I received an anonymous forwarded email the other day that combined a bit of good spiritual advice with a lot of classic Republico-Christian fear-mongering. Actually, it wasn’t totally anonymous. It was signed (several senders back) by “Carolyn”.
This is the scariest election WE as Christians have ever faced.
I know what SHE thinks are the reasons. Americans seem to be ready to vote for a black Muslim Democrat. How could things be more frightening? (Obama is not a Muslim, but the other two charges are true.)
What she SHOULD mean is that many Americans are still supporting government by cliche, diplomacy by temper tantrum, continuing dishonesty about abortion and “moral values,” and the continued destruction of the economy and especially of the working classes of this country.
From the looks of the polls, the Christians aren’t voting Christian values.
Again, SHE thinks that means many Christians are thinking of voting for a pro-choice candidate who wants to kill lots of babies, to raise taxes so the wealthy are penalized for their good honest Christian hard work and risk on behalf of their ungrateful workers, and to turn the government of this country over to Bin Laden.
What she SHOULD mean is that many Christians are determined to vote for
• unjust war under false pretenses,
• dismantling of the Constitution,
• extremely activist right-wing judges,
• abuse of veterans,
• slaughter of innocent civilians in foreign countries,
• bankrupting of the US for the sake of that unjust, dishonestly promoted war,
• despising and bankrupting “the least of these” for the sake of those who worship both God and Mammon, but especially Mammon,
• continued high abortion and infant mortality rates (with lots of posturing against the former),
• declining educational achievement
– oh this list could go on and on. Doesn’t that make you sad?
But she is clearly frightened, and eager to scare all the rest of us. Let us now exalt FEAR! What a potent god – able to make us get involved in all kinds of self- and other-destructive behaviors.
Jesus said, “Fear not” – but then that was a long time ago.
… scripture gives us, as Christians, ownership of this land …
She should have said instead that God will hold us responsible for what goes on in our name and with our support. He will hold “us, as Christians” accountable for the evils (see the above list) our current administration is propagating in this land and in the world WITH strong support from the most vocal Christians. And that is not a pretty responsibility to hold.
WE are the ones who need to do some repenting if we are to have any legitimate hope of influencing American history in a positive way in the early 21st Century.
Let Us Pray
She did, however promote one unobjectionable idea.
If you would like to participate: each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, 8:00 PM Central , 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific, stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying
for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens,
for peace in the world,
for wisdom and courage for our leaders,
the up-coming election,
and that the Bible will remain the basis for the laws governing our land
and that Christianity will grow in the U.S.
Well, I should have said, “one mostly unobjectionable idea.”
I’m all for spending at least one minute a day praying for our country and its role in the world. We are indeed in perilous times. And prayer is a wonderful gift to us from God.
But it seems to me this leaves out much of what the Bible encourages prayer for. Especially in the Gospels and the letters of Paul prayer often focuses on the spiritual and moral development of the people praying and being prayed for.
What the Founding Fathers Were Concerned About
It is also important to remind ourselves of this: the Bible never was “the basis for the laws governing our land.” The Bible did exercise some influence on the Founders. But so did Cicero and other ancient Romans, the ancient Greeks, John Locke and other English and European thinkers, etc. The Founders were very attentive to such sources.
They were also, of course, quite familiar with the Bible. And one key Biblical teaching they very much honored was the idea that the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. No one heart can be trusted with absolute power. Not even – shocking fact! – if that heart resides in a high-level Republican politician! Not even if it resides in a Christian leader prominent as a fully devoted servant of the Republican party (or of the Democratic party, for that matter). The heart is still deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.
We REALLY need to have the checks and balances of the Constitution fully functioning to protect us from the evil in every human heart.
That is a Biblical teaching our current Republican Biblicists don’t much want to emphasize, and that our current Administration hopes can be completely forgotten. To them it’s “them” – Muslims, Democrats and Liberals who are evil. It is certainly not “us” – our own hearts.
But they are wrong about that. They – we all – have dangerous tendencies of heart.
So, as the lady says, it IS a good idea to pray.
Pray for “peace in the world,” and while we pray, let’s remember that Bush spreads war and McCain thinks another 100 years in Iraq is no big deal.
Pray for “wisdom and courage for our leaders” to know how to stand against the strong tides of evil and self-serving corruption sloshing back and forth through American politics. media, and religion these days.
So at least she was somewhat right.
Im glad to see many Christians waking up to the fact that they have been bamboozeled by the Republican party for too long!
