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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On My Soap Box

Mike Lux at Alternet got me thinking today. He has an article entitled: Why are so many Christians Conservative?
Which is a very good question and his insights are well reasoned:

if you actually read the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus' main concern in terms of the people whose fates he cared about was for the poor, the oppressed, and the outcast. Comment after comment and story after story in the Gospels about Jesus relates to the treatment of the poor, generosity to those in need, mercy to the outcast, and scorn for the wealthy and powerful. And his philosophy is embedded with the central importance of taking care of others, loving others, treating others as you would want to be treated. There is no virtue of selfishness here, there is no "greed is good," there is no invisible hand of the market or looking out for Number One first. There is nothing about poor people being lazy, nothing about the undeserving poor being leeches on society, nothing about how I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps so everyone else should, too. There is nothing about how in nature, "the lions eat the weak,"

Concerning how Conservative Christians defend their belief system he says:

I have never talked to a conservative Christian about economics and not heard them quote this verse) is the one time in which Jesus says that "the poor will always be with us." The reason they love this quote so much is that they interpret that line to mean that in spite of everything else Jesus said about the poor, that since the poor will always be with us, we don't need to worry about trying to help them. Apparently since the poor will always be with us, we can go ahead and screw them. But Jesus making a prediction that there will always be oppressive societies doesn't mean he wanted us to join the oppressors.

I've dealt with the conservative mindset all my life in Baptist Churches. For the first thirty years of my life there was an acceptance of differing opinions and fellowship prevailed. In 1978 when the thugs marched in and took control of the convention for twelve years there was a fight for the soul of the convention and the thugs won by as Russell Dilday, one of the casualties of this war said, "Using satanic practices." He caught a lot of flack for that statement, but when the winning side used slander, deception, and illegal means to remove him from the presidency of the largest Baptist Theological Seminary in the world, which at the time had an enrollment of over 5,000 students compared to todays less than 3,000. He was right. Thugs don't play by the rules of Christian Charity.
Fundamentalists may call themselves Christians, but they have long forgotten who and what Jesus was and stood for. They have their fire insurance guaranteed by John 3:16 and that's as far as it goes. For the rest of it they are cultural Christians that will believe anything a preacher says. Two hundred years ago God sanctioned Black Slavery. They conveniently forgot the Levitical law that all slaves be freed after seven years. Today we have a culture of greed. Ebeneezer Scrooge has replaced Jesus as their theologian, and they wonder why all the money in the world still makes them cold, barren and sour?
I look on the face of the Republican front runner for Governor in our state's primary election coming up. He boasts of being a Reagan Republican (his opponent was recently endorsed by the Alaskan Dimwit). He is the most bitter looking individual I've ever seen running for office.
I remember when Gary Johnson was elected governor sixteen years ago and the Repugs controlled the state for eight years. Every time I went up to the round house all you could feel emanating from the committee rooms and chambers was how mean spirited it was.
Look at the faces of those in the Tea Party. Don't they look like they were raised on pickle juice?

3 comments:

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I've often wondered similar things about why being an evangelical Christian involves all the side issues that you mention and more like hostility to unions and universal health care and whether or not the Iraq war was justified or not. It seems Christianity is reduced to a motivational type program.

P M Prescott said...

A psychology professor once said that these churches are the country club of the working class. At times he's kind of right.

Michael Manning said...

An excellent and timely post, PM. Christ wasn't into politics. He cut to the core and held steadfast to being grounded in love. He didn't care for labels. I once had breakfast with a buddy of mine from England and he asked me. "Where do we get all these labels? Tories? Labor? Conservatives? Democrats?" I told him that I wave off this media circus--including "the dimwit from Alaska" who isn't worth commenting on. I do not hate her. She needs therapy. She and others like her are all immersed in ego on both sides of the aisle. I think for myself while these various groups are so smug to believe they have the inside track to Jesus. They don't. His message is so simple. "Follow me". What I see both parties doing is spending day after day beating the hell out of one another and nothing more. They have failed us. If they were employed in a job like the rest of us, they would be fired. Christ was about serving. I ask this: Do these politicians have a spirit of serving others? I don't think so. They should be "serving" the needs of the American people who elected them. Those who fail, like our own Governor in Arizona (a travesty) must be voted out. But correct me if I'm wrong, PM. Christ stayed clear of this baloney and kept focused on serving. This message is lost on Washington. Which is why I have no faith in politicians or labels. It's going to be up to young people who enter public service with the correct mind set. Namely, to serve others. That's what Christ did. I'd welcome your view.