Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rodcast 35: Hananiah

Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah. Cultural pride. Dig in. Jon was gone by the way.

Download the podcast here.

1 comment:

  1. I had a great, long comment which Blogspot was kind enough to lose. Nice.

    A few points:

    *My favorite "But If Not" talk is Lance Wickman's from October 2002 GC. It's profound to me because just before that Conference, a gal in my ward (I was at Penn State at the time) had had a miscarriage, and hearing Elder Wickman share that story of losing his son was SO powerful to us as a ward as we tried to support this sweet family in their time of tragedy.

    I think "but if not" is the ultimate statement of faith to a Christian. That, to me, is faith fully-formed. To not expect God to rescue you (reward you for your faithfulness) in very trying/dangerous circumstances. There's a song that talks about this..."Held" by Natalie Grant...which states, in part: "Who told us we'd be rescued? What has changed, and why should we be saved from the nightmare?" Sometimes, it is the strongest Christians who get the biggest 'nightmares' because the Lord knows where their faith level is at and He can trust them to make it through without 'burning up'. They have "3 Hebrews faith" (trust).

    Cultural pride is a social construct. It doesn't exist if there aren't people around to feed its existence. A little of it is safe and fun (USA, USA, USA), but when it is taken to the point where we refuse to associate with (in whatever way...whether person-to-person or something more vague and general) people because of differences between us (religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, you name it)...that's when it gets dangerous. I think part of the injunction to be as little children is to blur the edges between us and not let 'the wicked traditions of our fathers' dictate our attitudes toward those from whom we're different. Being of one heart and one mind...being Zion...cannot and will not happen with such bigotries in place.

    The flattening of the world is forcing us, as individuals and as a nation, to confront our bigotries head-on, which is a very good and necessary thing. Unfortunately, this forced confrontation does not force us to shape up. We must choose to abandon the ideas that hold us back. Those who do will succeed. Not to oversimplify, but that is really what this boils down to.

    I also believe Mormon cultural pride needs to get knocked down several notches. I'm guilty of it...I'll admit...but the idea that your kids can't play with other kids because they're not LDS...or references to the world outside the intermountain west as "the mission field" (to name a couple practices under this umbrella)...that's garbage. This Church does not belong to Utah or the United States or any other specific entity. This Church is not the bulwark upon which civilization is founded, either. We are to be grateful for what we have, not self-righteous and exclusionary, and have genuine respect and goodwill for those who do not share our beliefs. It is a fine line to walk, yes, but find a way to walk it we must. Part of "where much is given, much is required", I guess.