Monday, April 03, 2006

Run for the bomb shelters! There’s a war on Christianity!

I just heard of this global conflict today and I must say, I agree. There is indeed a war on Christian values and beliefs.

Want proof? Oh you know you do!

In the United States there are 12 million children living in poverty. There are 38 million people on the verge of living in hunger. Yet the government has cut programs to aid the poor repeatedly. I guess all the money for those programs was lost in the tax cuts for the wealthy. Heaven forbid someone has to forsake a second BMW so a kid can eat.

The United States has invaded a sovereign nation with no provocation. All the reasons that United States government used to enter into this conflict were proven false. In all at least 36,000 irreplaceable souls have been lost. Does “Blessed are the peacemakers” or “Thou shall not kill,” mean nothing to them? Heaven forbid we admit we screwed up and go home.

The Catholic Workers and the Quakers have been the target of surveillance. Apparently the Quakers promote among other things, pacifism. Heaven forbid we learn to solve our conflicts without violence. The Catholic Workers are said to be almost communists. Heaven forbid that anyone lend a helping hand to those people crippled with need.

I know that this so called War on Christianity isn’t what I’m writing about. But it should be. I know what it really is a campaign to rile up the extreme right wing Christians and get them to hate gays a little more and maybe go blow up an abortion clinic.

This is why Christianity is getting such a bad name. People on the outside believe we are all a bunch of raving lunatics. We are not.

If one truly reads the teachings of Jesus you can’t help but be struck by the beauty of it all. Jesus preached forgiveness and tolerance and compassion. He did not preach violence and bigotry and hatred. Jesus’ teachings are so profound that even non-Christians find them inspirational. Kurt Vonnegut, a humanist, said he rather not even be human if Jesus hadn’t delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

You see I’ve become convinced that this is all a power play. The Christian right has made a grab at power. They’ve done this in conjunction with neo-conservative movement that has infiltrated the Republican Party. They’ve used hot button issues to get the sheep all riled up. Once they’ve convinced them that they are in danger, it all starts to fall into place.

Notice they use the issues of abortion, homosexuality and loss of religious freedom. You got to use the hot button issues if you want to start a fire.

I know I’ve said a lot about abortion before so I won’t beat that fossilized horse any more. But I will say this; the Republicans have a golden key with this issue. So many Christians, especially Catholics, vote strictly on the issue of abortion that it drives a large number of Christian voters away from ever voting for a Democrat. So they have to make sure this is always out front in the campaigns so that good Christians don’t ever even think of voting for a Democrat.

Homosexuality as an issue really has always befuddled me. I personally don’t care one way or another what two consenting adults do. But for some reason Christianity is opposed to being gay. I will admit I have never fully understood why. But since the rise of the movement to give gay couples the same rights that straight couples have especially when it comes to insurance and inheritance matters the Christian right has pounced. I have no idea how gay marriage will ruin marriage, like the right-wingers claim it will. Maybe the gay couples will make all the marriages be extra fabulous. Other than that I’m lost.

Loss of religious freedom is almost laughable if they weren’t so damn irate about it. The good ole US of A is exceedingly Christian. How the hell is someone going to take your religious rights away from them? It isn’t going to happen. You see what they really want is to have reminders of their religion everywhere. They want their religion to be dominant. It’s not that Christians are being oppressed. It’s that these Christians to the far right aren’t as powerful as they’d like to be.

So you see gentle reader the real war on Christianity is on those humble servants of God and man who seek to make the world a far better place for everyone. It is not being waged on those who preach from mega-churches and bankroll politicians.

I leave you know with the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”


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