WHERE IS IT CHRISTIAN?
Everything being done by the GOP these days, they insist it's being done in the name of Jesus. And they may honestly believe that. For me, I'm left scratching my head in confusion and disbelief (These days, I tend to wear the "W-T-F" look very well.).
Yet, when I think about what it means to be a Christian, I have to begin by referencing Matthew 5 - which is better known as "The Beatitudes". Please indulge me for a moment while I recite verses 3-11:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."
In remembering these passages of scripture, I look at the machinations of the GOP, with assistance from Democratic enablers, and I wonder, "Where is Jesus in any of this?"
Where is it Christian when you're condoning violent acts against the judiciary? Or threatening to punish them for merely doing their jobs in applying established law?
Where is it Christian when you tell people (in a televised broadcast) that how they cast their vote, and who they vote for, will determine whether or not they are Christian?
Where is it Christian when you condone the actions of a male prostitute masquerading as a journalist, but spend all of your time attacking children's cartoons and their sexual identity, not to mention banning gay marriage and abortion, something that may not directly affect you?
Where is it Christian when you espouse legislative acts that serve to polarize and divide this country and its citizens along economic class, racial, ethnic, gender and sexual oriented lines, when you know that the Bible states that God is no respector of persons (translated, non-discriminatory)?
Where is it Christian when you espouse war, instead of fighting to keep peace? Matthew 5:8 clearly says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the sons of God." How can you be a "son of God" when you're advocating war or demonizing the religion of others? You're a son of something, only it isn't God.
Where is it Christian when you threaten the "nuclear option" in eliminating over 200 years of constitutionally established forms and operations of government in your quest for one-party rule and world domination? Where was it Christian to develop that PNAC agreement in the first place?
Pardon me, but I don't see anything Christ-like about trying to merge church and state. There's a good reason why the Founding Fathers wanted to keep church and state separate, and that probably had God's approval, too. I hope Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan squared their souls when they went to meet their Maker, because the legacy they left for the GOP virtually guarantees that they will have to give an accounting when they face Him on Judgement Day. That thought is the only thing that keeps me sane, and restrains me from wanting to dig them up and ranting at them for the policies they set in motion nearly 40 years ago, with their "Southern Strategy" (Nixon) and their "New Federalism" (Reagan).
I guess you've heard that Christians aren't supposed to get angry. You heard wrong. We're entitled to get angry about injustice. What we're not supposed to do with our anger is commit sin (like murder, slander, and the like). So, I'm angry that what we see being done is being done in the name of Jesus. Spare me, please.
The God I serve is one of Free Will. This is a concept that's hard to comprehend, espicially when you have had it hammered in your head that to serve God includes a list of do's and don'ts and the people claiming to be Christian aren't doing a good job of following either. Free will means exactly that - the freedom to choose. You can choose to worship God, or something else. Whether or not it makes the quality of your life better, it's not for me to say. But as a Christian, I can't keep silent on the group that is making a mockery of everything Jesus stands for, and calling the mockery Christ-like. Though I fight an internal battle to shut up, the injustice of calling oppression of the downtrodden as being done in Jesus' name is so blasphemous, I would not want to stand anywhere near Tom DeLay or Bill Frist when lightening strikes.
At first, when Frist said the judiciary was doing the job they did in their ruling in Terri Schiavo's case, I thought he was beginning to demonstrate some vestiges of common sense. Then he announces he will appear on the Family Research Council television program with other religious wingnuts, in calling for the "nuclear option" in eliminating filibusters, allegedly on judicial nominees, by saying that not doing so is not being a Christian. However, if he succeeds in obtaining his "nuclear option" human nature demands that Frist and company go as far as they can; which means applying the "nuclear option" anywhere and on any legislation they can, if they don't get their way. And they will do so and claim that God has co-signed on their actions, when the reality is, their actions are as far away from what Jesus sacrificed as Heaven is from Hell.
I guess Bill Frist gave up worshipping Jesus and decided to worship at the tabernacle of Tom DeLay now, as does the rest of the GOP, while being enabled by the Democratic Party (which is fast expanding beyond the DLC members).
I once said that the GOP is so rabid about being Christian, they would shoot Jesus Himself upon His return to Rapture the Church. I'm standing by that statement because they are so worshipping themselves, Jesus' return would interrupt their worship and they would be so angry that He dared to return before they said He would.
If you read the beatitudes, you will find that nothing, NOTHING, that is being done by the GOP, with Democratic assistance, has been co-signed by Jesus. I said once before, God has nothing to do with what the Republican Party is doing these days. I'm sticking by this as well.
Rev. Jesse Jackson hit the road to atonement with his article in the Chicago Sun-Times today, when he discusses the attempts of the GOP in getting rid of the filibuster option. The most telling quote is the following:
"This arrogant extremism in an ideological cause will leave this nation more divided and less strong. In their efforts to cater to the Christian right and trample the independence of our courts, Frist and DeLay are violating the spirit of the faith they claim to uphold. The Bible teaches in 2 Chronicles 2 - 'If My people, who are called by My name will humble themselves (not exhalt themselves) and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.' "
As I stated, the Rev. Jackson is on the road to atonement, so give him credit. His part in the Schiavo issue was probably heart-felt and not driven by a desire to align himself with the GOP religious leaders. I speculate he knows true wing nuts when he sees them and was only going to comfort Schiavo's parents. But he's right about Frist and DeLay, and I believe they are both bowing and worshipping each other, than being concerned about doing what Jesus would want them to do.
I never want to say that whoever claims to be a Christian really aren't Christian. For me to do that, I am exhalting myself into God's place; which I can't do. There are times when I stumble as a Christian (I'm confessing that I'm trying to watch my language, but sometimes...eh). I'm not perfect - just forgiven. I also believe many who are claiming the morals road really believe what they say; but have trouble putting what they say into practice. But Frist and DeLay have no excuse for their actions. They have plenty of learned, scholarly clergy members surrounding them, who have studied their Bible and should be calling them out on the need to heal the land through reconciliation, not further division.
Yet I suspect that those in the clergy - Robertson, Falwell, Dobson, LaHaye - they know what the Bible says, but they have also been seduced by money, power and status.
How do I know this? I've read their books and writings - they quote bibical scripture to justify their statements, or provide edification of subject matter. Yet we are being silent in not asking them how does scripture apply to continuing war, poverty, beating down on the poor, no universal health care, no measures to sustain and replenish the environment, providing every man, woman and child a quality education through the public education system. We remained silent when the tax cuts, which gave them more money to spend, was passed. Why didn't we call them on it? Better yet, why didn't THEY call out Congress on this legislation to make the wealthy even more wealthy, when they are supposed to have a heart for the poor and broken-hearted - not to mention that the wealth as profit from war is ill-gotten wealth which should never be celebrated?
We should also ask them "What did you do with that tax cut? Did you give it to a mission, a charity, an orphanage (since you're pro-life), a battered women's shelter, a battered men's shelter, a drug rehab facility, or assist the ailing public school system?"
As Reverend Jackson said in his article today, it's time for people of real faith across the nation to curb the arrogance of these ideologues and provide them with a little humility by frustrating their power grab. Even if you're not a person of faith, if you've been affected by the direction of our country, we still need you in this fight, because until otherwise, America is still the country of the people, for the people and by the people.
Take courage and keep up the good fight of faith. Whenever you speak the truth to power, you are exercising your faith, and the courage of your convictions.