Monday, July 25, 2011
Proving We Are Not A Christian Nation
Christ said that there were two commands that summed up all of God's teachings. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. When asked who is your neighbor, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. In it, a Samaritan (Jews despised Samaritans at the time) helps a man that has been mugged and robbed. The man is a total stranger. The Samaritan cares for the man, then pays for his future care. He tells those caring for the injured man that he will check to see they have carried out his wishes.
What can be clearer? Christians are to take care of the strangers in our midst who have been attacked by forces outside their control. Christians are not to just take care of them personally if they can, but to see that strangers are cared for. Christians are to check on the stranger's continued welfare. In a modern society of millions, how can Christians do this? Christians can enable a surrogate to act for them. The government becomes our Good Samaritan.
Republicans do not believe in the Good Samaritan. I have been repeatedly told that they have no obligation to help anyone outside their immediate family. That they have no obligation to help those who cannot help themselves. To the contrary, the Republicans consider those that cannot help themselves defective and a drag on society: they should be abandoned.
Those Republicans who call themselves Christians hold those same views. One such person in my own church told me that a member of our church who had taken in his grandchildren should not have done so. That church member should have saved the money he spent taking care of grandchildren so when his health failed he could take care of himself and not ask the church for help. ( He had asked for help. The church did not help. I no longer attend that church.)
Time and again, so-called Christians have written that they will not help people who do not work. These Christians assume that those not working don't because they are lazy. Interestingly, when Jesus talks about judgment, he does not say we should check on why a person was hungry, why they are sick, or why they are in prison. Jesus says feed them, take care of them and visit them if you want God to claim you as his own. Republicans have become the goats described in Matthew 25:31-47, turned away by God on judgment day.
With the Republicans dominating the political debate and Democrats cravenly acquiescing to their outrageous demands, this nation is in retreat from any notion of caring for the least among us. Republicans that call themselves Christian have made being poor a sin. They believe Christians have no obligation to help sinners. Republicans of all types have abandoned Christ's command to love your neighbor. How can our government abandon Christ's command and our country remain a Christian nation?
We are not a Christian nation. We should not be. Our founders saw this nation as encompassing all who were citizens regardless of faith. That is why we have the Bill of Rights: to keep the majority from abusing the minority: to keep Christians from abusing non-Christians.
Those that scream the loudest that we are a Christian nation refuse to follow Christ's command to love your neighbor. Today, they would shred the social safety net by cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Those that profess to be today's only true Christians only love themselves.
Republicans tell us we are to concentrate on money not the well-being of our citizens. Most Republicans have looked around and said, "I have no neighbors except the wealthy." Even Democrats are falling for that line. Soon, our government will be of money, by money and for money. Christ said that "You cannot serve both God and Money." If Christians who are Republicans choose money over people, then they do not serve God. By conservative Christians own choosing, we will not be a Christian nation.