Friday, July 04, 2008

The blind eye of the supernatural

Lest my post yesterday seem cynical, let me add a few words of context. As every visitor to this site will know, I have a great affection for the religion of my youth, Roman Catholicism. I have lived my life within a RC milieu, and would no more disown the influence of that faith than I would disown the fact that I am an American.

I reject, for course, the paternalism, misogyny, homophobia and triumphalism of the Church, as do many who remain within communion. I reject also the supernaturalism and miracles, which is why I cannot recite the Creed or call myself a Catholic. But within the Church I find much to admire, especially the rich and ancient tradition of creation spirituality (often condemned as heretical), and a sacramental tradition that sees the visible as a window into mystery.

I have said here before that any religion worthy of humankind's future will have these characteristics:

--It will be ecumenical. It will not imagine itself as the "True Faith." It will be open and welcoming to to best and holiest of all faith traditions.

--It will be ecological. It will take the planet and all of its creatures into its commandment of love.

--It will embrace the scientific story of the world as the most reliable revelation, not necessarily True, but truer than the neolithic myths that presently give shape to the world's theologies.

How can one engage with the universe of the galaxies and the DNA and not be struck dumb with what can only be called religious awe? Why do we continue to look for God in anthropomorphic stories that were written down thousands of years ago, when the world itself is spread before our admiring eyes in all of its majesty and mystery? The Church I could come back to would look for the signature of divinity in the extravagant wonder of the creation itself, not in supposed miracles or exceptions to nature's laws.