and that human intelligence was part of a collective pool that we all share regardless of culture. Science proves this, each new discoverer has to stand on the shoulders of those that went before. The ancients had their Gods but they are remembered for their contributions to the human cause and not their love of Zeus or Mars.

    Being a decent human being is far more important than how a person labels their beliefs. We probably all know people believers or non-believers that are a genuine pain in the rear.

    • osori Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      Holte,
      thanks for bringing it up,I was looking for the proper word and it just wouldn’t appear in my addled brain.Synchronicity is perfect.Had I been listening to some Police I might have got it!

  4. MadMike Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    The fact that I was raised during the Civil War notwithstanding 🙂 I think I am quite comfortable being an atheist. Then again, I must confess Oso I envy you your faith. While I don’t think life is necessarily “easier” I suspect a belief system can be a comfort during those tough times. I don’t have that comfort, although my dogs do make reasonable substitutes during times of great stress. I expect “comfort” in its most common form is in the arms of the holder. Remarkable post my friend. It made me think and that can be dangerous.

    • osori Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      Mike,
      Knowing Bachman and Palin will be going to Hell is really a comfort!
      Custer’s last stand was the big current event back when I was in school.

  5. SJ Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 11:42 am

    @Oso,
    Although I don’t necessarily believe in an ominpotent sentient being that is responsible for our existence, I will say that religious faith is a valuable perspective and belief to all of us, whether we rail against the Moral Majority or weirdo cultists inventing new forms of mass suicide.
    Even the organized religions (and I mean all of them), which take a well deserved beating these days thanks to millennia of pederasty, homophobia, hate, sponsorship war and slavery, suppression of science and repression of knowledge and totalitarian rule… -have their important value to our civilization (I mean the entire world) because without religious conviction and faith-based discourse we wouldn’t have had a civil rights movement in this country, and going back to the Civil War (I am going to refrain from cheap shotting Mad Mike here) we wouldn’t have had people like “The Meteor” John Brown, who foresaw an America without Slavery and the end of the Civil War even as he began it in the drunken rage that ended his life.
    We wouldn’t have had Gandhi (who I have issues with), Mother Theresa (who I have still more issues with) as well as various others who conversely chose to do harm rather than good for their fellow man. To eliminate religion would be to elminate much of our past, and the culture, art and knowldege we have today… all the while recognizing that organized religion always opposes and persecutes cultures, arts, and knowledge it deems a threat to its existence, except the Buddhists for some reason? anyway…
    The most important perspective to me, (endemic to all religions except Satanism I think) is the notion that mankind, with all it’s grace, power and intellect as well as with all it’s horror, cruelty and mediocrity is not the end all in the Universe not its center, and not the ultimate power. We get all of our concepts of law, legistlation and society and even statehood from the world’s religions: For if not at least a set of rules for living, what else are religions at the core?
    Sometimes they are a “stupid” set of rules for living, or they are rules contrived not for the benefit of a society, but for an individual wearing an elaborate-looking hat who insists he knows best: pick any time or place in history and you’ll see there’s always a funny hat.
    Anyway.
    Here’s where I make my point, and also show I’m a hopeless nerd. One of the ideas or notions I’ve always pulled from the body of Tolkkien’s works, specifically the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is the conviction that:

    It’s a sin not to hope.

    Tolkkien’s works repeatedly express to me the idea that all of us as individuals, the slow, the fast, the strong, the meek, the good, the bad, the fearful, the brave, the smart and the dumb have our role to play in the making and direction of the world. Tolkkien’s narratives hold for me the idea that we don’t know what will happen, so our pessimism, no matter how concretely justified by the evils and violence of others is not an excuse to give in to hopelessness. Hopelessness is an act of violence against the self, it is taking sides with the forces of oppression and in a very real sense finishing the job for those who mean harm, and ultimately handing the world over to them.
    Faith, I think is at the cornestone of that idea. The humility and sobriety to know that we are not in control, but to do our part in the making of our common future.

    For some, life requires the personification of God, a thinking being charged with the welfare of the world.
    For my part, I believe something is certainly responsible for setting our creation in motion, and that of the infinitude of reality and the Universe we live in…however that entity, force or event may not be sentient. Many living things that make our lives possible are not (trees, bacteria etc.)
    So the questions for some are:
    Is God still God if he didn’t write the ten commandments; if he’s without a body or a mind, or a soul, or the ultimate force in the universe… is God still God if he was just a lightning strike that charged a primordial pool making Amino acids into the stuff that evolved into us?
    These are not great times for everyone.
    I’d love to believe somebody was listening.

    Great piece as always Oso, very thought provoking.
    -SJ

    • MadMike Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

      Geez SJ! Before you got famous you would have made this into a post 🙂 🙂

      • SJ Reply

        April 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

        Maybe I’m just trying to get in good with the man (or woman) upstairs before I’m smited? Truth is I wouldn’t have any of this on my mind today if it hadn’t been for Oso’s piece, although you and I have nerded out over Tolkkien’s possible “messages” despite the fact he claimed to be pushing none…I’m pretty sure he was lying about that.
        -SJ

        • osori Reply

          April 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm

          SJ,
          Thank you man, that was thoughtful and interesting and helpful too. Especially Tolkien and “Violence against the self”. I’ve read your comment several times, pulled a little more out of it each time. And you are not a nerd,man.You are a John Brown without the drunken rage. Or at least, without the rage!

          • SJ Reply

            April 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

            If only more people Brown’s sense of outrage at cruelty and racism. He was pretty unique. I just drink and take a nap.

            This was a great post and inspiring essay to wrap my head around.
            -SJ

  6. TomCat Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Oso, you prove your faith by your generosity in making Mike appear so much younger than he is. 😉

    I tend to be more Deist than Theist. I think God expects us to use our brains and stays out of the way. I do not see how man could gave free will if God keeps tinkering in our lives to do what he wants.

    However, there are times, when I have no better explanation than to accept providence.

    • SJ Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm

      I’m thinking it’s going to be much like it was in the 1982 movie “Time Bandits.”
      We die, then we get greated by an old white guy with an English accent in a pin-stripped banker’s suit who scolds us and tells us it was all part of a “plan.”
      -SJ

    • osori Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks TC. Free will I think,is the answer to many of our questions about (if you’re a believer) why God doesn’t show Himself, or act to influence our direction more.

    • osori Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      SJ and TC,
      What if it’s instead an old Mexican chef in an undershirt who scolds us and tells us it was all a part of his flan?

      • SJ Reply

        April 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm

        Just as likely.
        He’ll be on a horse in that case, with bandoliers and offering a box of cigars as a welcome to the borderless, strifeless afterlife…

  7. MadMike Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I’m reading the writing and thinking to myself…

    “..what a wonderful world….”

    Thanks guys for making my life better than it was during the civil war 🙂

    • osori Reply

      April 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm

      ROFLMAO !!

  8. teeluck Reply

    April 16, 2010 at 12:11 am

    If there is a God, he is a comedian…for giving us Sarah Palin and her dysfunctional clan. lol

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