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Oh Lordy lordy. What is the definition of a Christian? I honestly don't know anymore. There must be some form of brainwashing afoot, and Mr. Dear's label of "Discipleship" seems appropriate.

Most North American Christians are now becoming more and more like these hypocritical Pharisees. We side with the rulers, the bankers, and the corporate millionaires and billionaires. We run the Pentagon, bless the bombing raids, support executions, make nuclear weapons and seek global domination for America as if that was what the nonviolent Jesus wants. And we dismiss anyone who disagrees with us.

We have become a mean, vicious people, what the bible calls "stiff-necked people." And we do it all with the mistaken belief that we have the blessing of God.

If we dare call ourselves Christian, we cannot support war or nuclear weapons or corporate greed or executions or systemic injustice of any kind. If we do, we may well be devout American citizens, but we no longer follow the nonviolent Jesus. We have joined the hypocrites and blasphemers of the land, beginning with their leaders in the White House, the Pentagon and Los Alamos.

Another Snippet from Pharisee Nation by John Dear
(Gotta love his name.)

Last September, I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. "Now let me get this straight," I said. "Jesus says, `Blessed are the peacemakers,' which means he does not say, `Blessed are the warmakers,' which means, the warmakers are not blessed, which means warmakers are cursed, which means, if you want to follow the nonviolent Jesus you have to work for peace, which means, we all have to resist this horrific, evil war on the people of Iraq."

With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, "Bush! Bush! Bush!"

How scary and depressing is that reaction? A bit more..

So much for my speech. Not to mention the Beatitudes.

I was not at all surprised that George W. Bush was reelected president. As I travel the country speaking out against war, injustice and nuclear weapons, I see many people consciously siding with the culture of war, choosing the path of violence, supporting corporate greed, rampant militarism, and global domination. I see many others swept up in the raging current of patriotism. Since most of these people, beginning with the president, claim to be Christian, I am ashamed and appalled that they support war and systemic injustice, that they do it in the name of God, and that they feign fidelity to the nonviolent Jesus who gave his life resisting institutionalized injustice.

I am reminded of Flannery O'Connor's great book, "Wise Blood," where her outrageous character Hazel Motes is so fed up with Christian hypocrisy that he forms his own church, the "Church of Christ without Christ," "where the lame don't walk, the blind don't see, and the dead don't rise." That's where we are headed today.

I used to think these all-American Christians never read the Gospel, that they simply chose not to be authentic disciples of the nonviolent Jesus. Now, alas, I think they have indeed chosen discipleship, but not to the hero of the Gospels, Jesus. Instead, through their actions, they have become disciples of the devout, religious, all-powerful, murderous Pharisees who killed him.


The rest of the Story

Originally posted to roseeriter on Mon Feb 28, 2005 at 02:56 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've said it before (none)
    and I'll say it again - there really ARE Christians in the US - they are called Quakers.

    http://www.quaker.org/

    As nearly as I can tell, all the other self labeled "Cristians" talk about Jesus but follow Paul or Jehovah.

  •  Whew. (none)
    We seem to be experiencing a resurrection of the religious left.  I'm proud to say that I am among them.

    Interestingly, the theological descendants of these Pharisees are the rabbinical traditions, which emphasize above all the need to worship humbly.  THEIR theological descendants are NOT Orthodox or Hasidic Jews, I think, but rather the Reform Jews who struggle to redefine their faith in a new and ever-changing time.

    As far as Christians are concerned, the problem is that too many of them don't have the time or energy to inform themselves on the big issues.  They have just enough time to eat a soundbite, which makes it about, again, framing.

    Try this: "If a man asks for your cloak, give him your coat as well; If he should strike you on the one cheek, turn the other one, that he may strike it also."  If you're truly Christian, you are NOT allowed to be in favor of violence, ever.  You'd rather die than commit violence, even in your own defense.  Your policy doesn't have to match your personal beliefs - but if so, you are NOT allowed to claim that they do match.

    So, for a sound bite: You call yourself Christian?  Where are your martyrs for peace?  Until your martyrs are NOT soldiers, not profiteers, but simple people who believe in peace, then will Jesus say, "I never knew ye."

    It's a little long for the modern soundbite - but I'm a verbose thinker.

    A world where the everyday is inspirational, and the inspirational is everyday.

    by mkrell on Mon Feb 28, 2005 at 03:27:44 AM PST

    •  Like what you said- a lot! (none)
      "You call yourself Christian?  Where are your martyrs for peace?  Until your martyrs are NOT soldiers, not profiteers, but simple people who believe in peace, then will Jesus say, "I never knew ye."

      We should email just that or put it in comments all over Right side blogs!

  •  It's Hypocrocy (none)
    plain and simple, idealistic worship of popularity.
      The fevor is blinding, and does not permit them to see, with sight, mind, heart, nor soul.

    "who is gonna make it..we'll find out in the long run" (eagles)

    by infidelpig on Mon Feb 28, 2005 at 03:59:34 AM PST

  •  I myself (none)
    am not a religious person, but, even when I've disagreed with them, I've always respected both the Pope and groups like the Quakers for being consistent and sticking to their beliefs.

    But, the Christian left in this country needs to address directly the virulent form of fascism that is taking over parts of the religious right in this country. The christian right is so powerful because it built both a media empire and a network of advocacy/think-tank institutions that push their line of belief -- maybe folks like the Quakers and others on the religious left need to start building the same sort of institutions in order to fight back against the religious right.

    Why not get somebody like, say, PastorDan here on DailyKos a radio show? Surely a message of fellowship and love would beat Dobsons's Fascists-on-the-Family hate radio hour of power.

     

  •  Head up from "This Week in Fascism" (none)
         I have a policy of letting diary authors know what I said about their diaries in my series on "This Week in Fascism."

         Come on over and let me know what you think about my comments. I also remind the Authors that I probably recommended their diaries and am consistantly the top recommended each week. Hint! Hint!

         without further ado here is what I said.

         Rose Eriter brought us an interesting source that supports my position in Discipleship Vs Democracy. From Rev. John Dear.
         Most North American Christians are now becoming more and more like these hypocritical Pharisees. We (Christians) side with the rulers, the bankers, and the corporate millionaires and billionaires.
         We have become a mean, vicious people, what the bible calls “stiff-necked people.” And we do it all with the mistaken belief that we have the blessing of God.
         The theocrats who wish more that anything else for God to Bless this country have become disciples of the Pharisees and not the Christ.

    "It's about the accountability, stupid." Thomas Davis 2005

    by Tomtech on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:26:36 PM PST

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