Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Inspired by Karl Rove's lunacy

A regular reader sent this in an e-mail to me. He was inspired to send it to me because of my harsh words for Karl Rove's slander of liberals last week. It is a response to something Pat Robertson said in 1993. The reader said that if he ever had a blog, he'd post a cleaned up version of this. I rather like it as it is.

Contribution from CK...

"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the Evangelical Christians. It's no differnt. It's the same thing. It's happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the Liberal - Based Media and the homosexulas who want to destroy Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history" Pat Robertson/700 Club

The quote from Pat Robertson is outrageous. To equate some people’s distrust and disgust of right-wing-American-Christianity with the holocaust is absolutely wrong. To be called narrow minded and a homophobe is nothing compared to the actual life and death persecution of Christians in China and elsewhere in the world. Has he turned on the news lately to hear of the atrocities in the Sudan? Is there too much violence and cursing in Hotel Rwanda for his eyes and ears? Or maybe the movie was too real? Too made up, possibly? Did he make these comments from a concentration camp, or from his lush home far from the homosexuals and liberals who are out to get him? Hey, buddy, you’ve got a long way from having men in uniforms show up at your home in the middle of the night, being pulled out of your bed, separated from your wife and children, having anyone use your live and breathing – yet starving – body for medical experiments before they stick you in a room of your countrymen for a “shower,” and then dump your dead body into a mass grave because they don’t even think you’re human.

I’ve been reading a book called The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard. I sent you a link to an article he wrote a while back. He was/is a philosophy professor at USC and is one of the better “Christian thinkers” out there in my opinion. Anyway, the book is a look at the kingdom of God specifically as Jesus talks about it in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Right now I’m on the part about not judging. Willard says that judging in this case is referring to condemning rather than discerning. Condemnation always leads to the marginalization and dehumanization of others. When this sort of judging occurs, then the judge is left open to judgment. Being judgmental in the sense of discernment is vital to our human existence. It would be foolish for us to not discern.

My point in bringing up the topic of judgment is that the “liberal” backlash we see towards Evangelical Christianity is due to years and years of condemnation. We’ve treated women who have had an abortion, homosexuals, prostitutes, addicts, murders, etc, as less than human. The “oppression” that people on the religious right feel today is the result of this condemnation and casting away of those “sinners” rather than the actual tribulation of the Church in the end times. We’re in the process of reaping what we’ve sown.

The really interesting thing is that it is these people that the religious right have cast aside are the very people that Jesus is talking about at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the….” Each one of these blessed people are at the bottom of the religious establishment’s list, and yet the one we call God in the Flesh is saying that the blessings of God are available to the homosexual, the addict, the (you fill in the blank) right now!

There’s a song that is sung in church called, “Just as I am.” The thrust of the song is that we can come to God as we are and He’ll deal with us. We don’t need to get our lives together or be perfect to enter that kingdom. We just come as we are. But the message of the Evangelical Church in N. America today is, in most cases, “Get your act together and stop sinning or God won’t want anything to do with you!”

This is a hard teaching! I have so far to go in terms of condemnation and dealing with the plank in my own eye – or my own porch, as I think you put it last weekend. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jesus never had a harsh word for the prostitute, the tax-collector, or the leper in the Bible. But for the self-righteous of his day, he had much to say. I think that if the religious right took an honest look in the mirror, they would see themselves as the religious leaders of Jesus’ day rather than the humble servants they would like us to believe they are.