John Fugelsang famously said: “Jesus was a radical nonviolent revolutionary who hung around with lepers, hookers and crooks; wasn’t American and never spoke English; was anti-wealth, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer (M 6:5); but was never anti-gay, never mentioned abortion, or birth control, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, never asked a leper for a copay; and was a long-haired brown-skinned homeless community-organizing anti-slut-shaming Middle Eastern Jew.”
Granted, it’s a little hyperbolic, but mostly on-point. I mean I keep reading things on the right like “God gave us gun rights” and I’m thinking, “Umm, no he didn’t. That would be the Founding Fathers.” Or they’ll say, “God hates Homosexuals.” and, again, I’ll be thinking, “No, he really doesn’t.” Everything about the weakest in our society, and elsewhere, they seem to blame on those people and claim God is punishing them for being lazy, stupid, illegal, LGBTQ, not White, or whatever they think God hates. And I keep thinking, “Have these people even read the New Testament, let alone the Old Testament?”
It feels like people are cherry-picking the Old Testament to judge as many people as they can, then putting Jesus’ name on that judgment claiming when Jesus said he wasn’t changing one law that he meant it’s okay to judge, and hate, and oppress, and even murder because the Old Testament says so. Bu, again, they’re taking the Old Testament itself out of context. And then they make excuses for why other parts of it are allegory or whatever excuse they want to say you can ignore the passages that you don’t like, like keeping Sabbath holy: apparently that’s no longer required, nor are most of the Ten Commandments except if you can use it to oppress others.
Doesn’t the New Testament say however you judge others God will judge you? And to love your neighbor as yourself? I’m pretty sure I read those in there, maybe not. Jesus was a Liberal all day long. Sorry, but it’s true. What I gathered from the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus the many, many times I read every single word, and took notes, and did research, was it is a sort of manual for life if you will. It’s not a super-complicated one at that, which is why Jesus had those two most important rules about loving God and your neighbor. The problem with conservatives I think is they think love is conditional and transactional, and it isn’t. So, for example, they see poor people, maybe sick, maybe starving, and they find that one passage in the Bible about people that wont work and use that to browbeat everyone in those positions completely ignoring the hundreds of times in the Old and New Testaments where it basically says you are BLESSED if you help those around you that need help. I mean how hard is it to leave the world a better place like a Boy Scout does for a camp site?
The recent shooting in Texas has conservatives all over the internet saying the most vile things about the people, and coming right out and saying they deserved it because God blessed America and they allegedly came here illegally, and that was punishment from God. And I’m sorry, but if that’s how the Christian god works I want no part of that religion. Like every time there’s a tornado or some other disaster they say stuff like “Abortion”, “LGBTQ rights” god is angry. I mean did they read about Noah at all and the rainbow and what it means? One of the things that always bugged me about church was everyone shows up for communion, very few people put anything on the offering plate, fewer still volunteer, and right after go right back to focusing on things like how much money they can have because apparently it’s easier for a RICH MAN to get into Heaven than a poor man to pass through they eye of a needle, and yes, I know I changed that.
Humanity seems really in trouble right now, more broadly in the world, but specifically here in the U.S. If Jesus ever did come back, if he came back as a mortal like once before, I am 100% convinced he’d get locked up in Gitmo, or deported if he showed up here. And I’m not bein hyperbolic about that.