My staunch, liberal, Democratic friend sent me this video today. She’s supporting the writings of a former Republican. I never thought she would cross that line. However, the accent IS on former. I have no idea of the age of this video but the problems voiced in it have been around since the president was a senator running for office. My education is not always on the cutting edge.
Frank Shaeffer is saying things I’ve been thinking for the past few years. If there is anything like several ground zeros in America, (see definition 2), I think I am living within five miles of a major site. It is the home of an ultra conservative world known seminary, one of the largest in the world and several majorly huge non-denominational Bible Churches and cathedrals.
When I was growing up, I don’t remember anyone in our home town referring to themselves as Christian. We were Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, with a sprinkling of Baptists. Of course we sang songs like Lord, I Want to Be a Christian or Onward Christian Soldiers but in general we identified ourselves by our denominations.
For the past several years the movement of non-denominational (and denominational) fundamentalist Christians has grown to gigantic numbers. I have found through sad experience that I very much disagree with the attitudes of many of the “Christians” with whom I have come into contact among those people. Granted I am basing my attitudes on a very small personal sample, but there have been a number of instances where the trust I had in these individuals has been broken.
The biggest offenders were the repairmen/contractors that I selected when work needed to be done in my home. I will admit that I chose them over others based on their claims they were “Christian men” and to me Christian = trust. Naive one that I was. One man did several things not to my satisfaction but I could never get him to come back. Another disappeared in the middle of a job. Both of these men talked about how much their faith meant to them. A co-teacher at work was a staunch Christian member of a huge non-denominational church here in town. Any time if anyone wanted to know anything about anyone at school, all they had to do was hunt up this woman. She had the scoop on everyone. Another devout woman was everybody’s friend until they did something to cross her at which time she made that person and anybody associated with her as miserable as possible.
At first I didn’t pay any attention or make any connections then I slowly began to notice the hypocracy of it all. Some of the more devout in my neighborhood are making it well known whom they do not wish to purchase my house if it does sell. These are Bible toting Christians.
A few years ago I decided I would not label myself a Christian. I truly feel there is a difference between being a modern day Christian and being a follower of the teachings of Christ. I try very hard to follow His teachings. I personally think if he had been buried that he would be spinning non-stop in his grave at what people are doing “in His name”.
Historically what has often bothered me from the time I was a small child marching around the classroom “as to war”, is the violence I have learned about over the years that was perpetrated in the name of Christ. A few examples are the “Holy” Inquisition and the Crusades.In modern times there were other kinds of predatory wars launched by “Christian” countries such as Hitler during WW II. Christians have done their best to instill hatred, aggression,and incredible cruelty toward “infidels” — under the banner of “fighting for the ‘holy’ faith”. Now that the tables are turned and Christians are being treated as others were, I am hearing cries of “Let’s bomb them out of existence”. (Said to me last week.) Don’t get me wrong. I do not support terrorists or extremists on either side. That is what I am seeing happening among Chrisitians. Too many of them are becoming extremists. That to me is very frightening.
One of the most disturbing trends to me is the Obama as Anti-Christ trend. Now, granted, there are many other than fundamentalist Christians who might benefit from stirring up this trash, but REALLY! How have we managed to sink so low that we can fill up 80 pages of google search with such articles? There are an average of ten articles listed on each page. The degree to which this vitriolic trend has escalated is absurd. Yet, there are hundreds of thousands of Christians who are actually believing this stuff and all the logical reasoning in the world will not let them stray from what they believe.
What can I do against this wave of fanatical extremism? By myself, in this locale, probably nothing other than what I am trying to do. Like Thumper’s mother and father, I believe in practicing myself and teaching children,
I have to follow that advice myself. I’m living at ground zero. I’m starting to fear speaking out. I include all of us in my daily prayers that Christians can return to the teachings of Christ. That we can come to our senses and reserve judgment on a president that inherited more on his plate than almost any other president in our history. He’s only been in office nine months. If people would back off and give him some support, he may indeed begin to solve some of the mess we are in. Or he may not. But calling him Anti-Christ? Give the poor guy a break!
No, I’m not a Democrat, or a Republican. I try to be the best Independent middle-of-the-roader that I can be. I believe in looking at the issues espoused by all parties, including the smaller ones, and then voting for the individual candidate I feel will live up to her/his promises the best. But once the voting is over, I try to support the president. If I can’t support, I at least try not to say bad things about him, or hopefully some day, her. We were taught in school growing up that we should respect the office of the president. I think too many of us need to go back and review some of our lessons.