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Monday, August 17, 2009

Have They Hi- Jacked My Jesus?

Sweat rolled down the man’s red face as he shook his fists.”You’re gonna kill our senior citizens with your socialist Death Squads!”, he shouted. “We have our Christian values and we won’t stand for this.” A woman stood nearby carrying a large cross and waving it. She seemed transformed by hate as she shrieked out that her hard work and her righteous living have paid for her health care. Now all those undeserving bums will get the same health care benefits while using her tax money. The leader of this discussion group was intimidated and the town hall meeting was literally shut down by this group of “Christian Conservatives” carrying Jesus signs.

Who is this Jesus these Christian conservatives refer to? The Jesus I know and try to follow is humble and full of love and grace. The Jesus of the Bible always stood up for the poor and the aliens, and instructed us to do the same. He stated that His kingdom is not of this world.

When Jesus was asked to straighten out an argument about an inheritance He refused and asked,” Who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you? Be careful, beware of covetousness, for ones’ life doesn’t consist of the things he possesses.”Luke 12:14 .Would Jesus say the same to us when we try to use His Name in our arguments for keeping our tax money?

Many of the Christian Evangelical churches whose witness for the Lord burned so brightly in the past seem to have added a new ingredient to their Gospel today. They have co-mingled the glorious truth of Christ’s death and resurrection, His love and salvation with their right wing politics and economics. Dare we change and water down God’s Word with our capitalism or add our political ideologies as part of the Christian message? Are they using our Lord as a tool for corporate gain and greed?

Why do “Christian Conservatives” side with the wealthy against the lowly disenfranchised? Where does it say that Jesus is a capitalist in the Bible? All the other developed countries (England, France, Japan, etc.) have some form of socialized medicine. Some of these countries aren’t primarily “Christian” and yet through their government they seem to care about the least among themselves.. All the other developed countries have put a health care safety net in place to protect their poor and powerless. We are the only developed nation that has 47,000,000 citizens who are left without health insurance coverage. And we argue for this in the name of our Christian values! What kind of witness is this to the ones who don’t know Christ and to the ones who are sick and left without? I’m angry and frightened. I think someone has hi-jacked my Jesus!

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