By: Vanessa Uy
“Anything done out of love is beyond good and evil.”Thus spake Friedrich Nietzsche.In the ten years of my mortal existence I had always wondered what the phrase “God is Love” means.Currently one of the loudest voices- claiming- infalliability- though- short- in- correctnes today are the Evangelical Christians.Since their Talibanization in the late 1990’s for hyping the Y2k Bug, they have in my opinion,abandoned all rational thought,the only thing needed to establish a dialogue between the Christian West and Islam.But enough about the altruistically themed adverts circulating in the BBC and CNN.
First, some axes to grind.For the most part,Evangelical Christians have a fairly limited ambition.On a personal level,they want to gain this supposedly “Eternal Life” stuff and annoy anyone of us who doesn’t subscribe to their belief system (though not necessarily in that order);on a professional level, they want you to learn,albeit forcibly,about Jesus Christ.And usually that’s about as far as it goes.
Me,on the other hand ,wants more. Not the one content with the usual fire and brimstone rhetoric,I just want to pull a deeper resonance every time I am invited by my Buddhist , Jewish,and Muslim friends to join them in celebrating one of their various high holidays;I’m somewhat disinterested in the dogmatic good versus evil dichotomy that is so manipulated by the evangelical powers-that-be as to infringe upon our civil liberties like going to certain art exhibitions and listening to music.In short ,how can the Christian West respect the beliefs and customs of other civilizations if they don’t respect the civil liberties of their constituents?
It isn’t that left-leaning-feminist-liberals such as myself fail in their attempts to advance Western Civilization or humanities collective perception about God,or are even wrong for wanting to do so.Maybee I’m just avoiding being pigeonholed by a media perception of feminists as spoiled rotten rich kids, anglo liberal inside,whatever color outside.We do care about how the rest of humanity looks at the Holy Church or Western Civilization.A media perception that in the mid 1990’s we came very close to achieving our ambitions of a utopic society could be our battle cry or our collective raison d’etre at best.
But the fact of the matter is that almost all organized religions really doesn’t need reinventing.Moreover ,feminist- liberals as a lot still seems a little too brainy for our own good.Sure ,altruism,the kind practiced by the evangelical powers-that-be,is a very noble idea,but like the amoral,money hungry Corporate World,they are run by people,who are in general more interested in self gain (material wealth,a good afterlife).Evangelical Christianity isn’t exactly the sort of philosophy that thrives on introspective reflection i.e. free thinking.
Should feminist-liberals shoulder the burden in establishing a dialogue that will result into a fruitful outcome in improving relations between Islam and the West.If we succeed,we may well rewrite the book on how the media and humanity should perceive God.Until then,however,there’s this late 20th.century movement called “empty materialism” or shop ‘till you drop for the uninitiated,an idea that’s much easier to acquire.