Monday, April 23, 2007

Liviu Librescu

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

You shall Reap what You Sow

‘Commissioned II Love’ (C2L) has been expelled from Savannah State University, the transgression being the ancient Christian practice of foot washing. After attending a C2L retreat and participating in the practice a student then went forward organizing a petition to have the group shut down, claiming a “cult like mentality”. The University put C2L on suspension for “harassment” and “hazing,” and later expelled them from campus for their continued off campus activities.

The offended fraternity member compelled action by the University, in part if not entirely, with his “cult” proclamation. The stereotypical, almost always wrong, associations are sleep deprivation, controlled environment, (everyone must follow the program) and building emotional bonds in order gain influence. Common labels to promote the concept of brainwashing. More than fundamental Christian practice these tactics more closely resemble spring break, a ritual to initiate participants into a lifestyle contrary to their upbringing, being influenced by peers into life altering deeds otherwise not imagined.

Civilization is built on promoting communal experience that serves the greater good. Art, architecture and ceremony are deeply embedded with religious and ideological meaning to send a message to the larger community. Social taboos and norms guide our daily activities. Negatively, the con man personifies the abuse of such ties. We see manipulative or controlling figures in families and our communities. Discernment and discretion are, or were, attributes upheld to prevent this proverbial pulling of our strings, yet the moral vacuum of modern day confounds.

C2L is being smeared with the label but Christianity itself promoted the ‘cult’ image to the detriment of many. The silent suffering of the dehumanized victims of this Christian Witch-Hunt face discrimination in the work place, alienation from their families and allocation to second class citizens. All past associations and accomplishments denied recognition for they have all become objects for these mindless dupes to promote the deception of the cause. The most extreme of many examples being the Waco Massacre. It took almost two months under an unconstitutional siege, a mass slaying and the gross destruction of evidence to raise a low rumble in their defense and still no one has been held accountable.

The worldwide cultural upheavals of the 1960’s, hippie-freak communes and the flood of new religions and sects from home and abroad were met with waves of fear and hostility from an overwhelmed Christian community unable to respond appropriately on many levels. Exacerbated by the likes of Charles Manson and Jim Jones, numerous innocents were maligned and destroyed in the tsunami. Misguided Christians so quick to indict, having lost all touch, now embrace alternative lifestyles. Is it any wonder Christianity is under attack from government and media by an intolerant society easily offended and quick to accuse?

Undeniably this Christian group is entitled access to our courts to correct this wrong placed upon them and defend their rights as citizens, but it is not the answer to what ills of this nation. True Christian values well lived are. The washing of feet is a profound Christian practice but let us remember whose feet Jesus washed. As in this case they were those of His betrayers. None came, not even a lawyer, to stand by His side that evening or the following day. The only words in His defense being:

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Have a Blessed Easter.