The Passion of the Chris
by Chris Volkay (e-mail: CVolkay@liberator.net) [March 29th, 2004]
Hi. Chris here. Chris Volkay. Chris being short for Christopher. Christopher from the Greek meaning “Christ carrier.” Yes, I was named Chris to be in the same ballpark as Christ. Perhaps if I had been some Hispanic derivation I would have wound up a Jesus, but alas, I wasn’t and didn’t. It improves. My middle name is John which I got because John was one of Jesus’ favorite disciples. Volkay I’m not sure about really, but I do know that “Volk” is from the German “Volkish,” “for the people.” So, loosely translated I’m a disciple carrying the Christ “for the people.” So how did a nice guy like me end up being a member of, what people like Bill O’reilly might call, the secularist cabal?
Just lucky I guess. And in the light of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” and the resultant controversy it has spawned, I wanted to proffer a few words on the subject from one who was born and raised in religious faith, but now finds himself on the other side of the great American Religionist/Secularist Divide.
“I began to look around me and see the terrible harm and hurt these religious beliefs were causing throughout the human race. What I had once seen as a soothing balm to my troubles, I now saw as the principal causation of many of people’s troubles and pains.”
We, “secularist cabalists” are your brothers, your cousins, your bosses, your neighbors, your friends, we are, in fact, you. Whenever I hear terms like secular cabal tossed around, I wonder what and who they are talking about. It sounds like some group of dissidents, who knows, maybe some kind of terrorists, that were bussed in to cause trouble for the good folk of the town. Maybe the bus driver is some jack-booted fiend who is wearing red arm bands and carries a picture of Joseph Stalin in his wallet.
No, no, no. We are people just like you who sat next to you in Sunday school and listened to the sermons well. We went to the dances in high school and maybe even did a few science projects along the way. We played football, cruised on Friday and Saturday nights and lied about all the girls or boys that were smitten with us.
We took jobs right here in the USA and some of us have fought to defend our country. We are not part of any grand conspiracy, any cabal, any terrorist group, in fact, just the antithesis, we actively oppose terrorist groups and their religiously based brands of hatred and mayhem.
One of the hardest things in life to give up is one’s religious faith. I know from personal experience. It becomes an old trusty friend that is always there for us. Our faith can become our shield, our protector against a seemingly steely, uncaring world. It is our secret place, our own garden of Eden, that no man can plunder, no hatred can penetrate, no pain can withstand. The rest of the world can crumble, but this secret place sustains and lifts our spirits and maintains us through the worst of times. Within the walls of this fortress, this Jericho, no arrows or slings can harm us. We are safe, we are serene, we are at peace.
And then here I come, saying the things that secularists say, and you want to hit me with a frying pan. I know. It was tough for me too. Very tough.
But when I finally began to realize that there was an alternate theory of life and an alternate worldview (a naturalistic, not a supernatural one) it was like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was liberating, it was invigorating, I felt passionate about life again. No longer did I feel small, weak, always sinning, always wrong. I felt strong, took the reins of my own life, never leaving it up to anybody or anything else again. Instead of dreaming of other lives to come in the future, I began focusing on this life here and now, the one I had always been told was just a dress rehearsal for other better lives. I began to look around me and see the terrible harm and hurt these religious beliefs were causing throughout the human race. What I had once seen as a soothing balm to my troubles, I now saw as the principal causation of many of people’s troubles and pains.
So I set about writing and becoming passionate in the movement to, in my opinion, begin giving and bestowing real peace and serenity to humanity, empowering and emboldening people to live here and now, think for themselves and honor this life that we have here in front of us. Passion for this life. It beckons us, it’s waiting to be reborn within all of us. Our lives are waiting for us here. But they’re shy, they need coaxing to come out into the light. Be kind to them. Be passionate with them.
Resources and Avenues for Further Study
The Passion of the Christ: Official Website The Liberator: The Passion of the Christ
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