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Is a church its people, or is it the body of Christ, or both? When you feel like certain people — perhaps key people — have let you down, what do you do?
Bishop Paul Loverde of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia recently spoke to a gathering of parish leaders and noted that the Church has two natures: one human and one divine. He further remarked that the challenge for all of us is not to allow the human nature of the Church to overcome the divine.p>It seems to me Mr. Henry — and the rest of us — should look past the human failings of our colleagues in the pews and in the clergy, focus on the tenets of our faith, and continue going to church. br> — Brian Veit br> Clifton, Virginia /p>
Wow, Lawrence Henry’s sagas mirror mine and I’m not a Christian: I’m Jewish. When my marriage was being seriously challenged — fortunately we’re fine now — I was hoping that my very regular attendance and active participation in congregation affairs would help. I never objected to people saying that religion is a crutch: I wanted and needed that crutch.
But, what did I see surrounding me during my time of need for a spiritual boost? A rabbi who would give sermons about how one of the most serious offenses in Judaism is to embarrass and ridicule someone, but within the same service, make audible comments and childish faces about the Cantor and other congregants. This rabbi wanted to dismiss two elderly, sweet and kind men who would assist in the service (Jewish ritual gives many opportunities to interested people to lead and assist); why? One had a hearing aid that she complained interfered with her concentration; the other, I don’t remember exactly, but I have always had a suspicion that she was jealous of how learned and well-versed he was in all facets of Judaism.
Then there was John; a devout man who would bully anyone who would not meet his standards of proper synagogue decorum, but never raise an issue with anyone who would challenge him back.
And oh those board meetings. Yelling, sarcasm (including the rabbi) insults. And this is the environment for which I look to for sustenance?
So many more stories could be told, but I hope that the picture is clear. I so yearned for the sweet, old rabbi of Fiddler on the Roof, but got the lead from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (yes, she was a she). I wanted a congregation that was united in its devotion to be uplifting, sensitive and personally caring, but found myself in the middle of what seemed like a verbal food fight.p>I turned toward a local Chabad House for worship. The Chabad is run by the ultra orthodox Lubavitchers whose young rabbi is wonderful and whose very small congregation is warm and friendly, striking me as people, like myself, who are looking for a setting that will give them spiritual aid and help. In other words, a crutch. br> — Paul
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?