Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Christians vs. chri$tian$

"I’m Jewish. Thank you. I’m not an expert on the New Testament. But I know that if you cut out all the passages where Jesus talks about helping the poor, helping the least among us, if you literally took a pair of scissors and cut out all those passages, you’d have the perfect box to smuggle Rush Limbaugh’s drugs in." Al Franken - more here

I'm no expert on the Bible myself, but I do know that Jesus Christ taught love, peace, tolerance, turning the other cheek, throwing out the money changers, etc. He didn't preach the shooting or bombing of doctors who perform abortions, "accidentally" dropping bombs on and shooting missiles at innocent men, women and children so that they may be "free" (and give us their oil) or depriving our children and mortgaging the future of generations of children to come so that the wealthiest among us may become even more wealthy. Of course, invoking Christ to legitimize very un-Christian acts is nothing new: the Crusades, the Spanish and other inquisitions, the forced prostletizing of so called primitive races, etc.

Additionally, throughout history, many organized religions have been little more than subtle or not so subtle tools of influence. Indeed, for a thousand years up until the 19th century, the church as an institution in Europe weilded an enormous amount of political power and coincidentally, was enormously corrupt. No wonder the age of enlightenment beginning with Rousseau, continuing with the American and French revolutions, "Jeffersonian" democracy (seperation of Church and State) and ending with the likes of Marx and Engels professed varying degrees of disdain for organized religion and in some cases, even questioned God's existence. Are we entering an age of "endarkenment", for want of a better word? The increased criticism of scientific advancement, the push for more and more limits on women's reproductive rights, the rampant corruption in the houses of power and religious political influence are all phenomena that were practically institutionalized up until 300 years ago with no dissent tolerated.

It seems that most of what passes for Christianity today, at least according to the Republican party, is the Ten Commandments, Great Flood, Pillar of Salt, ten Plagues, etc. Old Testament version of Christianity. The only problem is, Jesus wasn't really a major player in the angry and vengeful world of the O.T. I do know that Jesus' last name is where we get the word 'Christian' to begin with, so it seems to follow that Christianity is supposed to teach love, tolerance, etc.

It's obvious that certain quasi-fundementalist religious leaders seeking political and social influence for their un-Christian, "O.T." brand of religion are to some extent using the "Trojan horse" of the Republican party to give their ideas the force of law. Basically, forcing all of us to live by the beliefs of their particular religion. If this is allowed to continue at it's current pace, the seperation of Church and State - one of the main pillars of our Democracy as envisioned by our founding fathers - is all but dead. I hope other people find this as alarming as I do.

To top it off, the Republican party is and always was the party that is "friendly to business". Taxes too high? Too many safety or environmental regulations? Workers and unions giving you trouble? Tired of having your tax money wasted on schools, health care, the poor and their children? Don't worry, they're in your corner. Republicans are the party of the "Money Changers"! Instead of casting them out, many Christians, or more accurately "the religious right", have jumped into bed with them.

Hmmm... WWJD

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