Unclear on the concept (of Religion)

This article at philly.com (Voodoo became a fatal obsession) caught my eye.  Lucille Hamilton

Lucille Hamilton traveled from Arkansas to Pennsylvania and paid $621 to have her “spiritual grime” removed by a voodoo high priest.  The story also notes that Lucille is a man living as a woman, and a “devout Catholic”.  Wow — I was rather under the impression that “devout Catholic” men did not live as women and visit voodoo priests.

In a related story (because I am relating them), Ann Holmes Redding, a longtime Episcopal priest, declares that “I am both Christian and Muslim“.  While the Christian and Muslim faiths do have some basic commonality, they also have irreconcilable differences, notably with Jesus.

“There are tenets of the faiths that are very, very different,” said Kurt Fredrickson, director of the doctor of ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. “The most basic would be: What do you do with Jesus?”

Christianity has historically regarded Jesus as the son of God and God incarnate, both fully human and fully divine. Muslims, though they regard Jesus as a great prophet, do not see him as divine and do not consider him the son of God.

To think that you can believe both that Jesus is God incarnate, and that he is a great prophet (but just a man) displays either ignorance, or apathy toward both faiths.

Redding says, “I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I’m both an American of African descent and a woman. I’m 100 percent both.”  This is muddy thinking, as the sentence mixes two dimensions.  Certainly, you can categorize yourself separately along different dimensions (“I am a vegetarian and a nudist”), but you cannot separate statements along the same dimensions (“I am a vegetarian and a carnivore”).  To be fair though, I’ve heard a number of people tell me “I don’t eat meat.  Only Chicken.”

“It wasn’t about intellect…” Redding says.  That pretty much sums it up.

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