The Psychology of Christianity: Part 5, "...the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth."

The final words in the first part of the Apostles' Creed are these:

...the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
In the last two posts we've been discussing the psychological literature regarding the notion that God is "Father." In this post (and all these posts are following the sections of a recent book chapter I wrote) we take up the notion that God is "almighty" and the "creator of heaven and earth."

There is a experiential tension created when we confess that God is omnipotent and the creator of heaven and earth. Specifically, the Creed prompts us to make God responsible for the world, at least for its origins. This is troublesome given the chaos, disorder and suffering we experience in the world. However, even if God isn't the proximate cause for suffering and pain (although as creator God may be distally responsible) we also confess that God is "almighty." Which makes us wonder if God should not intervene more to alleviate the most horrific of our sufferings.

In short, the confession that God is both "almighty" and "creator" throws up all the classic issues related to the "problem of pain" and theodicy. However, my concern in the chapter I wrote wasn't focused on our theological attempts to reconcile our experience of pain with the creedal assertions. My focus was on the psychological experience associated with the problem of suffering.

In the bible the "experience of theodicy" is observed in lament, the psychological turmoil created when our experience of pain clashes with the theological assertions that God is good and the sustainer of the cosmos. The spiritual literature related to lament, with the classic work being St. John of the Cross's The Dark Night of the Soul, is enormous. This makes sense given that, as most of you know, most of the songs in the the book of Psalms are cries of lament. In short, the experience of lament is central to the faith experience and is, in fact, a sign of mature religious functioning.

So what have the social scientists done with the experience of lament? Not much, although there is a small literature that deals with complaint and anger toward God.

The point that interests me in reviewing the social scientific research regarding lament is that it seems to make the mistake that I think a lot of churches also make. Specifically, the assumption is that lament is pathological, a symptom of spiritual disease. No doubt, anger and disappointment with God is a symptom of spiritual distress, and it can be a precursor to a loss of faith. But the assumption that lament is spiritually immature or pathological is deeply problematic, a mistake made in many churches and one, it seems, that is also made by social scientists. I've found this assessment from Walter Brueggemann to be particularly helpful on this score:
It is a curious fact that the church has, by and large, continued to sing songs of orientation in a world increasingly experienced as disoriented…It is my judgment that this action of the church is less an evangelical defiance guided by faith, and much more a frightened, numb denial and deception that does not want to acknowledge or experience the disorientation of life. The reason for such relentless affirmation of orientation seems to me, not from faith, but from the wishful optimism of our culture. Such a denial and cover-up, which I take it to be, is an odd inclination for passionate Bible users, given the larger number of psalms that are songs of lament, protest, and complaint about an incoherence that is experienced in the world…I believe that serous religious use of the lament psalms has been minimal because we have believed that faith does not mean to acknowledge and embrace negativity. We have thought that acknowledgement of negativity was somehow an act of unfaith, as though the very speech about it conceded too much about God’s “loss of control”…The point to be urged here is this: The use of these “psalms of darkness” may be judged by the world to be acts of unfaith and failure, but for the trusting community, their use is an act of bold faith…
Brueggemann helps us see the underlying problem found in many churches and in the social psychological research. Specifically, when people examine the faith/lament relationship they tend to work with a polar model with faith and lament placed on two ends of a continuum. That is, as faith increases lament/anger/complaint toward God is believed to decrease. In this view, faith is the absence of doubt or complaint. Conversely, as doubt, lament, anger, and complaint increase faith is believed to decrease. These experiences are symptoms of a failure or lack of faith.

In a variety of articles I've argued that social scientists (and churches) need to replace the polar model of lament/faith with a circumplex model where faith and lament are seen as separate, orthogonal dimensions. In this model I've labeled the vertical dimension "communion," as it reflects engagement with God. The horizontal dimension is labeled "complaint" as it captures the experience of doubt, lament, anger and disappointment with God. The two models--polar and circumplex--are compared in the figure below:

The value of the circumplex model is that it allows communion with God to exist independently of lament. That is, one can be passionately engaged with God (i.e., have "faith") while being in the middle of spiritual distress and turmoil. Complaint doesn't imply a lack of faith. Rather, as Brueggemann suggests, complaint can reflect an "act of bold faith." Perhaps the classic articulation of this experience is Job's assertion:
Though He slay me, yet will I hope in him. (Job 13.15)
This is the classic high communion/high complaint moment: God, you're killing me, but I still trust you.

