Sunday, November 14, 2004

Invoking the "L" Word or What Would Jesus Think?

Now that the hurley burley of the election is over, I intend to return to the general theme of this blog -- writing. However, I do reserve the right to make comments re: politics, etc. as I see fit. This is one blog I've felt required to write and so I'll get it out of the way.

I am finding the current radicalized of Christianity a very disturbing trend. A prime example is the following, a congratulatory letter penned by Bob Jones III to Pres. Bush (full text of letter can be found here - It pretty much states what Evangelical Conservatives expect in the next four years.

In your re-election, God has graciously granted America though she doesn't deserve it a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. You have been given a mandate. We the people expect your voice to be like the clear and certain sound of a trumpet. Because you seek the Lord daily, we who know the Lord will follow that kind of voice eagerly.

Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you. ...It is easy to rejoice today, because Christ has allowed you to be His servant in this nation for another presidential term. Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by biblical norm regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government. You have four years—a brief time only—to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God.

...Pull out all the stops and make a difference. If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them. Conservative Americans would love to see one president who doesn't care whether he is liked, but cares infinitely that he does right.


I found particular phrases (those in bold) very disturbing. Liberals supposedly "despise" Christ so it's okay to demonize them? I can imagine a few of my religiously observant so-called Liberal friends being rather offended by that. "Biblical norm" is now the standard for religious freedom, freedom of speech? Who decides what is and isn't Biblical norm? Is blasphemy soon to be punishable by death like it is in other parts of the world? And how do you define blasphemy?

Folks, does this sound familiar? Remove the word "Biblical" and add "Koranic" and you got it. Radical religious groups only see their own righteous agenda and anyone who gets in their way are expendable. Yes, you are right to argue that Bob Jones doesn't represent all of the Christian Right. That would be true. But he's not the only one calling on Mr. Bush to pay the bill for his re-election. That's what makes me nervous.

So I propose a homework assignment -- go get your Bible, dust it off if you haven't read it recently and reread the New Testament. In particular, read the words of Jesus. The man was, to use the modern term, a liberal. He challenged the establishment and preached a humane approach toward his fellow man. He scorned the hidebound Sadducees and tried to teach his fellow Jews about love, turning the other cheek, helping the poor and about justice.

I see nothing in Bob Jones' letter that speaks of justice or caring for the poor. Turning the other cheek is noticeably absent. Since he and his fellows are so causal in evoking Jesus, let me ask this -- what would the prophet of Nazareth think if this bunch?

I leave it to you to do the homework and decide for yourself.

May Peace Reign...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jesus did reach out to the poor. He did preach to turn the other cheek. You are forgetting though, that he also stormed the temple when it was being misused. He spoke against the pharisees & saducees because of their self-righteousness. He taught about repentance of sins & also about how to love your neighbor. He met the woman at the well & made her face her promiscuous lifestyle- He also forgave her. Life is about balance, and I think that Jesus was the perfect example of that. Love for people- hatred for sin. In reading the letter from Bob Jones, I can see how some of it came across as being overly-abrasive and rather pushy. However, as a Christian myself, I am in deed grateful that Mr. Bush is again in our White House for 4 more years. I do indeed hope that children will be given a chance at life- not to be snuffed out by the mothers who carry them. I do hope that marriage will continue to be between one man and one woman. Jesus came into the world not to destroy the law of the Old Testament, but to fulfill the Law- thus upholding right & wrong while being the One to take punishment for us.