Daily Archives: October 9, 2005

Rescuing Jesus

Alessandro Camon wrote an excellent essay on Salon.com this week about how the republican party and the religiious right in the United States have hijacked Jesus Christ. Even if you are not a Christian it is truly appalling how shrub and his cronies have abuse and twisted the words in the bible to their own ends.

The American Christian right has hijacked Jesus Christ. It has made him into a brand, a logo, a bumper sticker. It celebrates his suffering on the cross, but largely neglects what he had to say. It prefers an Old Testament God, a “Jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children.” It elevates success to proof of God’s favor, and washes its hands of responsibility for the poor. It combines a self-righteous vision of Americans as the chosen people with shrill intimations of imminent apocalypse, to justify indifference to the rest of the world and to the planet itself. It sticks to the letter of the Bible with arbitrary selectiveness, so that it can endorse creationism and condemn homosexuality while acknowledging that (contrary to Old Testament wisdom) the earth is in fact round, and slavery is not OK. (If you are not a salon premium subscriber you will need to watch a few ads first before reading the article, but it is worth it.)

For the record I am not a christian although I was raised catholic. I used to consider myself an agnostic. I hate absolutism and don’t like the idea of denying anything that I cannot disprove. However particularly since the rise to power of shrub I have come to see myself as an athiest. I believe that even if there were a god, if she/he/it didn’t do some thing about about these people purporting to be acting in god’s name, this amorphous being wouldn’t be something worth worshipping anyway. I believe people are responsible for for their own behavior. If they want a better world they have to work for it and not rely on a god or false prophets to deliver it for them. I believe you only have the life that you are living now, and once that is over your time is up. Make the best of the life you have, and don’t count on some eternal paradise.

If there is a heaven, and you live the kind of life preached by jesus in the bible, you will get their. If there isn’t, living that kind of life will make the world a better place anyway. God and jesus aren’t necessary for people to live a good life and take care of each other. But living a good life and taking care of each other and our planet is necessary if our species is to survive beyond the near future. This planet has been around a lot longer than humans. Many species have risen and died off over the last 4.5 billion years. Many more will come and go in the future. But if our little group wants to be around a little longer we need to stop the people that are twisting and abusing the words in a book written by many men over many years over 2000 years ago. They are abusing these words for their own perverse ends and we must take responsibility for stopping them and making this world a better place for future generations.