With thanks to osolomama and Mirjam via email for the heads up, I’ve been chewing on this recently. I know many of you have been talking about it, too.
I’m not sure what it is about the kind of religious fervor I see in this post that disturbs me so much. The self-righteousness? The inflexibility? The narrow definition of Christianity (which is often so theologically incorrect as to no longer be in Christ’s ballpark)? The certainty that anyone who disagrees must be Godless, hate-filled and worthy of this much-better-Christian’s prayers?
All of the above and undoubtedly more. I'm a Christian (Catholic, so some may disagree - heh), but I simply don't relate to what I read in this post. My Christianity always taught me that no human being knows everything; that humility is one of the greatest virtues; and that love can’t coexist with force – physical, emotional, verbal, intellectual, or otherwise. I was also taught that many, maybe all, of the things Christ taught are found in other religious traditions, and that if you follow those teachings you in fact follow Him. No wonder a lot of the people I believe most deserve to be called Christians practice other faiths.
The post’s author writes with certainty. There’s no room for other points of view in his world, or on his blog for that matter; most comments are published with his rebuttal included, tit for tat. This blog proselytizes, and adoption (which nowadays is the subject of some of the most ill-reasoned and theologically unsound - but profitable! Think Russell Moore! - preaching these days) gets dragged along for the ride.
Clearly I don't like it. But I don’t like the some of the discussion and comments any better.
Don’t misunderstand: the post was very disturbing. I thought a lot of what I read in the comments, and worse. But there’s no point arguing with someone whose “worldview” (his word) equips him with the authority or pomposity to offer his prayers for everyone who disagrees with him. This individual’s mindset is locked down tightly, so tightly that all we commenters (yes, I commented, so I'm including myself in what I don't like) really did was provide prayer fodder.
In my opinion, the bigger challenge is to extricate adoption practice from the clutches of faith-based agencies that promote such behaviors. I don’t believe all faith-based adoption agencies fall into this category; there are some that are doing good work, and a few that are downright progressive. But the "Christian adoption movement," which some Christians claim has been given God’s approval because he “adopted” us, has become something unto itself. When you read the sites of those who promote it, you find that it no longer has anything to do Christ or Christianity or Christ-like behavior, but instead is all about pounding the point home that because that because there are five references to God's adoption of humanity in the Bible, we should all go out and adopt. Those who do adopt get a kind of theological atta-boy: See we adopted an orphan, and since God adopted us this is a good thing and we’re good people!
Never mind that the orphan wasn’t one, or that the adoption process was shot with injustice, or that the family who lost their child remains mired in poverty or misfortune. We'll pray for them.
Getting our legal system to understand the danger of this kind of adoption, which has given itself the mandate of heaven and set itself above the law, is the real issue in my opinion. We’ll never make this point in one-on-one debates with the people who believe in it. We need to get credible adoption organizations to start making the point at much higher levels. Hopefully the current political climate will make it possible for them to do so.
For those of you who, like me, see and treasure the parallels between Christianity and Buddhism, two books I like:
Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers
Living Buddha, Living Christ