Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Open Letter From Jesus to "Christian" America

Woe to you American Christians! You say I'm the "son of God" and yet you bully the defenseless in my name.

Do you understand the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Let me refresh your memory:

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus then replied with a story:

“A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”



In case you missed the point of that parable as I'm quoted as telling it in the book of Luke it was that the theologically correct evangelical born-again "saved" passed by on the other side of the road when confronted with a human being in need. It was the "unsaved" theologically incorrect foreigner, today's equivalent of your atheists or Muslims or gay men and women, the unloved and the outcast, who stopped and did my Father's will and took care of the injured man.

Put it another way: Did you miss the point when I said that those who come to me saying "Lord, Lord we followed you and believed correctly" are the very ones that I will cast out of the Kingdom of Heaven, since they did not care for the least of these, the downtrodden, the poor and the oppressed?

Did you get it when I said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the humble, and the outcasts; those who mourn and to the poor in spirit? Gay couples are who are being denied their civil rights are such as these. What are you doing to defend them?

Who do you think will inherit the earth: the wealthy leaders of your giant churches or the downtrodden gays scorned and mocked by society? Who's side do you think God is on: the bullied and outcast or the powerful religious leaders with their false smiles?

Who will qualify for calling themselves my sons and daughters: The meek who mourn or the proud who say: "Lord, I thank you that I'm not like these gay men and women and these illegal immigrants, and these lazy poor people who deserve no health care and these Muslims?"

You hypocrites! Don't you get it?

You say you take everything in the Bible seriously and yet you ignore all the many verses about divorce and somehow paper that over because a majority of America buys into divorce now and you don't want to lose your congregations. And half your pastors and religious leaders are divorced and remarried. But you stick it to gay men and women because they are a minority and easy to pick on! Why wax moralistic about one thing you call sin (though I have no problem with divorce per se) and yet stick it to a minority?

So you quote a few dumb passages about gay love while ignoring all the many more moral teachings you find inconvenient, say about greed and not caring for the poor or fighting unjust wars.

Look, I'm not against picking and choosing Bible verses! It's called thinking! I never stuck to everything the Bible myself either.

For instance I broke the biblical law when I said that the people who brought me the adulterous woman should not stone her to death. In other words I said: "forget what the Bible says, only kill her if you're perfect." Well, no one was so they quit picking on her and left her alone. Since then I've given my followers that as a reason to ignore the dumb harsh parts of the Bible. That is my message: pick the good, leave out the bad. The Bible is just a book, and words are just metaphors so get a life and worship the God of love not some imperfect book!

Did you get it when I said that if you lust in your heart it's the same as committing adultery? You twisted my words to make it seem as if I'm a moralistic "Church Lady" like you idiots, but I intended the exact opposite!

What I meant was that since everyone lusts; therefore the difference between how we think and feel and temptation and what we do is meaningless in terms of how God sees us. The whole point was that we're not to judge other people because we ourselves think the same thoughts. So no one is better than anyone else.

You judgmental holy rollers are like banks always making a mistake in their own favor! Why do religious so-called conservative Americans always pick on the little guy, the disenfranchised, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, pregnant women, gay people? I'll tell you why!

Because you are bullies!

You are the Pharisees passing by on the other side of the road, those who are so sure you're saved because of some nonsense that you believe in my name.

Wrong!

You American Christians utterly defaced the name of Christianity with your racism, your slavery and your bigotry against women. And now you're doing it again in your war against gay men and women and in your war against the poor who have no health care. Some of you even have had it as part of your wicked program to reestablish the Biblical law demanding death to gay people that I clearly showed must be broken by the greater law of love. Well, as you judge so you will be judged. Good luck with that!

Do you think the Kingdom of God is more likely to belong to, a wealthy "Christian" leader who preaches hate and exclusion (even when saying "I love everyone and only hate the sin") or to the least of these, the disenfranchised who want nothing more than to enjoy the same rights of other citizens? Do you think God does not see that the poor have no care and die because your greedy (lying) insurance lobby has your so called congress in their pockets?

You hypocrites and liars! You say you're preaching my gospel when my gospel never was about correct belief or correct behavior. My gospel was about not judging others, making room for everyone at the table, loving your neighbor as you love yourself. If gay men and women are your enemy then as you know I commanded you to love them! And if they are asking to be allowed to marry I commanded you to give to him who asks of you! Besides, you don't own America. This is a democracy and yours is just one opinion.

How did it come to this?

How do those who claim that they serve and represent me misuse the Bible to the extent that they make bumper stickers and coffee mugs calling for the death of the President by misquoting Psalm 109.8? (By the way, in case you want to know he's doing his best to follow the law of love right now, even though its almost impossible to do that because the fool who ruled before him -- talk about a burning Bush! -- left the biggest mess since the fall of Jerusalem in the year AD 70!)

Do you think I am on the side of a those who want to make the First Lady of the United States (who happens to be a favorite daughter of mine!) a widow and the daughters of the President (very lovely children!) orphans as this Psalm is misconstrued to "call" for?

There is no Hell or Heaven other than that we create for ourselves here on this earth and in the next life. But I'm tempted to ask God to create a real hell for you damnable hate mongers!

You are like the Pharisees I used to know and who strained out the least gnat of others' so-called misbehavior while turning a blind eye to their own wickedness, hypocrisy and lies. Remember my sayings about taking the beam out of your own eye before removing the speck from your brother's?