In summary, having looked at the social scientific literature regarding the experience of lament, my recommendation is that researchers examine the models they are working with regarding the relationship between faith and lament. My assessment is that, to date, researchers have fallen into the trap many churches have. They have adopted a polar model of faith/lament and, as a consequence, can only see compliant, anger, doubt and disappointment with God as diseased and spiritually immature.

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45 thoughts on “The Psychology of Christianity: Part 5, "...the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth."”

  1. Brueggemann nails this, as he does many things. The unfailingly "upbeat" praise-and-worship agenda in the modern evangelical church, in my experience strongly correlated with the growth agenda of the megachurch culture, has long appeared to be a mechanism of escape designed to help us pretend that evil and sin do not have the hold on us (both socially and individually) that they do, in fact, have. Confession is discounted and sorrow rendered either superfluous (at best) or a major interference (at worst). Thus Easter and not Good Friday, and if Good Friday, a sanitized version without the intensity of the Sunday observance.

    Regrettable. But the "upbeat" atmosphere is what appears to put the cheeks in the seats and the clams in the coffers.


  2. Richard,

    Shortly, I will be participating in a memorial service for deceased Veterans. It will not be upbeat. Deep sadness, dark anger, grief and regret cannot be mediated through trivializing praise music and a pollyanna take on God. Jesus is risen but his scars are still present.

    Blessings anyway.

  3. Your first assumption is that one is praying or asking for an answer. And that prayer is directed toward God, who is personal and responsive (or at least believed to be so). One has to believe that God exists, in the first place, to have that lament or direction/focus.

    Even if one has "settled" whether an individual believes that there is a God "to hear" and even to care about the complaint, I think it is important to know what the complaint concerns. Is the complaint a personal complaint, because of some imagined "world" faith was to maintain? Or is the complaint built on a struggle with the complexity, contingency and mystery in the world, as it concerns "the good".

    I think that 'the good' is defined by those who have the power to influence, make decisions, and implement plans, as "the good" is always contingent on individual values, which are affirmed by a reasoned self-interest. So, speech about "God", God's will, etc. when it pertains to "what is" is a challlenge to those that do not adhere to the "Christian God", as traditionally understood....

  4. > Though He slay me, yet will I hope in him. (Job 13.15) This is the classic high communion/high complaint moment: God, you're killing me, but I still trust you.

    I think it is worthwhile to note that "hope" and "trust" do not mean the same thing. We maintain hope that the abusive father will stop hurting his family, but we know too much to /trust/ him to do so.

  5. > You speak as if God is the first cause ... etc

    Sorry, I don't follow your comment. Could you restate your concern or disagreement?

  6. Matthew,
    You speak as if God is the first cause. Some may believe this, but most traditional understandings about pain/suffering have to do with "perfection"....that is trusting God in the face of a 'disconnect' is a building of trust. I have often heard such statements as "It's not what happens to you, but your response to it, that matters".....lessons that God has caused, or allowed for the betterment of our character, just as the story line in Job. God allowed Satan to test Job to prove Job's faithfulness and bring him to maturity. Chatisement, etc. etc.

    While I might believe that a certain response would be better in the larger context, that has little to do with God, really. And when God is used as a scapegoat (or as justification), others continue along their merry way, in their disregard or disrespect of another's independent existence, and it annihlates their right to life. And those so smug as to suggest this was "God's doing" are arrogantly making assumptions about things they know nothing about.

    These answers can do nothing but pour vinegar on the "faithful", just as George suggests below.

    Why does one seek answers in the face of such tragedy, or tragic situations? Is it because humans for the most part cannot live in situations that have no larger value, or purpose? Why can human not accept that suffering "just is"? And many times, it is the result of assumptions, presumptions, and arrogant assertions of power over another human being.

  7. God is known as Sovereign in traditional Christian understandings. God controls everything, this is the message of Job. Even Satan and the evil that transpires is because of an "evil messenger" that is in opposition to God's plan.

    The Chrisitan Church has understood evil as personified in Satan, but in orthodox tradition, Satan is not equal to God, as God created Satan. And the epitome of "sin" is to "become like God". So, submission is the stance of the traditional Christian, as what happens, happens because God willed it...

    Hope is the result of personal vision for ones personal goals coming to fruition, not some world dominating eschatology or global domination. Humans are too limited to understand such "global issues" and concerns. And this is why "evil happens", because of man's limited perspective...

