And, it is just my observation, or has it seemed that the masses have really stooped to their lowest in being downright nasty to everyone not in their particular camp?
Here are a few things I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that are really concerning to me:
1. Conservatives claim the US is a Christian nation, but it seems like a huge portion of them are completely throwing out their so called Christian values.
Jesus was kind, he wasn’t condemning, and he only got angry with those who were legalistic and arrogant in their religion, who disregarded the poor and marginalized, and who wrote off everyone who wasn’t in their circle. I don’t recall him slandering the government of the time, either.
What I see these days, and I”ll be honest, largely by the far right, are words and actions that represent exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught and what became the foundation of Christian values.
On Facebook, so many I know who claim to be Christians don’t express their opinions for the sake of honest discussion and trying to encourage open mindedness. Rather, I read accusations labeling our president a traitor, a liar, a non-American, and a socialist. I read where Christians flat out call women Democrats b#@ches, and I see repostings of horrible, mean jokes targeted at the non-Christian and Christian left.
I love political satire because I think it serves a purpose, and I regularly watch the Colbert Report, but I see a huge difference in satire and outright slandering of people in this country. And I”m ashamed to say, the majority of the slandering I see is coming straight from conservative Christians.
2. Our generation appears to becoming a bit McCarthian in nature.
Remember the 1950s, where anyone presumed to have any ties with Communism or Communist ideas were witch hunted and if possible, absolutely ruined? I see a replay of it everyday now. Anyone who possibly thinks outside the conservative Christian Republican box is labled a socialist straight from hell. Again, let’s look at Jesus. He certainly was more aplitical than political, but he certainly wasn’t a capitalist either. In fact, didn’t he teach that we should help the poor and fatherless, giving up our clinging to wealth to follow him? I”m treading carefully here, because God forbid I might end up being labeled a socialist, too.
What do I see today? People ragging on the poor for having cell phones, for not spending their money the way the middle and upper class see fit, and for being lazy. Let’s look back at Jesus once more. Jesus never gave to anyone on the basis of what they deserved, except for maybe the whipping he gave the money changers. As I recall, a story in the Gospels tells of a master paying his hourly workers the same daily wage no matter how many hours they worked that day. Poor Jesus, his economy just wouldn’t fly in today’s society.
I think trying to make sure everyone has access to healthcare is a good thing. And the fact that the government is stepping in with their attempt, albeit imperfect, to get everyone insured to receive that healthcare, is necessary because we Christians who are called to provide for the poor haven’t been cutting it. Rather, we spend most of our time judging the poor.
3. Jesus taught us to love on other, love our enemies.
This may sound harsh, but I’m finding alot more love these days from people outside deeply conservative circles. In all honesty, I fear that the conservatives of the nation are taking Constitutional ideas out of context (such as the right of free speech to equal the liberty to freely slander) and in a sense are attempting to set up their own version of Shar’ia, just a fundamentalist Christian version instead of a fundamentalist Islamist version.
Jesus never imposed his morals on others through nasty means. Instead, he loved people no matter what state they were in, and invited them into life and abundance and transformation. He wasn’t snide, and he didn’t wish ill on others, even the tyrannical governments of the time, who I would venture to say were far worse than what the United States is currently experiencing.
In short, I think our country is horribly far away from being a nation characterized by the following of Jesus, and unfortunately, I think a major portion of the blame goes to the Christians themselves.
Obviously, we in this country can’t all agree with each other on everything, and that’s OK. Dialogue is good, and pointing out absurdities is necessary. However, these things can be done without hate-filled, ill wishing speech. My husband and I are a case in point. We are polar opposites regarding politics and many other things…yet, amazingly, I don’t hate him or call him evil. I actually think he’s a pretty cool guy. I think it would behoove us all to reconsider how Jesus viewed and treated the poor, downtrodden, and marginalized and change our game plan a bit.
PS. In regard to this post, I welcome honest thought and dialogue, and maybe even a little good natured, thought provoking satire.. I am more than willing to hear points on how my opinion may be completely unfounded. Slander and general nastiness is not welcome.
Seeking to fully live, (and wanting others to be able to fully live as well),
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