In name only

A friend told me the other day that he’s thinking he picked the wrong religion. He didn’t know if he wanted to be a Christian anymore. So many recent actions by purported Christians have disillusioned him.

He’s got a point: a congresswoman stated at a recent rally that Jesus wouldn’t have been killed by his own government if he’d had an AR-15 — the crowd cheered. A mob spurred on by a madman stormed the seat of a government to which we pledge allegiance ‘under God,’ with the intention of killing those that ‘we the people’ have elected to follow the law, many proclaiming it a ‘holy crusade.’

Federal judges rule that a 12-year-old girl raped by her drunk uncle doesn’t have the right to the control of her own body, while a Mississippi governor exhorts us to pray for forgiveness if disagree with the decision. Another congressperson expounds on our God-given right to own a weapon designed specifically for warfare, and never mind how many of those babies they saved get killed in the firefight.

Maybe my friend is right. There doesn’t seem to be much Christianity around anymore, none in our leadership, and very little displayed by the rest of us — certainly Iowa Nice is now more myth than distant memory. Perhaps we’re lazy, or we never understood Jesus in the first place. The whole, fundamental teachings of Jesus boil down to simply this — love God, and love your neighbors as yourself. He didn’t qualify who to include — left or right, white, brown or black, straight or gay, carrying or not, these are all your neighbors.

If you can’t bring yourself to follow such a basic instruction from your supposed Lord, please find a new name for what you believe in and pray to the cosmic muffin or hairy thunderer of your choice. Just don’t delude yourself and call yourself a Christian. We’ll still love you and pray for you, and someday willingly welcome you back. But right now, you’re giving us a bad name and stinkin’ up the place.


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