There seems to be a very strange melding of Christianity and the promotion of violence that I don't understand. It completely misrepresents Christ, the Bible and the God I know. Not that I KNOW God any more than anyone else, but I do pray and I do believe in his existence and I do believe that he is involved in human history and in our individual lives. My conflict is this ... how can one profess to call oneself a Christian and approve the use of violence as though God would approve it and then use the Bible to endorse it? I find it quite arrogant, not to mention hypocritical.
Case in point:
I have received this little gem on my Facebook wall more than once.
and another ...
First of all, President Obama is THE PRESIDENT. As for you and your AK-47 loaded and ready .... please. And where do you get the idea that no one is going to protect you?
These types of depictions really bother me.
1. WHY should every American know how to use a gun? Are you afraid that the Taliban are going to storm your condo and make you convert to Allah?
2. How is one supposed to USE the Bible? I would suggest you read the Gospels where NOWHERE does Christ endorse the use of violence nor the twisting of scripture to ones own agenda. In fact, he calls out the Pharisees for the very same thing.
3. Why should this be taught in schools? I would think that along with reading, writing and arithmetic, teaching kindness, consciousness and doing unto others would be more amenable to producing decent human beings. Not holding a Bible in one hand and a pistol in the other.
Forgive my sarcasm .... but I posted this on my Facebook page:
And immediately had comments. One individual asked me if I was for real. Another said that my post was silly, another gave me two thumbs down, and another went off and informed me that the Democrats would have crucified him too, as would the Republicans, the Libertarians, etc., et al. And to be perfectly honest, I posted it to get people angry. But then when I read the comments I felt bad because I did not feel good about inflaming others. I merely wanted to point out the hypocrisy that exists amongst some Christian people (please note the "some" in the previous sentence). But all I did was the same thing as others who do not like or agree with what I believe. I don't like getting posts like the ones I posted above. Or pictures asking me to repost if I love Jesus. As if Christ is a fad or a club one wants to belong to. It demeans who Christ is. It makes a mockery of Jesus and his life. Honk if you love Jesus.
Christ's message was one of transformation. Living as Christ did .... and not living from a dualistic point of view or according to strict and rigid dogmatic rules. Whatever your religious background, to condemn anyone else's religious beliefs is inherently wrong. And to tell others their belief system is in error, also wrong. And to believe that religion and guns go hand-in-hand, again wrong. We cannot live with an "us" and "them" attitude because it invalidates what Jesus said and did. Christ did not come here to promote any "religion" ... he came to show us how to LIVE. To be forgiving, kind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. There can be no transformation of self if you are too caught up in dogma and literalism. To put more value in the words on the page than actually LIVING the words on the page does not promote personal transformation.
To place a gun next to the bible as shown above is to me sacrilegious. To suggest that this ideology should be taught in school is even worse. And I seriously doubt that Christ would agree with this ideology as well. It's either one or the other people. You cannot profess to be a Christian and also be pro-violence. Especially in the name of God.
I did not read the "Left Behind" series because right off the bat there was a war mentality where those left behind were arming themselves against coming Armageddon. The idea that killing in the name of God is justified and something God would endorse is something I do not agree with. All you have to do is look at history since the beginning of time. Violence has NEVER solved anything nor converted anyone.
People miss the message. KINDNESS. LOVE. DO UNTO OTHERS. That's it.
This ideology has also become, for some people, deeply ingrained in American nationalism. Love of country, love of God. But it has become quite twisted. How can the Christian love America but hate the homosexual? Or the illegal alien? Instead of looking at the homosexual as an abomination, one should perhaps try to look at the homosexual as the Samaritan. Another human being, not from your particular tribe, but a human being nonetheless. Jesus loved the outcast, the throw-aways, those who were different. Why would he associate with these lowly people? Why would he love them, forgive them, empower them? AS AN EXAMPLE TO US. To show US how to treat others. Could this be what He meant when he told us to love our enemies? Those that think differently than you do? Those who live differently than you do? Those you judge? Those you hate? Jesus said that the way we judge others is how we will be judged. That right there is enough to scare the crap outta me.
I find it very disturbing that many who profess to be Christian are eager to go to war, eager to send the alien back where he came from, blame the uneducated by judging them as unmotivated and condemning the poor as lazy. Jesus would do the exact opposite. He would love and welcome all. Without condemnation.
I am by no means perfect. But to hate/judge/condemn anyone different than myself is a sin. Jesus did not condemn, therefore no one should condemn. The attitude of being a patriot and a Christian, bible in one hand, AK-47 in the other, disturbs me greatly. It is NOT how we should live. It is NOT the attitude we should have.
The peacemakers who came to this earth from Gandhi to Martin Luther King were all assassinated. Why is that? Because they made society look at themselves? Transforming oneself takes courage. To examine ourselves honestly takes courage. And to actually change oneself is courageous and honorable.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Remember Who died for you. Remember what He said. Imitate what He did. IF you truly do that then perhaps humanity can make progress ... one person at a time.