Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I've often written about and linked to David Kuo, an evangelical who worked in the Bush Administration but became disillusioned with their hypocrisy and left. Despite our differences in religious viewpoints, I generally respect the man and his honesty and convictions. David continues to focus more on his "personal relationship with Jesus" (his blog's called J-Walking) and the idea that Christianity is primarily about Helping the Poor than the political power-grab and petty cultural war that the religious right tends to focus on.

That said, I could not disagree with a post more than this one he just posted. Denial of the reality of death is to me the source of terrible delusional motives, not a goal worth raising to a pedestal.
My two-year-old daughter Livvy lives in a world without death. Nothing around her - save for the ants we regularly annihilate - has ever died. And even if something did die she wouldn't understand it. Death is completely foreign to her life. Life is all she knows.

Her life is, I believe, how life was meant to be. We aren't meant to be surrounded by death. It is entirely unnatural. We are born to life and oriented to life and know in our souls that we are designed to live - far beyond what we see or smell or understand. Death is the enemy, death is the stalker and even for those who wrap their lives in Jesus and know that death isn't the end, it is still the enemy.

My hope is that I can keep Livvy in her world of life for as long as possible - it is the innocence that matters most.
I suppose this is where I will always diverge from devout Christians. The difference is the Bible.

For me, all my experience of the world around me makes me think that death is quite natural, and quite a given about existence. However, if you toss in one extra element into your "experience" (say, a book that you treat as a user-manual for life, the ol' Message from the Creator) and that book tells you that death is not the end and death is not natural, but in fact is the result of sin - well, given that axiom ("death is not the end"), you must conclude that Death is not the End.

If I had a book I trusted completely that said, say, "Time Runs In Reverse, and Any Sense of Vice Versa is Result of Human Fault," I would dream of maintaining my "innocent" young child in believing that Time Ran in Reverse.

(Remember the root of Darth Vader's transformation into evil? What the Emperor dangles in front of him? Yes, that's right. I've responded to the Christian worldview by reference to a scene in the sixth Star Wars movie.)

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