I visited another church this morning, and was handed a bulletin with a "Prayer of Confession" that we were to say together.
O God of life, we confess the ways we turn away from the fullness of life that you offer.
God of love, we confess the hatred we hold in our hearts.
God of compassion, we confess our indifference.
God of justice, we confess that our lives are linked to oppressive systems.
God of peace, we confess the violent movements in our hearts, the violent realities of our world.
Holy God, we confess our sins to you.
This was followed by an assurance of pardon.
I'm a little disoriented at the pantheon presented in the place of God. I'm even more confused by the strangely abstract and passive orientation of this confession. Some parts, like confessing that "our lives are linked to oppressive systems" seem to be outside the control of the person confessing. Only in the last line, and without definition, do we encounter "sins", which might otherwise be the subject of confession.
Confessing is when we own up to OUR faults, OUR shortcomings, OUR actions and omissions. This is not the tenor of this confession. For contrast, recall that the Book of Common Prayer also provides a short confession before the eucharist:
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen.
This is also fairly general, but at least says that the faults are ours, and no one else's, and asks for forgiveness (which is omitted, above).
UPDATE Comment from a friend: "Leftism is the religion that says that Activists are called to save the victims of the world by politics. That is to say, by force. I say it is a false religion. That is not Christianity." He's right.