Nov 5, 2004

Barb C, who comments regularly on this site, has written a paper on the misleading of inattentive Christians by the Bush administration. One major theme is lack of truth, another is the inability to distinguish between reality and appearance, another is the loss of community. Here are some excerpts. Be sure to read her last paragraph. First she quotes Bonhoeffer (from Germany in the 1930’s).

The disciples of Jesus must not fondly imagine that they can simply run away from the world and huddle together in a little band. False prophets will rise up among them, and amid the ensuing confusion they will feel more isolated than ever …. His ambitions are set on the world, not on Jesus Christ. Knowing that Christians are credulous people, he conceals his dark purpose beneath the cloak of Christian piety, hoping that innocuous disguise will avert detection ….

Then she applies Bonhoeffer’s warnings to our situation today.

75% of Bush supporters polled still believed erroneous information that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. The only thing that the Bush and Kerry supporters polled agreed on is that it was the Bush administration that was creating these impressions. We have not yet distinguished between reality and appearance. ….

Most people do not remember that the same secretary who acknowledged that CBS News’ documents on the Bush (A.W.O.L.) story were false has also said that the content of the story was accurate ….

I can find no biblical passages that support the lies and deception, the slander of the reputation of others, the arrogance or the secrecy of the Bush Administration and its followers both religious and secular ….

Caesar is not entitled to obedience when such obedience would nullify God’s prior claim to the believer’s moral decision ….

There is more to being pro-life than being against abortion. How can we be reasonably expected to believe that anyone who is in favor of the death penalty, war, or assault rifles is really pro-life?

In order to know the difference between appearance and reality, or between Christians and Pseudo-Christians, we have to first remember that only God is in control and that we cannot gain power or control through our faith. We can only hope to use our faith to serve Him, in love and humility. We would do well to remember who it was that tempted Jesus with political power ….

The disenfranchised in our society are not following the Christian right, and in great numbers are voting democratic. If either the Republican party or the Christian right followed the rule of law in Romans 13:10, they would not be comprised of the primarily white group that was described in this year’s election statistics. We should question who their claim of social justice is for when those who Jesus asked us to care for are so neglected by both the Christian right and the Republican party.

We do have a failure of Christian community. We see it in small ways in the comments of those who have left the church due to the hypocrisy they encountered. We see it in social ills such as abortion and so many other problems that we encounter in our society such as drugs, divorce, or pornography. We see it in large ways when the Christian right appears to be left so empty by their faith that they seek the political influence that Jesus warns us about. There are many communities available to us, but we are short on truly Christian communities, and we need to find both the strength and humility to go back to where we started and create the community that Jesus asked us to create.