Put Some Christian Back In Christianity

What would Jesus do?

By , Contributor

From Breivik's manifesto

How is it possible that this virus called the human race has existed this long with each of us going through our lives convinced that our god is the right god, our country is the best country, our ideals the best and the only ones that matter? At no point do most of us stop for even one second to consider another person's position.

The events that took place in Norway over the weekend and the escalating levels of extremist right-wing violence just go to show exactly how inflexible we really are. But its not just individuals that exhibit this trait. Nations and religions are so inflexible that they would rather break than bend with understanding. A recent example of this is former President Dubya’s insistence that Iraq and the rest of the Middle East must choose and accept western style democracy as the sole form of government, even if this "choice" came at the end of a bayonet (or cruise missile, as the case may be). And in centuries past the cost of the worldwide expansion of Christianity was the extinction of whole indigenous peoples along with their cultures.

"Love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek" are powerful Judeo-Christian concepts, ones all of us should respect and live by. To love thy neighbor really means that you accept without reservations or caveats another individual's choices in whatever higher being they believe in, how they choose to dress, and whom they choose to share their life with. France’s laws banning the wearing of even headscarves by Muslim women in public is the antithesis of this ideal. To love thy neighbor does not mean just love thy Christian neighbor; it means everyone, no matter what religious beliefs they hold dear. Respect and understanding seem to be vaporous concepts when it comes time to confront someone or something not like us.

Look at the Westboro Baptist Church with their picketing and demonstrating at the funerals of America's fallen service personnel and at former First Lady Betty Ford's memorial service. Somehow the image of Christians carrying placards that say “God Hates Fags” doesn’t seem very Christian. Where is the love and compassion? All I see is hate and condemnation. The vitriolic rantings of Pastor Phelps and his congregation only shine a spotlight on the dark side of humanity.

Fear, ignorance (which many times appears to be by choice), and hatred seem to be the driving factors for society at this juncture. In post-9/11 America the focus of our angst became the entire Islamic world. Paranoia and distrust became the norm for our views of anyone who followed the teachings of Islam. Overnight Islam became the epitome of everything evil that went bump in the night.

Now in Europe this same sentiment has manifested itself in the new poster boy for anti-Muslim extremism, AndrĂ© Breivik, a self-proclaimed Knight Templar, a “righteous crusader on a mission to save European Christendom from the tide of Islam." It seems this “crusader” was opposed to the immigration of Muslims into Europe, globalization, and multiculturalism. So to make his anti-Muslim stance known to the world he chose to attack non-Muslims by bombing a government building and then shooting children at summer camp. The only point I can make of this is that he and his fellow misanthropes are proof that some people should not be allowed to roam free out of the asylum.

It may seem as though I am Christian-bashing and hate Christians. On the contrary, I think that the tenets of the Ten Commandments are the best way to live one's life and can be applied universally to all of humanity. The teachings of Christ as I read them are full of love and compassion.

I just don’t think some Christians are being very Christian.

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Irascible lover of history, politics, reading, music, and film, Dallyon has held just about every job you could imagine and has opinions about everything under the sun.

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