  8. And this is why "evil happens" because of man's limited perspective that he is unaware of....

  9. I just checked out a book titled "Faith, Interrupted" by Eric Lax. Jack Miles' endorsement on the back reads, "Jesus said that he who would save his life must lose it. Does that go for faith too? Do you have to lose it to save it? ..."

  10. I still don't understand. I assume you are not arguing with my assertion that the words "hope" and "trust" have meaningful differences; that is, when we say "hope" we do not mean "trust", and vice versa.

    If I am correct there, I suppose you might want to argue with the ethical implication of my comment: that is, that while we may /hope/ that God will begin to behave in a particular manner (halting, say, the torture of innocents), our experience suggests that this will not happen, and so we should act accordingly.

    But nothing you have said directly conflicts with this "should", so maybe that's not it either. Could you try again, please?

  11. Gosh, I hope not, but it may be true. The prospect of losing my faith (which is a present possibility) is terrifying; but the prospect of gaining it back after having lost it would mean it was hard-fought, hard-won, and more permanent. It would also be more like (a) genuine faith than (b) naive submission to a family-heritage religious orientation or the like.

  12. And this is why nothing short of bodily resurrection will do as a "triumph" over death. Anything short of bodily resurrection means death - of the body! - has not been defeated, but has defeated God.

    Or at least that's what N. T. Wright says. I happen to agree, but my pedigree could be fit on a dog's tag.


  13. This post stirs a memory from my faded past. When I was last a member of a 'proper' Sunday-morning church community, I used to wear the hat of 'worship leader'. One of my last ever Sundays I tried exploring the theme of lament, selecting readings from Lamentations, Job and the Psalms, alongside current news stories laden with grief and suffering. I tried to engage the congregation in an act of worship through lament, not pretending away the hurt and brokenness and despair that pervades so much of this world.

    I was met with blank stares and uncomfortable silence. Later that week, the minister had a word in my ear about complaints he had received, and suggesting steering a more 'orthodox' path on my next Sunday morning.

    One of the many reasons I ended up sliding out of institutionalised big formal church into community fellowship lived in homes and real relationships. Ah well...

  14. The traditional rendering of Job is suspect to me. I think it is not what is implied in the KJV but something closer to
    Lo - he will kill me
    I do not wait.

  15. Hope is a future-oriented word. The "not-yet" of a goal, vision or desire. One can only speak for oneself about what their goal, vision or desire is. And in furthering that goal, vision or desire, society benefits. So, rational self-interest is not at odds with the "greater good".

    I do not think that anyone should or can speak for what will be, as we do not know. We only hope to live to see the goals we've set be accomplished. And we don't even know if that will happen, as we cannot control all events.

    Trust has to do with relationship and knowledge. Knowledge of another's character of trustworthiness leads to trust. When trust has been damaged, then it is more appropriate to withhold trust until the untrustworthy party shows themself to care about or for the issues that were breached.

    This is where I think the religious are misguided,or naive, as they seem to think that irrationality is proof of "true faith". True faith is proven by these trials that purify the motivations of following God. God's egocentrism must be met by being faithful in suffering. Otherwise, one has "wasted their sorrow". Sorrow, pain, and suffering is to be embraced as a time of refinement and building character. One must bear up under such as "crucifixion of the flesh" so that one can be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

    If I am considered a fool for trusting the person who raped me by going behind the barn with them, before they prove themselves; then, why should one be required to trust a God who rapes the heart of security, trust and love? (I am speaking metaphorically)

    Yet, this is the message of Job. Job said he would trust God, even though he slays me. (In other words, Job's life means nothing apart from what God wants or wills. Job's very existence is nullified without reference to God. So, Job's life is only a means to God's end, not an end in itself.) And this book is a book of "wisdom"!?

    I believe that "good" is separate from God's will. And that "good" can be broadly or widely defined in a free society. We may not all agree on the ends, but that is what democracy is about, isn't it?

  16. Hm. I remain unenlightened. How about this: Are you saying that we shouldn't use either word, "hope" or "trust", to talk about God?

  17. God is a 'representative' word.
    Humans are made to understand concepts early on with real representations, as fathers/mothers are "gods to their children".

    Before the Enlightenment, rulers were known to have "divine rights" because God gave them their position, as rulers over other men. The peasantry were to accept their lot in life as "God's will".
    Ancient people believed in supernatural control of human events, so political power wasn't challenged or distributed equally. Therefore, God was the hope of those who had no other way to hope. Trust was the position one took toward government that did not allow "voice" or dissent.

