September 12, 2008
It sure seems sometimes like I am alone. You see, I am a born again Christian. I believe in the bible as the inerrant word of God. I attend church twice per week, teach a bible class, and run a small group. I believe even in those things that may seem fringe to a lot of non-Christians, such as speaking in tongues. I can accept the differences we have and understand that what I believe may not be what you believe. The difficult part is realizing that divergent political beliefs within born again circles are often ridiculed and mocked; truth be damned.
I feel alone because I know that there are political forces out there in the world that use Jesus Christ for their own ends. Sure there are a few well-intended politicians for whom their politics are part of their Christianity. The majority however adopt Christianity as part of their politics. Why? Not because they believe in Christ as I do but rather, because they want me to vote their way. So, they pretend to believe in Christ as I do. Because I see these things for what they are and because I am not shy about telling the truth, I am branded a “political lunatic” by some of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Because I can see when a chain email is rife with lies designed to get me to hate people, I am a lunatic. Or emails designed to support Christian values but uses outright lies to make the primary point. Everything from is Obama a Muslim to a fake comparison sheet of McCain and Obama where the tax innuendo presented is entirely fabricated. Emails telling me that it is God’s will that McCain and Palin are elected and that I must pray for that will. Not pray for God’s will mind you, the writer of the email (who is of course anonymous) has already determined what God’s will is for me. Because I call these things what they are, outright lies, I am branded a political lunatic.
I am alone because nearly everyone I associate with honestly believes that pro-life politicians intend to do something about abortion. I know they never will because it is too valuable a political football to toss to the Christian base every four years. It amazes me that my Christian friends never seem to notice that the ONLY time they even discuss abortion is during a presidential election. I see Alito and Roberts for what they are; pro-business judges who happen to be pro-life because of their party affiliation. More power to the corporate structure and less rights for the common man. Roe V. Wade is not being overturned folks and I see this. Why? Because the republicans will never allow it. If they did, they would have nothing to run on. Endless war and tax breaks for the rich will only win you so many votes. Instead, you have to play to people’s outrage and morality. I can see that plainly, which must be why I am a lunatic.
I am alone because I see that the entire gay marriage fiasco was made up by politicians and sold to Christians. There are no verses compelling us to protect the “sanctity of marriage.” Instead, these politicians sell us the homosexual as a way for us to feel better about our own sin. Whatever it may be, at least you’re not gay! Then what do you have? Instead of the love of Christ, you have Christians holding up “God hates fags” signs at gay pride parades. The bible however, tells us what God does hate:
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. – Proverbs 6:16-19
I could go into detail about each one in relation to the past eight years of republican-so-called Christian reign but I already have a lunatic reputation which I do not seek to embellish. I do see however that two of the seven are directly related to lying. The world does a good job of turning the truth into shades of grey but the reality is always black and white; right and wrong. It saddens me that so many Christians allow themselves to be used so casually and callously.
I feel alone sometimes because I know that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. The Republican Party has done a masterful job of tying war to Christianity and turning Christ into a God of war but the truth is that there is not one pro-war verse in the New Testament. The best they can point to is Revelation, which is a prophetic book. Some have tried to misuse the “I have come to bring a sword” verse, which speaks about the word of God not the wars of man. The truly desperate will point to Ecclesiastes, where it says there will be a time for war. Looking beyond the inability to know when that time actually is, the larger point is that the verse does not mean that God condones it. Within the same verses He says there is a time for hate and a time to kill; does that mean God is condoning those as well? Of course not. God is reaffirming the depravity of man and recognizing that there will always be a time for everything; every season under the sun. Jesus Christ said blessed are the peacemakers. In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul implores us:
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12: 17-21
I have yet to read the verse that says live at war with everyone or bomb them back to the Stone Age in the name of Jesus. It is as if sometimes my Christian friends think that the hundreds of thousands dead in other countries don’t matter to God. I guess that is why I am a lunatic though; because I believe they do matter to God.
I am a complete lunatic however when I think that everyone should have healthcare in the richest country in the world. When I think that the poor need more than fancy talk, they need real help; I am absolutely nuts. Mind you, I have actually worked with the impoverished and the disabled for the past 17 years, so maybe I am a little biased in my insanity. In the spirit of full disclosure, John McCain would be better for me personally. Based on my salary, his tax plan is better for me than Obama’s. My professional work right now is in Welfare to Work, so again, McCain is better for me. Time to lock me up in a straightjacket I guess.
I just want the truth. If you line up where both candidates really stand on the issues and at the end of the day you vote for McCain because he is pro-life; so be it. Just don’t vote for him because you think that Obama is a Muslim, or doesn’t wear a flag pin, or won’t say the Pledge of Allegiance, or wants to take “in God we trust” off of currency, or is going to raise your taxes. Don’t vote for McCain because you think he represents true Christian values, is a maverick, is a reformer, or any of the other lies they keep peddling out there. None of this stuff is true and the truth should matter.
It was a sad realization for me however when it dawned on me that the truth doesn’t seem to matter much to most of my Christian brethren. They forward emails full of outrageous lies, written by corrupt politicians pretending to be Christians, and think that someone who merely points them in the direction of the truth is a political lunatic. They are being used by people who co-opt their beliefs and twist Christ into a horrible caricature to suit their own ends.
There is truth and there is fiction. There is black and there is white. There is right and there is wrong. It is not a political opinion to say that Barack Obama mocked the bible, as a recent email suggested to me. That is what is known as a lie. The horrible liar that put the video and email together is a republican strategist who has formed a 527 where his website brags that he hopes to be the swiftboat organization of the 2008 election. He has ties to disgraced republican felon Jack Abramoff. Not only is he not a Christian, he does not care for Christians. But he does care who Christians vote for. So he splices a speech from Obama, taking things horrifically out of context and turns a message praising the Sermon on the Mount into a distortion of Obama allegedly mocking the bible. Then he buys some Christian email lists and creates a faux-outraged Christian email and sends it out once. He only needs to send it out once because we will oblige and send it to the ends of the earth without so much as checking the facts. My bible says we were to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, in His love, not lying emails smearing someone who was actually praising the Beatitudes. But what do I know? I am alone. I am just a political lunatic.