Moral Courage: A Weekend Interlude

   I am blogging on moral courage because I do not see much of it. It seems we live in a day when the strong are not good and the good are not strong. I do not hear anyone calling for much more than personal aggrandizement to the detriment of all who disagree with them, however nominally.

   The failure of moral resolve seems most gallingly prevalent in religious life. I suppose this should not shock us since religion is so much a call to the heart and justice is so much more a call to the mind but it does seem a pure, true heart would allow for some union with a just, right thinking mind.

   I have learned to mistrust the fellow who wants to tell me a heart story and so enlist my depreciating capital and increasingly limited time. A transformational tale might be better, most particularly if linked to some out of the ordinary, courageous moral assertion that is untimely and much beyond the interests of any special cabal.

   I left a religous organization wherein resides a fellow identified as a "hero," or a "legend" in religious life. I met him in different capacitites over the years and learned to watch him closely. You could not help but hear him, he can scarcely be still, but close scrutiny to deed did not match the words at all. In all our associations I never met the fellow when his conversation was about any other than himself, when he was not marketing his own special appeal for support and, most distrubing, I never met a person I admired who had been positively influenced by him. I learned to avoid the fellow and never felt poorer for the effort.

   My point, however, is more than personal. The brash voice is the one most likely heard in religious conversation, among a predominant group, but is certainly not the transformational effort needed to appeal to a non-religious culture, let alone an anti-religous culture. Religion cannot be forced on a person, not really, but must rather be layered on a bit at a time, as the growing season includes soil preparation, planting, tending and dependence on the mystical union between seed and soil, mediated by the Creator.

   I do not see moral courage or energy in the Free Church just now. I look for it daily.

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