  18. Fortunately it's possible to slide from B to A without losing it altogether in the middle, although you do get some long sleepless nights wondering how much lower the null-point can actually be, as you go.

    It wasn't listening to Dawkins calling creationists "idiots" in the flesh that did it - on that much he's correct.

    Rather, it was the moment I realised the hypocrisy in the right/conservative/evangelical wing judging its brothers in Christ, that was the trigger for me. A day that started out OK slurping iced-coffee outside starbucks in London followed by a "service" that pushed me over the edge for the afternoon and depressed me for much of the next week, resulting in an actual email of complaint to the church about the hatred in the sermon... and a couple of years getting my head from evo-fundie-ism around to investigating and adopting liberal, progressive, occasionally emergent theology.

    I would wish anyone a less painful journey.

  19. experiential tension created when we confess that God is omnipotent and the creator of heaven and earth

    The problem comes about as an inherent failure in the model that regards God as "a Being". This is why I keep saying that the language of "Father" is unhelpful; it makes God something separate from the universe, a model of two parts and you get your knickers in a twist trying to work out the constraints of being a being: if you are a being, you are a thing, so what's your scale and how do you interact with other objects in the universe? Sheesh, the model is fundamentally, utterly, broken. Of course, by having this separation between "God" and "the creation", you'll have no end of problems with the Creeds.

    When you're reading that line, try simply thinking "no, God is the guiding force behind the ongoing Creation". No past-tense, no separation of creator from/within the created.

  20. Polar versus Circumflex

    I think you're onto something, although others have been there before you. There is a discontentment between the views "doubt is bad" and "saying doubt-is-bad is simplistic" and "the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty" (because certainty brings narrow-mindedness).

    Unfortunately, this way is still digging around in petty dogmatism and arguably more faith-denying certainty.

    It is rather about the gamut of human experience and how the church caters for it.
    There have been two multiple-killing sprees in the UK this year (Cumbria in particular) where the TV news has shown the local community descending on the local church for social healing. I dearly love to see that; it is true Christianity in action, that totally doesn't care whether people go to church regularly but rather welcomes them with open arms in their desperation to seek perspective. "Welcome home. That is all."

    If you gear a church towards regularity, through every sunday having a 6.30pm "evo-clappy" service and a 1662 liturgy of grovelling, sin and unworthiness... then to whom is that going to appeal? If you add celebration of God-given evolving environment (eg in the Scottish Episcopal Church's 1980 liturgy which talks about "...our life and yours brought together in a wonderful exchange") is that not going to appeal to more people on the grounds of wider experience? So broaden the scope all the more.

  21. Tim,
    Humans ARE BEINGS and we do progress/grow..But, to suggest that we are not separate beings, I think, does disservice to understanding the necessity of boundaries. Interdependence is one thing, but enmeshment, another....

  22. I read you to mean that everything is an evolving "mass" that is "God"....or that that "God" is the evolving mass....
    the word "mass" does not distinguish, as the "mass of humanity"...etc. '
    One cannot make judgments based on such universals...and judgments must be made if one wants to live reasonably or rationally in the world...

    Judgments are necessary for evaluations, which make for one's values, priorities, goals, etc....

  23. You're probably sort-of reading me correct, although I hold that God is more complicated than an "evolving mass" (in the "biomass" sense). Look up pantheism and panentheism and juggle between the two definitions a bit... I'd be closer to saying God is in the mass and in the evolving of the mass.

    Humans are an emergent phenomenon arising from a bunch of atoms. Most things you see are, too. That doesn't mean that God is some superperson who(yuck) is interested (or not) when people bash each other over the head with rocks, though; I've really had it with this "God" who(yuck) only operates on the human-interest scale.

  24. Good on you for trying to increase their experience, at least.

    I used to operate the sound-desk of an evening at a church; once the music director came up to me and said he thought it had been a bit quiet, to which I just said "Well, good!" - I thought it had been fine and appropriate. It seems the atmosphere of "loud worship is good worship" won there, as I didn't do as much sound-desk operating after that and eventually moved on anyway.

  25. God controls everything, this is the message of Job

    If "God controls everything" and acts as in Job then we're seriously screwed.

    Job is an amalgam of folk-tales with the purpose of demonstrating the falseness of "prosperity gospel"; succinctly, it's there to say that what you think you deserve carries no weight in one's fate.

