February 17, 2005

If America is a Christian Nation, Can We Ask What Christ Does it Follow?

A Catholic priest reminds Americans who Jesus was. (via Susan) And he charges that those who love war, not peace are guilty of blasphemy.

Last September, I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. “Now let me get this straight,” I said. “Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ which means he does not say, ‘Blessed are the warmakers,’ which means, the warmakers are not blessed, which means warmakers are cursed, which means, if you want to follow the nonviolent Jesus you have to work for peace, which means, we all have to resist this horrific, evil war on the people of Iraq.”

With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

...In the old days, the early Christians had big words for such behavior, such lies. They were called “blasphemous, idolatrous, heretical, hypocritical and sinful.” Such words and actions were denounced as the betrayal, denial and execution of Jesus all over again in the world’s poor. But the empire needs the church to bless and support its wars, or at least to remain passive and silent. As we Christians go along with the Bush administration and the American empire, we betray Jesus, renounce his teachings, and create a “Church of Christ without Christ,“ as Flannery O’Connor foresaw.

I'm not surprised that he had people storm out of his speech. After all, if they believe in the rapture and have read the Left Behind series, they've been told that the "peacemaker" is the anti-Christ. So who do you think really represents Christ? The ones who believe that peacemakers are evil or the Jesuit who reminds them that the Bible said, "Blessed are the peacemakers"?

Posted by Mary at February 17, 2005 11:41 PM | Religion | Technorati links |

When Christ said Blessed are the peacemakers....I'm sure the unsaid language also included the survival mechanics when a person is being abused. Persecution and turning the other cheek may have been the way it was earlier in Roman times but in todays world it doesn't work. ... if we don't want to be lambs being led to the slaughter, you have to protect ourselves. The world trade center told us that. Agression in other countries must be stopped before it is a way of life here. Maybe its time to goback to the forefathers "ideals". you don't have to be a christian tro be American.. But this country was founded by a majority of Christians..who made it grat. Today there is too much liberalism and not enough of Christian virtue.

Posted by: rosemary b at February 20, 2005 03:03 PM

Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Ghandi he asked him, "Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?"

Ghandi replied, "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Posted by: carla at February 20, 2005 08:02 PM