I have talked a lot about “identity” on my blog. I’ve explained how, because I have Bipolar Disorder, it is even more imperative for me than it is for others to find my identity in Christ or I will end up in the crisis unit. Worse, I could end up dead by suicide. Where you find your identity is the most important thing in your life. If you find your identity with this group or that group, you will respond emotionally and intellectually when that identity is attacked, but if you find your identity in Christ, you are better equipped.
It was a great gift to the Jewish people when God gave them the identity of “Chosen People” because this gave them the sense of their value and dignity in His eyes. Christians believe that we are all now elevated in our dignity because God humbled himself to become a member of mankind, uniting Himself with all human flesh, thereby giving us a share in all that belongs to Him. This is where our great dignity comes from, the fact that we were created by Him and elevated by Him. When we find our identity in Him, and because we know He has all authority and the source of all truth, we are absolutely convinced of our own dignity and value, and so we are not dismayed when others dispute it or mock it. We know who we are because we trust in the absolute truth of our dignity as human beings made in His image.
He made us for love. He made us to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to be with Him in eternity. Because we are made for love, the more we find our identity in Him, the more we love Him and others, even as they deny our dignity.
People who are not religious don’t really understand the concept of absolute truth. Even many will deny science itself because they are so averse to absolutes. Certainly, they don’t find their identity in a loving Creator who has given them a share in His divinity. They have no confidence in the absolute truth of their dignity, because they don’t believe in absolute truth. This lack of confidence in people leads to blame, and blame leads to resentment, and resentment leads to hatred. So it is that people who are not fully convinced in the absolute truth that they were created by a loving God are prone to resentments and wedge-driving between different groups.
If you think about these things long enough, you might understand why it was that Sarah Palin (a Christian) and her son Trig (a child with Down Syndrome) were so viciously attacked by some people.
I thought of these things (again) as I read an article about Cardinal George speaking of religious freedom and that the HHS mandate amounts to identity theft.
The issue is more than religious freedom, George said. It’s “theft of identity,” he said.
So, where does he get that? Many still, alas, do not understand, and many will continue to fail to understand because they won’t understand “identity” at all if they do not, or will not, accept the concept of absolute truth. This is precisely why religious pluralism — which is a rejection of absolute truth — gets in the way of religious freedom.
But most importantly, the cardinal said, the legislation highlights a growing cultural conundrum.
“What is the place of church in society that is secularizing itself very, very rapidly?” he said. “‘If the use of religious pluralism is to remove all religious institutions from public life, it’s going to be a very different society than what we have now.”
As one with Bipolar Disorder (emphasis on “disorder”) who gets sicker if she does not find her identity in Christ and in the absolute truth of my value in the eyes of God, I can tell you that it is very important now, for the health of the Church, for the bishops to speak the truth in charity…and when I say truth, I mean truth in the clearest of terms. The failure of the bishops to speak in clear terms of absolute truth, and the failure of people in the pews to accept absolute truth, has gotten us into this chaos — this disorder.
We have to not only profess our identity, but also be clear with people about what that identity is. Otherwise, the unthinkable will happen.
Identity Crisis lyrics