November, 2001

Ministers are a dime a dozen, and most of them are worth just about the same. Somehow, when someone puts Rev. or Pastor or Father in front of their name, they are automatically suppose to be endowed with wisdom, particularly when it comes to theology and biblical interpretation. Most are not. Most spread their own brand of biblical bull, topped off with a strong desire to please any well-meaning parishioner who is looking for a quick dose of spirituality. Today, many of these fundamental right-wing Christian soldiers blend a combination quasi-religion with right-wing ideology, to form a brand of religion that more resembles nationalism than it does Christianity. So here's to you, Rev. Righteous. Happy Flub-A-Dub.

It's not that I'm not tolerant. You couldn't find a more tolerant person than myself. I have no problems with any other religion. I don't care if guys want to marry guys or women want to participate in combat, or a Robert turns into a Roberta. Who cares! But it admittedly does get under my skin when I hear these self-proclaimed, righteous, do-gooders, in the name of Christ, proclaim the kingdom to be exclusively white, Christian, and American dominated. I don't buy the whole thing, and believe they have confused theology for ideology.

Times of war are always strategic moments for these proclaimers of right-wing gospel to advance their cause. Americans, being the easy marks we are, are always eager to jump onto anyone's bandwagon, especially if it is lined with Christ's shroud. Many are eager to hear our religious leaders cry out in anger and revenge at infidels such as bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. To chastise them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the American Flag. While we all have the desire for justice, we do not, not even all Christians, have the desire to kill or support military action.

I believe, as a follower of Christ, that we are called to put away our swords and offer instead love and reconciliation to our enemies. Violence opposes and obscures the Christian vision. It is our job to seek peaceful means in settling personal, national, and international problems. We are not dispensers of the ultimate right and infinite justice. If we believe so, we have forgotten that the others are also children of God. The differences between God and Country become confused, allowing ''God Bless America'' to become ''God for America.''

As the current conflict continues to unfold, we can only hope that the egos of men will not become so large and hardened as to block out the loving kindness expressed by Christ, Mohammed, and Buddha, to name but a few of the earthlings who have been touched by the Divine. In the complex world we have created, there are many different beliefs, convictions, feelings, leading individuals to many different positions on countless issues. War and the use of patriotism in the name of Christianity is wrong and sinful. It is not just the devastation that they leave in their wake, so much as it is the damage it does to our souls.

Ministers have a hard job. They try to keep their flock happy, lest they be sent out to pasture. Frankly, I would send most of them out. Most of these guys would follow man, particularly W. George, much more readily than they would the Divine. I don't have any use for any of it. Divisiveness is not the message of the Bible. To ministers who would promote war, divisiveness, hatred, and cold-heartedness, this Flub's for you.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online November 28, 2001

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