Woe to you, Right Wing Christians, you hypocrites!
September 14, 2008 12 Comments
One of the things that bothered me most about the lines of attack taken during the Republican National Convention was the belittling of not only Barack Obama’s time spent as a community organizer, but the role of community organizers in general.
“Community organizer” is the general term given to people who work to make a difference in their communities, neighborhoods and schools. Organizers rally people to work together and help themselves. It is a noble and often thankless endeavor, done not for profit or personal benefit, but to help others help themselves.
In the colonial days, it was those people who gathered around the Liberty Tree their community of like-minded patriots and rebelled against the idea of birthright nobility and absolute leadership and organized them into a force powerful enough to beat the then-untouchable British Army.
The Republican attack on community organizers is yet another example of the right wing’s penchant for spitting on those who believe in the power of the people united instead of the oligarchy of the military industrial complex.
But today on Meet the Press I saw another interesting counter-attack on the community organizer meme, one that comes right from a place that might register with the right wing.
As I went looking for the image, I came across site after site of right wing fundie apologists making the case that no, no, no, Jesus was not a community organizer. They say it demeans his role as messiah to call him that. He came as Savior, not an organizer.
Like he can’t be both. He is supposed to be God, you know.
Nevermind that he organized his disciples, who organized churches that organized an entire religious community.
Some, like this guy, for example, go even further, using another oft-quoted and little understood section of the Bible to make their point.
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. Matthew 10:34.
But in that quote, Jesus absolutely was organizing his community. That quote, told as part of a speech to rally the apostles to go out and recruit, was meant as a warning that they would probably turn families against each other as people some people rallied to Jesus’s message of peace and forgiveness while others would not believe and continue in their faith.
People also always use that passage to imply that Jesus approved of violence and war when (judging by the rest of the book, anyway) nothing could be further from the truth. He was simply warning that people were not going to like what he was saying and the disciples should be prepared.
The author then goes on to further slag Barack Obama by repeating the already de-bunked attack lines about sex education and abortion, linking it to the idea that Obama is some kind of messianic figure.
I think it is fair to say, that Barack Obama is no Jesus..no, not even close.
Despite, of course, Obama never making any such comparison himself, always saying the only reason he is there is because of a movement.
“It’s not about me, it’s about you,” he said in his acceptance speech.
Besides, considering God also said “thou shalt not kill” and Christ said “love thy enemy” and “turn the other cheek,” I think it is fair to say, by the author’s logic, that warmongers John McCain and Sarah Palin are no Christians. Not even close.
Not to mention one of the commandments opposing “bearing false witness” which he is doing in his characterization that Obama supports teaching sex ed to kindergartners.
This represents the inherent problem with Fundamentalism, be it Islamic, Christian or otherwise: the cherry picking of religious passages and demanding that they be followed as literal, while completely and totally ignoring the other parts, like the overall message.
Meanwhile, McCain, Palin and their supporters do the same thing.
Page a bit further in the Book of Matthew, for example and you will come to the Seven Woes. That’s the funny thing about the Bible: Unless you read the whole thing you might miss some important bits:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness…
Kind of like opposing earmarks while requesting more per capita than any other mayor or governor.
Or basing your entire campaign on experience and then choosing as a vice-president candidate without any.
Or calling yourself a maverick and then allowing the party to shoot down the people you think should have the second spot.
Or the myriad other lies, half truths and hypocrisies that McCain camp is calling a campaign.
I don’t portend to speak for God, nor do I even claim to be a Christian, I just think that if you do claim to be a believer, perhaps you should follow the rules laid out by your Supreme Being. If you can’t even follow your own religious teachings, how do you expect someone to take you seriously when you try to hold them accountable to said belief system?
And by the way, in the traditional sense, Jesus was a liberal. He challenged the status quo with new ideas…