When my father died, it was announced to members of the church where he served faithfully for years and which I grew up in. My parents left the church saddled with serious burnout, after being expected to drive the church van and pick up people all over Brooklyn, teach Sunday school classes, host prayer meetings at our home during the week, coordinate various ministry events, etc. (all of which they did, gladly). When they left, all of their best friends stopped bothering with them, calling them backsliders. They no longer got any phone calls, they were no longer invited to parties. It was as if they had died.
Anyway, some of these church members came to my father's funeral, and some of them remembered me from my brief stint there as a teen in the youth group. Long story short, they added me on Facebook.
Yesterday such a friend - who had always been very kind to me when I was at the church, but whom I hadn't been in touch with for about 7 years now - posted a note: "Why Christians Should NOT Vote for Obama." The note, which tagged others I recognized from the church, including a couple of Former Pastor's grown children, excerpted parts of Former Pastor's (who now fancies himself a "Bishop" though it is a nondenominational church that doesn't believe in those titles) article on the subject. Though it reminded me of 2000, the year I received handouts in church endorsing all of the Republicans on the ticket, I continued to read. Big mistake.
Essentially, "no child of God should support abortion or gay union," and Obama does both. Therefore, this guy urges conservatives to try to carry this election like they did with GW (because that worked out so well, for Christians or otherwise?). Comments from Facebook friends tagged in the note included, "Yes, bring on the antichrist! That should shake up the church." There was also a comment from a Christian friend who disagreed, stating that he would be voting for Obama because of his intelligence, his unifying message, etc. McCain is not exactly the model Christian (as Boyfriend mentioned, he did cheat on his second wife, no?). To which, my "friend" who wrote the note published nasty retorts, ending with, "You need to read your Bible."
Goodness me, where do I begin? Conservative friends and readers of my blog, look away, because this ain't going to be pretty.
- When is the religious right going to stop voting primarily on abortion and gay marriage? Do you realize our country is falling down around us? Do you realize what our national debt is, for example? Do you realize how many enemies we have made around the world because of our foolish arrogance? Do you have any concept of the challenges we are facing, aside from whether or not someone you don't even know will or will not give birth to a baby she cannot afford, or whether or not Bob can make Tony an honest man? Really? Not paying much attention lately, are you?
- Why is it that so many Christians - the people who are supposed to represent a loving, peaceful and forgiving religion? - are gung-ho about war and killing non-Christians? I feel like I'm in the middle of a Neo-Crusade. We view fanatical Muslims as less than human but fanatical Christians are A-OK. If there is a Jesus Christ, I hope he will hold them all accountable for the atrocities they supported and the people they elected into office. Save the unborn fetuses while murdering and raping children in Iraq, good tradeoff. But they're not white or Christian, so they're not like real people anyway.
- I am going to take advice from "Bishop" so-and-so? The man who refused to visit, call or pray for a former friend who was paralyzed for over 3 years? Who waited until the man dropped dead to show any kind of concern (and oh, how genuine - he didn't speak of my father at all, only about his personal Jesus, the one that is sending all of you to hell). This is the guy who is going to influence my voting preference? Really? Jesus said a few things about visiting the sick and that whatever good you do for other people, you do for him. That means that when you tell a broken, suffering man that you are too busy to pray for him, Jesus takes it personally. I can't wait until the "Bishop" gets to heaven and Jesus laughs in his face before showing him the door.
- Republicans, you don't own Christianity. Stop acting like one's personal faith and one's political party are one and the same. There are plenty of Christians out there who don't judge, who don't want to bomb people of other religions, and who don't want to see us all bankrupt while the fat cats add to their Mercedes collections. Try Anne Lamott, for starters.
- I've said it once and I will say it again, Jesus Christ was one hell of a liberal, and if I have any feeling left for him inside, it is for that - for his compassion for people that others discarded, for his feeding of the poor and disregard for racist/sexist bullshit. To steal a phrase, what would Jesus do? I highly doubt he'd have the blood on his hands that America does today.