Sunday, January 01, 2006

REWRITING THE BIBLE

Could it be possible that the Christian Right has never read the Sermon on the Mount? Somehow, in perusing the Bible, I reread those instructions and it occurred to me that the Christians of today must have missed this portion of the Good Book.

They have fought hard for the right to display the Ten Commandments in our public buildings. One of their huge statues, ensconced in a courthouse, caused a big furor when it was forcibly removed.

But what is the use of displaying the Ten Commandments if they do not follow them? Take the words "Thou Shalt Not Kill", as an example. How on earth do the Republicans explain a preemptive war, then claim they follow that Commandment? As far as I know, there is no version of the Bible that states "Thou Shalt Not Kill unless it is Perceived that Someone Might Be a Danger to your Country", and let's admit it, Wars involve an awful lot of killing, along with an awful lot of maiming.

It isn't just the War, it's the drooling lust for war that bothers me, the eagerness to kill Muslims, imagining terrorists under your bed, in your closet and living next door, the violent, angry adoration of death and destruction, the blind support for every corruption in our government, the overt ignorance of it all!

It is also the retaliation, the government by intimidation, the payback to enemies. Angry at Joseph Wilson? Let's destroy his wife. Running against John Kerry? Let's call him a coward. The retribution for anti-Bush rhetoric has gotten so bad that rightwingers hate an entire country. Just mention the word "France" to a rightwinger and they froth with fury. In truth, France may have had a boatload of common sense in refusing to join the "Coalition". They have enough trouble with the racial factions as it is!

How did the Republicans feel when Tookie Williams was strapped to that table and the needles thrust into his flesh? "Vengeance is mine," the Lord clearly said, but the Republicans have claimed this right for themselves. When Jesus was on the cross, he forgave the sinner beside him, because his repentance was sincere. This is something Republicans fail to do. So, if they cannot follow the actions of Jesus, what's the point?

Christianity today seems to be the most vengeful, unmerciful, angry and retaliatory status one can achieve. And while they are doling out their anger, they seem to consider themselves martyrs. Christians are persecuted, they claim, by the demonic factors among us who are immoral messengers of the Devil. I think they are alluding to sexual behavior. Sexual behavior seems to fascinate them far more than slaughtering Middle Easterners and reformed criminals.

The more I study this situation, the more I conclude that Howard Dean is right. The mantra of the Christian Right is God, Guns, Gays and Greed. They distort the words of Jesus, lay claim to the Ten Commandments without obeying them, cling to their guns as their most precious possessions, and are so worried about social programs that millions of Americans walk around with no health insurance at all in a world where a single visit to a doctor's office equals more than a week's pay for a minimum wage worker.

Where's the mercy? Where's the concern for the poor, the hungry, the needy, the disadvantaged? Where's the love, the faith in human nature, the concern for all of humanity? All of this is clearly described in the Sermon on the Mount! Have they read it? If so, they have pitifully distorted it. In our United States, fifteen million children go hungry, yet social programs have been cut. Cities are filled with the homeless. Shelters are full. Some people sleep in cars, under overpasses, under sheets of cardboard on the sidewalks. Charities are broke, drained by social conditions and weather-related needs.

Yet, we are told, economic conditions are great! Rosy! Peachy! But, for whom? Not for that working family with no health insurance, struggling to pay the rent. Not for the rising ranks of the poor, nor for the growing numbers of youth trying to find that first, niggling job.

So, if things are so good, it has to be benefiting those who can afford a portfolio, those who can ride in a Hummer, those who can take that vacation or buy that second home. Beneath that level, there is sheer misery in the United States today, a ragged, rotting-toothed, penniless misery the likes of which we have not known before.

As David Kelley, that brilliant television executive and writer, who has given us Boston Legal, along with other entertainment, has written. "What happens when these poor rise up against us?" Yes, what happens then? Think French Revolution. Think Russian Revolution. It could happen here and will, if the country continues along this path.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, that wuss, that grinning bear of a man who grabs at women's butts and has been a Wannabe Republican, didn't even have to courage to pardon Tookie Williams, even though it has probably cost him re-election. He just didn't have to courage to face up to his Republican mentors. He's in a precarious position anyway. He is married to the ONLY Democrat allowed to enter the area of a Bush speech without signing the Pledge. She might even get away with wearing a Kerry t-shirt. But her Kennedy affiliation will hamper Arnold's rise to higher office, which may be the best thing that ever happened in this country.

So, toss away the Ten Commandments. Toss the Sermon on the Mount. The Rightwing has rewritten the Bible to suit themselves. We are a nation where our leaders approve torture, preemptive wars, domestic spying, etc. None of it can be balanced with the words of Jesus! Not a word of it!

Blogger Lorraine said...

Hey Girlfriend!!! I hope y ou check your slightly older blogs other than the most recent, but I just had to comment on this piece.....Why don't you just copy it and paste it smack dab on the Politics forum???

What ya got to lose? Credibility? Hah. According to those ignorant rightwingers there, ALL liberals are quite nuts-in-the-head, right?

They would have no defense for their side if they would read this column....all they can do is rant, rave, froth at the mouth and put down liberal thinkers as "crazy".

If I were a praying person, my only prayer would be, 24/7, for our country to regain a Democratic majority in 2006 -- and a Democratic president in 2008. Otherwise, our country is doomed.

3:13 PM  

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