Quit worrying about gay people and start to worry about your so-called churches, those ash heaps of stinking bigotry and hate. The way you hate your first black president is all I need to know about you. So stop worrying about other people's "sins" and start worrying about all the lies you are telling your children in my name!

And all your talk about patriotism will do you no good unless you love every American as you love yourself -- including gay Americans, poor people the disenfranchised and yes, women who have abortions and the illegal immigrants.

They ask mercy of you! Give to them! Or did you miss that part of my teaching too?

Do you really think I'm on the side of those who hate the "other"?


You are killing me again!

The point is to have a chance to sanctify love in every generation.

If I walked here on Earth again with you, you'd kill me again, just as you are going to kill all that is good in my name, just as some of you are praying for the death of your president who you even call "Anti-Christ."

Let me tell you who is Anti-Christ: Christian "saved" America. Depart from me!

Please come up with a new name for whatever you are. Drop the word "Christ" out of your name. You've destroyed my reputation.

20 comments:

Ken said...

Frank,

Great post - I am convinced more now than ever before that those who claim to follow the God of the Bible need to stop seeing everyone who doesn't agree with them as "the enemy" and start developing real relationships with those they disagree with the most.

I hope this post sparks some good discussion and some real thoughtfulness.

Munoz Family said...

You version of Jesus sounds like a guy with an insecure chip on his shoulder rather than someone who really cares. Some good points but not all 'American' "Christians" are racist hate mongers. You know this.

Robert D. Meek, Jr. said...

Oh, please, Munzo-family! It's only because of the reality of such narrow-minded extremism in modern-day Christianity that he has to push it "to the limit" and write making Jesus sound like he did!

He never, NEVER said ALL Christians, American, or otherwise, were that way, and you should know it, if you follow his writings at all.

BTW, Munzo-family, if you "disapprove" of his writings so much, why do you bother to even read them?

~Katherine said...

I think Christians have definitely destroyed their OWN name.

However, everyone knows that Christ has nothing to do with them... and that is the key reason Christians feel "persecuted."

They're wrong.

equestrian57 said...

Right on post, Frank!

shadowlands said...

What a great post!! I think that Jesus would take that exact tone w/ the 'religious elite' in America today. Good Job Frank!! Well said. BTW-I find it interesting that the hero of the parable is a Samaritan, someone - a group of Jewish people who didn't go into exile like many of there brethren. There was a decided prejudice against them by the ' good Jews who followed G-d's law". I am curious if Jesus was saying something by using them as examples?

shadowlands said...

UMMMM-- I better clarify my out unwittingly incomplete thought there. I meant to point out of the three people mentioned the one who did the right thing [ i.e. the God thing] was a Samaritan. The first two were good law following Jews who despised Samaritans, although they were both worshipers of the same God. I find it interesting that the first two would have thought themselves good God followers, as many church going Americans would claim they are, but it was the despised Samaritan who did the right thing, i.e. the God thing. What is the old adage? Deeds not words? Isn't that what James was trying to tell the early church as well?

Luke's Dad said...

I sense a lot of "hate" and "bigotry" in this open letter. How about if we try to love the church?

Ben Daniel said...

Great post, Frank. By they way, If foud the following quote by C. G. Jung today and it made me think of my aspirations to join the Church of Hopeful Uncertainty:

"I, for my part, prefer the precious gift of doubt, for the reason that it does not violate the virginity of things beyond our ken."

Ben Daniel

David said...

Frank - This letter is spot on! The best way to identify the hate and hypocricy of the Fundamentalists/Evangelicals is to beat them at their own game by revealing how and where they don't follow the Bible. Like some of the other commenters, I also sense your rage but I liken it to Jesus upsetting the table of the Temple moneychangers --- keep it up; you're hitting bone.

Izgad said...

“your war against the poor who have no health care.”

I believe in the importance of charity, to make sure that everyone has their basic needs, such as food and healthcare, taken care of. I believe that these things are handled best through private charity and not the government. Does this make me a bad “Christian?” (Besides for the fact that I am Jewish) Would someone with my political views be welcome into a church run by you? How is your willingness to turn health care into a religious issue not simply another type bringing religion into politics?

john.defelice said...

Jesus always saved his harshest words for religious hypocrites. Frank writes in that great tradition. And considering the harsh rhetoric the religious right has thrown in the direction of any that dare confront their political ambitions, Frank's words are mild. Much milder than the words of Ann Coulter, Mark Savage, and those American evangelists who want to use judicial murder to eliminate gay people in Uganda.

Elisabeth said...

Wonderful! I posted this link to my Facebook page...

Rob Miller said...

I'd prefer not to refer to the uninsured as universally being POOR! There are lots & lots of fully employed people working hard at good paying jobs who don't work at a place that offers health insurance, and without a group, it's totally unaffordable to get health insurance. Usually equating the poor & uninsured is done to marginalize both, neither of which Jesus would be doing, or (obviously) is the point of this post. Great great post, just kind of a pet peeve when even well meaning people equate poverty w/ uninsured, and there is overlap, but far from 1 to 1.

Mom etc said...

Thank you.
Anne Ehrlich

Krista said...

What a bunch of bull crap!!!!!

+JN1034 said...

Bravo, again, Frank. We've passed on your epistle. Many years.

Nicodemus said...

Yes, Frank. Yes

Fr. Antony

the middle ground said...

I finally found the answer of my personal quest. Way to go Frank !

Bob Signorelli said...

So very excellent. It's posted to my facebook.