I am the first to admit that I am extremely negative and distrustful of Christianity. My opinion is that modern Christianity is so unlike Christ as to be THE Anti-Christ. This is especially so of Modern American Evangelical Christianity (MAEC). MAEC has become so politicized as to have lost it’s moral compass. Certainly, there are good Christians out there who observe the message of Christ and who live a Christ-like life. However, too many of them subscribe to the “all fall short” mentality and allow that to excuse hateful behavior towards their fellow man.
Christian capitalist are the perfect example of this. Modern American Capitalism is rarely based on giving the best product for the best price. It certainly is not set upon the value of excellence or good behavior towards one’s fellow man. Corporate CEOs are nothing but bottom line vultures. They wish to pay the lowest wage possible for the most work squeezed out of wage slaves. They wish for nothing more than a labor force so dependent upon wages that little choice is left but to work for corporations that destroy the planet in the name of higher stock prices at the expense of all else.
Christians political support of the Drug War is indecent and not supported by any passage or message in either the Old or New Testament. Much in the history of religion actually points to support of drug use. At least for the Judges and early leaders of Judaism and the Church. Drug imagery and “secret” messages encoded in the Bible point to the use of mushrooms and hashish by the likes of Moses and Aaron (smoking tents and whatnot). The Bible does not encourage forcing people to be good Christians or followers of secular law. If anything, the Life of Christ is an example of civil disobedience to civil law. Jesus was crucified for that very act.
I was told today that “breaking the law constitutes criminality.” If that is the case, biblical leaders are a long line of criminals. Abraham, Moses, Daniel and Jesus were infamous for their refusal to obey unjust laws.
Not only that but America is built upon a tradition of civil disobedience. If breaking the law makes one a criminal, every “Christian” founder of our nation were criminals. I begin to see that criminality against the State is not only NOT bad but essentially wholly good for the soul and intellect. It is a calling for true Americans and true Christians alike.
Jesus admonished the people of the Earth to “love thy neighbor” and to “love the least of me as you would me.” I view the world through that lens. I try to live those words. Of course, there are people whom I cannot stand and would love to punch in the face. That said, along the path of my life, I try to help those less fortunate, less intelligent, less motivated, less informed and less loved than I. For I am fortunate. I believe myself intelligent. I am nearly always motivated. (I just ran a six minute mile. ; ) ) I am fairly well informed as I read constantly and study often. I also attempt to reflect upon that which I learn in my reading and study. And above all, I am fortunate enough to be loved by many.
With that in mind, I tend to view issues such as the “sanctity of marriage,” immigration, war, the drug war, terrorism and “nation building” through the lens of these “Golden rule” wisdoms. The Golden Rule is omni-present in cultures throughout the ages and across breadth and length of this globe. All great civilizations have some form of the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would wish for them to treat you. What could be simpler. Yet it seems so difficult for humanity.
We have millions of immigrants showing up at or borders right now. Many conservative Christians would throw them out with little thought to consequences and with a blind eye towards the message of Christ. Would Christ suffer the little children of immigrants to be thrust back into poverty and desolation? Would Christ abandon these people? Are our actions and attitudes towards our Southern neighbors one of loving our neighbor? I think not. We would abandon these people. We would not follow the example of the parable of the man from Samaria.
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Go and do likewise. America should be a good neighbor. We have not been a good neighbor. Our policies have led directly to the situation which has placed these peoples on our borders. Our banks rape and pillage to the South and we blame the victims for their plight.
The sanctity of marriage is a farce. Millions of Christians who purport to believe in the “sanctity of marriage” have been divorced. Some of them have been divorced several times. Yet, they believe marriage to be so sacred that homosexuals, lesbians and others should be denied the right to have their marriages recognized by the State. My first response to this is that State recognition of a marriage has nothing to do with God or sanctity. The State sanctifies home invasion and murder in the name of the Wars on Terror and Drugs. The State is run by politicians who have proven time and again to be ungodly. Iniquity runs rampant in the green and black blood that oozes through it’s deadly veins. Yet, somehow Christians believe that State recognition will somehow affect the “sanctity” of their second and third marriages.
I see hypocrisy here.
Hypocrisy is nowhere in the message of Christ. Christ admonished us to love. Not to segregate based on our own base prejudices.
This is where I differentiate myself from the MAEC.
I try to live my life with the admonishment to love my neighbor and to not see others as lessor than me. This is one reason that I love my girlfriend, Unny. She reminds me to be nice and to see the world around me through loving eyes and a purer soul. She lives to help others and her art is a reminder to me that helping others see beauty and wonder in everything around is as close to the divine as I will every travel.
This is one reason that I love working in Afghanistan. Aside from the pay, I get to help people. I teach, mentor and advise. I watch young people making their way through life and making hard choices. At times, I see nothing but cruelty and ignorance around me. However, there are moments when I see the light in a young persons eyes. There are times when I can help and when that help makes a difference. These moments are priceless to me.
If Jesus wished for us to love our neighbors as we loved him, should we not take a step back as a nation and re-evaluate our policies in the drug war, in our dealings with other nations, in our support of despots and in our treatment of our South American neighbors. Should we not be good Samaritans.
If we don’t, can we truly call ourselves a Christian nation.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men. (Galatians 6:10)