It’s one thing to see a documentary or read an article about an injustice and all together another to meet someone who is or has gone through the fire. To hear their story of oppression, discrimination, banishment, and persecution, to share in the burden. It stirs such primal emotion.
Pulling into Salt Lake City the beauty of the mountains deceive us. There is a eery tone, a subtle offense in the air. Secrets. The clouds hang low, as if the mountains are whispering those secrets of abuse and corruption to the heavens. We have learned much from our visit to this area. Much about a people who traveled west, following a charismatic leader and all that can happen when one man has to much power. There is a distorted law that formed and twisted thinking that justifies secrets that rape the soul and kill. We live in a time where most religion is viewed as culturally sacred. Meaning, the religion itself might be totally wack, but because it’s gone on for a long period of time it’s now a culture and that culture should be preserved, respected and tolerated. And yet, as we meet folks who have experienced betrayal and persecution by their so called “family” of religious organization there is a feeling that rises up. A primal feeling… Trying to put my finger on it. Oh, yes… RAGE!
Paul says it this way, in Galatians, that by embracing a variant message the people loose freedom. Cursed, he says, be anyone who turns the message of Christ on it’s head, even an angel from heaven.
Freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverts and often squandered. And, how quickly we can move from freedom to the “law.” We rise up and fight for freedom. Freedom comes but along with it a sense of control, a taste of power which often finds the rebel as the oppressor.
Here is the test. Freedom is the gage. If freedom is squelched, we respond with opposition. When freedom is restored we hold on loosely, gently and with humility.