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Is America a Christian Nation?

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Richard Mathis
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"What was the one thing that Jesus said by which his followers would be known? Was it by their beliefs or creeds? By how often they attended church? Was it baptism or by publically and repeatedly proclaiming one's faith? No, the only thing that Jesus said that identifies those who follow his way is . . ."

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Liberals need to whole heartedly endorse Jesus as a wonderful role model to imitate. We need to learn from Jesus (as well as Gandhi and King) that perhaps the most effective form of social activism is to appeal to the highest values people claim to be promoting. As such, we liberals need to be jumping for joy that Americans claim to be followers of Jesus. Right on for the Prince of Peace and the Lamb of Love. Let's go all the way with Jesus, a tried-and-proven bleeding-heart liberal. But let's make sure that we're dealing with just Jesus and not a bunch of institutionalized add-ons that try to replace the teachings of Jesus with idol worship and public piosity.

So let this longtime liberal offer an olive branch to conservatives. You conservative Christians always like to point out that proof of America being a Christian nation can be found on our money with the words: "In God We Trust." What this liberal says is that we don't need made up words on our money if we are to be a real Christian nation. If we are going to have any words referencing God then we need authentic Biblical scripture right there on our legal tender. On the front of our money let's put Jesus' words: "You can't serve God and Mammon (the idol of greed and power). On the back could be Saint Paul's quote that: "the love of money is the root of all evil."

Amen, start a crusade on Wall Street and proclaim that it is better to sell all your riches and give alms to the poor than being a greedy capitalist. Then Alan Greenspan could explain that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into heaven. At the entrances to malls, we could display just one of the 10 commandments in large letters: thou shall not covet. Meanwhile, television evangelists could sell off their treasures stored here on earth to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless as Jesus required of his followers. Of course, preachers, politicians and pundits could promote the true Christian spirit expressed in Acts 4:34-35: "And no one among them was in need; for everyone who had land or houses, exchanged them for money . . . and put it at the feet of the Apostles for distribution to everyone as they had need." Doing unto the lest of them would become the new national spirit instead of doing the least unto them. Instead of walls at the borders we could erect replicas of Lady Liberty proclaiming "Welcome, all you prodigals. We won't let you starve in the pig pens."

Furthermore, we need to openly display some of the finest sayings of Jesus in public places. For example, over school entrances could be inscribed in marble the words, "Woe unto to thee who causes even one of these little ones to lose faith." Government buildings and churches could both agree to have as their guiding principle: "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's." Churches could also add "condemn not, lest ye be condemned," "judge not" and "cast not the first stone."

Courthouses could pick either from "The mercy you show will be the mercy you're shown" or "Judge not, lest you be judged." Even prisons could post a new policy that there will be no more of the old law of an eye for an eye and a life for a life. And those who are opposed to allowing the brain dead to die could always take up the advice from Jesus to let the dead bury the dead.

Meantime, the Department of Defense could go for the culture of life and adopt the motto: "Put your sword in its place for those who live by the sword will die by the sword." The Pentagon could be rebuilt into the shape of a plow shear. The State Department could promote "Blessed are the Peacemakers." And, of course, no one is better suited than the prayerful President Bush to adapt as the presidential standard: "the truth will set you free." Additionally, since President Bush is renowned for his faith, we could recognize the ring of truth when he reads to us from the Epistle of James:

"What causes wars . . . ? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war."

Also, politicians like Tom Delay, could showcase the wisdom of Jesus when he said not to extol yourself for whomever extols himself shall be humbled. And, of course, radio and tv scribes who promote all-American, pro-family Christian values like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Riley could cheerfully and lovingly model the spirit of "blessed are the meek and mild in manner." Democrats and Republicans could both forgive each other their trespasses and pray for each other to be blessed. Instead of being so cheeky, they could turn the other cheek for a change.

If we only went totally Christian as a nation, we wouldn't be restricted to simply having nativity scenes and Christmas plays once a year. We could have Biblical re-enactments all year long. As a born-again-liberal, I personally would enjoy watching Moses come down from Mount Sinai and try to smash the 10 Commandments these days like he did in the Bible. Then I'd love watching Jesus trying to stop the Pharisaic mob from casting the first stone at Moses for breaking the marble monument with the commandment saying "thy shall have no graven image before you."

Then, right after Jesus saved himself from some of the more zealous, he could once again explain what it takes to be known as a follower of the way Jesus taught. Let's see. What was the one thing that Jesus said by which his followers would be known? Was it by their beliefs or creeds? By how often they attended church? Was it baptism or by publically and repeatedly proclaiming one's faith? No, the only thing that Jesus said that identifies those who follow his way is by them loving others in the same unselfish, non-controlling and unconditional way as typified by the welcoming father of the Prodigal Son.

Jesus further said that our love can be perfect like God's sunlight which follows on all without exception. Jesus taught a way of justice, love and peace wherein all of us are equals and worthy of being treated with the same consideration that we ourselves want to be treated. Moreover, Jesus taught in the separation of church and state and said that if you have to add anything to your word - like invoking God - then something is wrong with your word. Jesus said that the Sabbath - read church and religion was made for us and that we were not made to serve religious (or political) institutions. He railed against religious-political hypocrites, spoke out against oppression and associated with the outcasts of society. All the time Jesus said not to even call him good. He provided food and medical care for free and was a champion of women's rights.

So if being a Christian nation means a country where people actually care about each other enough that they don't even try to force their beliefs upon them while still loving them enough to honor and defend their rights; if being a Christian nation means one where even the least of them is as valued as the most of them; and if being a Christian nation means one where we don't even have to proclaim that we are a Christian nation but can extend life, liberty and love to all, regardless of their class, creed, gender, orientation or race then all this liberal can say to such a pluralistic, rational and compassionate society is hallelujah, amen, this liberal has been born again.

originally published at Jesus was a Liberal
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Richard Mathis Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

B. 1952, GA, USA. D. To Be Determined. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, lover, confidant and friend of many from bikers to Zen masters; American writer and speaker, known for his criticism of Mammon's unholy trinity of big business, big (more...)
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