+ 3 Nails
And there's a cross and what looks like barbed-wire all around it. (Crown of thorns.) Now, granted, I have no belief in deity and pretty much loathe all organized religion, but COME ON! How is that respectful of the story of Jesus? How is that acceptable? So that got me to thinking...
Oh My God. Well, not *my* God, because I defy him and all his works.
(For new folks, that's from "Buffy.")
Now, this is not meant as a Christian bashing post. At all. Because the text? The whole mission-statement that Jesus laid out?
1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
2. Judge not, lest ye be judged.
3. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...
4. Turn the other cheek
And the biggie:
5. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Summed up = be kind, follow the golden rule - #1, quit putting on airs - you both pull your pants up one leg at a time. No one is better than any one else.)
See how nowhere up there did it say: hate queers, blacks, Muslims, Jews, or that women should stay at home, that Corporate greed is good, or how Americans need to go to war in Iraq.... We'll get to that in a bit. Back to the selling-out of your faith. Or maybe not *your* faith, but you get my meaning.
So why not go all the way with this whole horrific/bloody imagery? Because The Passion of the Christ wasn't explicit enough, nosiree! How about bumper stickers with buckets of blood, and a rubber ducky and sponge? "Get washed in the blood of Christ!" Or better yet, a picture of Jesus, face contorted into horrific agony, and a picture of someone super-imposed with a beatific grin plastered on their face. (Almost orgasmic.) His Agony = Your Rapture!
On our drive through the Deep South earlier this month, we saw small, washed-up towns with stores displaying signs that read: "We Believe in Christ. If you don't, Keep driving." Yes, Jesus was nothing if not exclusionary. We turned the radio on to catch some "local color" and heard some half-wit (quarter-wit, we later determined) talk about how evolution was a lie because... where were the half-monkey/half-men walking around? o_O Like this dip-wad expects to find monkeys in the jungle with an abacus and a Day Planner. You know, as proof. And caller after caller just sucked this up. "Yes! Oh, Laws, Praise Him!"
I've suspected for several years, and have been proven right over and over again that the majority of "Christians" have absolutely no clue about their own faith. Signs? God/Jesus said quit asking for them - they're offensive to Him. Public displays of your "faith" or praying out loud to the irritation of others to show how "righteous" you really are? Jesus mocked you and said it was displeasing. Then there was that whole, crazy thing where Jesus spent a few days telling people how awesome and loved the downtrodden and lowest of mankind was. How special they were. How those who HAVE should care for the HAVE NOTS. And went so far as to say that whatever you DID to the lowest common denominator (be it good or bad) was like doing it to the Big Guy - Jesus. I'll let you draw your own parallels to the Republican Party's starvation and denying basic human services to these Least of These of Jesus'. Can't wait for Rove to meet His Maker.
Jesus was big on NOT bragging. On NOT trying to prove how righteous you were. I'm not going to get into Pharicees vs. Sadducees, jots and tittles. But Jesus was BIG on praying in "secret," on quiet reflection, on modesty. There's this word... humility?
Big, nasty SUV, monster sticker that covers the back window making sure you know that they love Jesus. Did you know? We're righteous. Are you? And the driver of the car could have been a lovely person. But dammit, if you are going to FOLLOW a faith, can you please LEARN it? I wonder how many of these "Christians" voted to block gay marriage? Jesus cared a LOT more about poverty than homosexuals. Mainly because in the New Testament? JESUS MADE NO REFERENCES TO GAYS. Talked a hell of a lot about the poor and sick, though.
Now, Paul? Once. But Paul ain't Jesus. I wonder how many of those people with those bumper stickers, T-Shirts, etc., voted for Bush. Voted for legislation to deny poor people an education. Health care. Clean frickin' air and water.
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me."
I've met a lot of people that claim to be "Christian." I've only known of a few that actually were.
Wearing a T-Shirt with his name doesn't make you one.
Buying a sticker for your car doesn't make you one.
Man, just showing up on Sunday and nodding along doesn't make you one.
Keeping the least of our fellow humans in suffering and pain should automatically exclude you from the roster.
Voting for a man that makes all of the above happen, and sullies the name of a wonderful philosopher who tried to help the poor (and if you believe the tale, ALL of mankind - not just the rich, white ones) should also exclude you from the roster.
Those of you out there that DO believe in Christ? That DO want to be good Christians? Learn your religion. Take it back. The philosophy is a good one. But for now, your religion has been hijacked by mean, cruel people who preach exclusionary politics, separatism, hate, and bigotry. Go read the Sermon on the Mount. It's all you need to know. Some of the best, most lovely prose out there.
Christian means Christ-like. Period. If you're not trying, you aren't one.
For the record? I'd love for this to get spread everywhere. I'd welcome an open debate/discussion on religion. I will not tolerate hatred, bigotry, or name calling in the comments. Feel free to quote scripture aaaalllll you want. I can guarantee that I can palaver with the best of them.