  26. I am familiar with both pantheism and panentheism (Moltmann).
    I recognize your attempt to de-value the human, as "Christianity"'s philosophy values the human.
    And I also recognize your referencing (in the negative sense) of "laws" or social norms.

    It is true that with scientific advancement, ethics must be considered, because though science gives us "enlightenment", it does not tell us "which path"....and though science brings technological advances, it does not tell us any limitations upon thsoe advances. And without such limitations and discernment, then humans will be prone to maintaining a 'power' sturcturing that undermines "the rule of law"....

  27. Tim says, ..."demonstrating the falseness of "prosperity gospel"; succinctly, it's there to say that what you think you deserve carries no weight in one's fate."
    Fate is a term that the Greeks used for God. You use it in government structuring...power of those governing, if such governing has the goal of redistribution of wealth.

    I agree that none of us is promised anything in this life. Life is what you make it. But, our government also affirms the value of individual liberty in the pursuit of an individually determined happiness (whatever that may mean to a particular individual)...

    I don't believe that our government should be like the Roman Empire that gave special rights to a certain religious tradition, like the Jews had. Our government was to protect the right of the minority, as well as the majority. We are a diverse people. The establishment clause, I think, bears this out.

  28. Not so much devalue as re-(e)value(ate) humanity and particularly to seek God.
    After all, two of God's attributes are conventionally "transcending" and "immanence". The "infinitely out-there" of transcendence puts God waaaay above humanity, a juggling of quarks and quasars and all between alike. The "presence" of immanence brings us closer to seeing God in stuff at human scales.
    The trouble comes when the latter gets warped into some awful trite model that bears no resemblance to reality and fails even to equip people to deal with each other properly, much less inspire people to study creation as it happens and seek God through said creation.

    I don't see where ethics come into it. Science exists; ethics exists; God is meaningful. The three are orthogonal with interesting boundary conditions.

  29. I used the word `fate' in its sense of `what happens [to you] next', with a certain wry amusement of its ancient-Greek connotations concerning divinity, yes.

    I'm not sure where the government fits in, at least, not if life is what one makes it. Still...

    Certainly the government should not be like the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire existed and fell on the principle of "our idea of peace attained through violence" (with a side-order of "justice" being punitive/retributive). The Kingdom of God comes into being wherever one sees peace being attained through distributive justice.

    We are a diverse people.

    This is true, and when a government operates without discrimination, to incorporate all in its laws, it is a commendable thing.

  30. A LIMITED government does not intrude into the individual affairs of men/women IF the government is a free society. Otherwise, we have the "moral policemen" or Iran. Our Founders wanted our rights affirmed, not denied.

    Ethics is the evaluations of judges about what is of most value. And yes, peace is of importance, but as of yet, humans have not seen 'world-wide' peace, so it is naive to believe we will. This is not to suggest that we should not desire peace. But, because there is such diversity in the world, peace is not a reality. And because some ideologies that drive nations do not allow for tolerant attitudes about diversity, it is highly unlikely, we will see peace in a world-wide sense.

    The "Kingdom of God' language is weak as far as I am concerned, because it naively suggests that there is a "kingdom of God"...your definition suggests that the kingdom of God is everything. So why use "distinctive words"?

  31. Your founders might have, but that's a far cry from still practising it correctly. (From what I remember, you USians have issues with wire-tap legislation tacked-on the ends of terrorism bills; we in the UK are only just getting the beginnings of a "Freedom" bill to undo the damage the last lot did abusing our rights in the name of nanny-state "safety".)

    Obviously world peace, on the grounds of distributive justice, is not the present reality, but that should never deter one from striving towards it. There is no option to fail. (This is arguably a large amount of Jesus' message.)

    I didn't actually define the "Kingdom of God". I said it has the option to be "wherever peace&justice", partly to set it aside from "whenever some supernatural being imposes"[0]. Your lack of optimism about world peace demonstrates there are plenty places where people are not yet living according to Kingdom values, so the term appears meaningful.

    [0] Lk 17:21, Rom.14:17.

  32. So in light of the nuclear threat that Iram poses, one should continue to believe that diplomacy will "work", in spite of what Benjamin Netanyahu said? All means to the ends of protecting from nuclear war are "on the table", at least between the President and Netanyahu!

