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Christianity: You’re Doing It Wrong

Photo by jlwo

Photo by jlwo

Raw Story has an interesting article about Faith in Public Life’s campaign to spread awareness of Glenn Beck’s “warped gospel” and his outrageous claim that talk of social or economic justice is tantamount to Marxism or Nazism (because if there was one thing Stalin and Hitler were known for, it was their intense commitment to social justice), and it reminded me once again of the obscenity of conservatives claiming the mantle of Christianity while opposing everything Jesus stood for.

Yes, I’ll admit I’m not the most religious guy in the world, but I know that the word “Christian” has something to do with that Jesus guy (not to be confused with this Jesus guy), and I’m pretty sure that his gospel doesn’t bear a whole lot of resemblance to the right’s.

Jesus preached peace, yet the GOP is the party of torture and war and guns everywhere for everyone.

Jesus preached love, yet the GOP is the party of virulent spittle-flecked hate.  Hate for minorities, hate for immigrants, hate for Muslims, hate for women, hate for gays, hate for liberals.  It pours out of right-wing blogs and talk radio, teabaggers and health care townhall thugs.  It is the very backbone of the Southern Strategy.

Jesus preached compassion and charity, yet the GOP is the party of greed, callousness, and cruelty.  The party that says we mustn’t help the sick or the poor or the unemployed because they’ll become too dependent, or it would be a socialist government takeover.  The party that says we can’t afford more stimulus or unemployment extensions and have to cut Social Security and Medicare, but won’t hear of raising taxes on the rich.  The party that thinks corporations are people and gays aren’t.

To quote Mike Lux’s great post on this subject from a few weeks ago:

[I]f you actually read the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus’ main concern in terms of the people whose fates he cared about was for the poor, the oppressed, and the outcast. Comment after comment and story after story in the Gospels about Jesus relates to the treatment of the poor, generosity to those in need, mercy to the outcast, and scorn for the wealthy and powerful…. There is no virtue of selfishness here, there is no “greed is good,” there is no invisible hand of the market or looking out for Number One first. There is nothing about poor people being lazy, nothing about the undeserving poor being leeches on society, nothing about how I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps so everyone else should, too. There is nothing about how in nature, “the lions eat the weak,” and therefore we shouldn’t help the poor because it weakens them. There is nothing about charity or welfare corrupting a person’s spirit.

What there is: quote after quote about compassion for the poor…. In Luke 6, Jesus says the poor and hungry will be blessed, and the rich will be cursed. He urges his followers to sell all their possessions and give them to the poor. The one time he really focuses on God’s judgment and who goes to heaven is in Matthew 25, where he says those who go to heaven will be those who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited those in prison, gave shelter to the hungry, and welcomed the stranger — and those who don’t make it were the ones who refused to help the poor and oppressed.

The Republicans may be right when they crow that America is a Christian nation, but they really should hope they’re wrong.

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