This makes me think of the verse in the Bible.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Which makes me think of the Republican party. Sorry if that was a bit severe, but I call it as I see it.
This was my response to the same email:
“ This is the scariest election we as Christians have ever faced and
from the looks of the polls, the Christians aren’t voting Christian
I’m not sure what this means.
The Bible says that we are not given a spirit of fear (read “scariest election”)
God is in control.
Stop and think… do we, as Christians really think that God was in control during the Bush administration but out-of-control during Clinton’s? In control during Jimmy Carter years but out-of-control during Reagan years?)
I like the prayer idea. Alot.
We all need it.
We need to unite behind the principles of the real “community organizer”: Jesus Christ!
If we take the 10 Commandments one by one and apply them to each candidate and be honest, I think this will give us all pause.
1. You shall have no other Gods but me. (How about “I am the best – besides me there is no other” ….on the campaign trail?)
2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy. (Any campaigning on Sunday?)
5. Respect your father and mother.
6. You must not kill. (Vietnam? Iraq? Afghanistan? unborn children?)
7. You must not commit adultery. (Cheating on your first wife?)
8. You must not steal. (Over – taxing the poor?)
9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbour. (No lying? What about half-truths? On the campaign trail?)
10. You must not be envious of your neighbour’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.
I am voting my Christian values.
That doesn’t mean that if you vote differently, that you aren’t a Christian or that you didn’t vote “Christian values”.
This is exactly what Satan wants – Christians tearing each other down rather than building each other up. Barack Obama says he is a Christian. John McCain says he is a Christian. What’s amazing is that the minute one of them says that – there are a whole lot of other “Christians” questioning and discounting their statements – as if God has given us the license to judge their hearts. Don’t buy the lie.
We’re pretty lucky to have two Christians running for the highest office in our country. They have different opinions ~ and God loves them both.
I am urging all Christians to talk openly about the issues with civility and respect ~ to avoid fear and to pray for clear direction from God on all the issues we have to face as a united nation…like loving our neighbor as ourselves. Wow, if we just did that one thing ~ we’d all be miles ahead!
Look at all the civil wars in history that have divided neighbor against neighbor. We need to stop our fear obsession and be thoughtful about all the issues. If we really start talking with one another and stop the fear obsession ~ we’ll probably find out we have more in common than not.
I think prayer is a good start!
Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. “
How inspiring and thoughtful. I always enjoy reading your posts.
Another great post, Larry.
As a recipient of a certain list-serve type email among classmates of my former high school, I read stuff like this all the time. Or rather, I’ve gotten bulging muscles on the finger used for the scroll-down key. One can only fight so many battles.
Nice to see how you have articulated the lies in this. How welcome. I may just paste your essay in response to the next whopping batch of lies I get by email.
I have one “forbidden” question: why should we pray for the safety of robbers and murderers?
Because that is who is governing our former nation.
These are about 300 families who are the core backers of the current administration, also the recipients of the deregulation of Wall Street and the many economic crimes they now wreak upon the planet. They mostly fill the ranks (and relatively small cabal) of the families/corporations who have produced and sold most of the weapons on earth, and trained most of the armies.
The last time a count was given (pre-2000) the US was arming 92% of the wars on the planet (and very often arming both sides). The country was supplying at least 45% of the weapons on the planet, the total of more than the next dozen nations who supplied arms combined. The US trains a minimum of 72 armies a year, 113 at last count I could find.
Who profits? Track down the ownership of the weapons producers – a “small town” indeed – (think: Blackstone, Cerberus hedge fund, many others) and they turn out to be the very people who are manning the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department.
This used to be called “conflict of interest.” The Pentagon actually serves as a marketer of armaments (few people are aware of this). They don’t simply broker deals, they serve as the world’s Walmart of weapons. They SOLICIT purchases.
Now, I should pray for their safety?
When thousands of people are being innocently slain every day to keep gasoline in US autos and hamburgers on the tables? Really?
I’m supposed to pray for a safe getaway from the archcriminals who are sacking the Treasury, literally socializing the losses of Wall Street among the public while privatizing the profits among the heirs of Wall Street/the White House and the world’s largest weapons industry?
I’m all for praying for leaders as individuals, but as a “national business” I can not condone the propagation of these methods. I am much more inclined to pray for an end to the exploitation and murder of innocent foreigners everywhere.
Which in the end is why we moved out of the country.
Stop the madness, is what I appeal for to God, even if we ourselves have to take the hit in the pocketbook.