  33. In the long run, diplomacy is the only way to "win".

    Look at Germany after the Allies thought they'd kicked them into touch after WW1 - all it did was gave them a grudge and spawned WW2.

  34. Do you not believe that sanctions, and other means are useful tools? I believe that there are some cultures that cannot be trusted using diplomatic means alone, because of their values are so different from ours. This is why countries have spies which determine what the "real interests" or "real intent" is...

  35. Hello Drew,

    As a former "music ministry leader" in what has turned out to be a prominent mega-radio-broadcast church, I relate very much. I actually haven't attended "church" in over 4 years, but I still write original music (contemporary jazz and instumental only). Let's put it this way, if I ever complete the music and get it out there, the last audience I have in mind is the "church", both artistically as well as contextually. I have resigned myself to expect the "church" and "Christians", particularly those I've partnered with in church-life to be most resistant.

    Gary Y.

  36. True, in the usual sense, but those that believe that infidels are on a "different plane", or American liberty undermines their particular religious ideology cannot be reasoned with. These believe in their ideologies against reason, such as the "Arian race" ideology that drove German tanks across national boundaries.

    Then, we fought a seen political ideology in a particular nation state, today we fight a hidden religious one that hides in various nation states.

  37. I've hoped not, too, but it may be necessary, like a detox, since the most overtly religious people are also so often the most noxious.

    Miles quote continues with, "We live in two faith cultures. One culture only wants to hear how you lost your faith, the other only how you found it. But some of us have a foot in both cultures: dubious as plain believers, equally dubious as plain unbelievers .... and for better or worse our name is Legion."

    Another book I recently read is Richard Phillips' "A Captain's Duty." If you recall Easter 2009, when Navy SEALs rescued him after several days of standoff with Somali pirates. That experience changed, or at least re-oriented a faith in him that had all but died away. And his is not a book you'll find among religious literature.

  38. No, Patricia. The "experiential side of faith conversion", such as you describe in "A Captain's Duty", is one both sides would "whet" their lips over. And think nothing of what they put the real/actual human being through because of the "greater good" of scientific truth/research OR real active and alive faith in "god"...

    One side wants evidence in personal faith experience so they can pad their research hypothesis, while the other wants to pad the roles of the Church...others might banquet over how human experience is how religion is "formed"...theologically...or the social structures of society are "structured"...sociologically....or the human psyche functions to compensate in challenging situations...pscyhologically....

    I find using humans for such endeavors repugnant.

  39. I am sorry, Patricia. I reacted to you, because of the 'cultural wars" over religion and politics. It makes me angry that things can get so polarized. But, I guess if one has an opinion that thier "reality" or understanding is the TRUTH, then, it is no wonder...

    It seems that a politicized religion that is radicalized, whether left or right, is mis-guided. The Founders understood that not only the separation of powers was important, but also the separation of Church and State.
    The Constitution has nothing about religion in it and the Declaration of Independence is basing its equality on natural law.

    A politicized religion is dangerous because of how the individual's understanding of "God" justifies their position. And it tends to polarize parties, instead of bringing unity.

    The Founders left religion up to the individual States. So, Federalism is what the Founders found was important in affirming the diversity in the union.

  40. And slavery and civil rights was the movement that started the "social gospel" movement. So, slavery, as a social/political issue becomes an entitled right to repartation, not the Protestant work ethic.

    And a polarized minority justifies its anger, and entitlement mentality to run roughshod over others that have "oppressed" them. Unfortunately, many have not had any oppression in thier lives. They are angry over our history in America. That we even had slaves, yet, many more slaves were held in other countries.

    I guess because America understands itself as an "equal opportunity" country, minorities understand America's granting of rights to the minority and use it to their advantage. And are more angered when America falls short of its ideals.

  41. AND, in our own county, we fight a politicized religious zealotry under social justice, that affirms racism in the name of racism!

  42. Angie, not everything or every conversation is about politics, or the founding fathers. I get, from all your posts, that that's your lens. I think Captain Phillips is his own best judge of his faith status, however, whether anyone else shares his point of view.
    With courtesy, Patricia

  43. Politics is where things happen in the "real world". And since we live in America, we work, live, move and have our being in America. Therefore, the political philosophy that drives politics does determine our "life", and America's future. So, it is of uptmost importance that we understand, so that we can protect the values of liberty. Otherwise, we will play out our lives under tyranny.

    I do appreciate your "correction", but my lens will be framed by the political because of what I have learned...

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