The unChristian Right

When Jesus announced his mission on earth he declared that he had come to bring good news to the poor (Luke 4:18). The Christian Right brings bad news to the poor. You are poor because you were born in the wrong place, to inferior parents, of an unblessed color, lacking a superior IQ, devoid of desirable skills, and lazy. If God favored you, you would not have been denied prenatal care, health care, endorsed diets, equal education, equal opportunity, entitlement to a lavish inheritance. If God didn’t like you, why should those whom God favored like you?

Jesus asked his followers not to pray in public (Matt. 6: 5, 6). The Christian right demands prayer in schools and other public places.

Jesus told his followers to do their charitable deeds in private (Matt. 6: 1-4). The Christian right requires taxpayers to provide money to churches so that churches can provide charity to publicize their name and their good deeds.

Jesus said, don’t lay up treasures on earth (Matt. 6:19). The Christian Right covets treasures in Wall Street, cash in Goldman Sachs, and so many mansions they can’t remember how many they have.

Jesus said love your enemies (Matt. 5:44). The Christian Right says their enemies are God’s enemies.

Jesus said pray for your enemies (Matt. 5:44), but not in public to be seen by others. The Christian Right prays that God will turn their enemies into dust or at least salt (Gen.19:29).

Jesus said anyone who divorced a spouse and married another lived an adulterous lifestyle, (Matt: 19.9). The Christian Right says that divorce and remarriage is not ideal but all have sinned and divorce isn’t a threat to family. However, the homosexual lifestyle is an abomination to God and a threat to family.

Jesus told his followers to pay taxes to Caesar despite Caesar’s desire for empire and divinity (Matt. 22:21). The Christian Right tells their followers that taxes are for suckers, soldiers and other working poor, and that the government must be starved until it has power to limit personal freedom but not corporate control.

Jesus said Mary did the right thing by sitting with the men and studying religion (Luke 10:38-42). The Christian right believes Martha was right, fulfilling her Christian duty to serve and clean up after men. And keep her opinions to herself.

Jesus said you can’t serve God and Money (Matt. 6: 24). The Christian Right says you must first serve Money, and when you have all the Money you want then you can use it to serve God.

Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven (Luke 18:25). The Christian Right says their riches are a sign of God’s favor and they can corner the market on camels and stick the needle in the camel-driver’s eye.

Jesus told a rich man that to be saved he must sell all he had and give the money to the poor (Matt. 19:21. The Christian Right accuse Jesus of interfering with their religious freedom.

Jesus said those who do not care for the poor, the hungry, the sick, and undocumented strangers are doomed to the same place as Satan and his angels (Matt: 25: 31-46). The Christian Right says that is immoral, unconstitutional, Socialist, Communist, and probably Methodist.

Jesus said to fear nothing (Luke 12:32-34) because he was with us always (Matt: 8: 20). The Christian Right says there is much to fear and Jesus is of little help. We must have the mightiest military to keep us strong, the richest corporations and financial institutions to keep Mammon on our side, the tightest borders to seal ourselves off from neighbors who want to be like ourselves, the most managed media to close our minds to errant thoughts, the most prisons so that citizens fear freedom. In others.

Jesus said his kingdom was not of this world (John 18:17). The Christian Right says that Jesus’ kingdom is of this world and if voters will give them the power and taxpayers will give them the money, they will make it happen. Without any help from the Almighty.

Maybe Jesus was wrong. Or, maybe the Christian Right should be called the unChristian right.

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Robert Flynn

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  • I enjoyed the line about sticking a needle in the camel-driver’s eye, until I got to the part about the Methodists. That was even funnier.

    What I don’t understand is that in American Christianity, there are very few churches which follow the teachings of Christ in the Gospels. Most churches talk about Jesus this and Jesus that, but they positively wallow in Old Testament jeremiads that feed their own prejudices. And they just love Revelation, since it gives so many preachers infinite possibilities on interpreting the present and predicting the future, all the better to scare their flock into preparing for the Rapture and donating money in the present.

    The Catholicism I grew up with in the 50s and 60s was very wary of soothsayers, and wasn’t all wrapped up in abortion and sex. Now it is almost indistinguishable from Evangelical and fundamentalist sects in its conservatism. Meanwhile a lot of these sects have gone completely materialistic, indulging in mansions and private jets for their pastors, and services that seat 15,000 people in stadiums. When you’ve got that many people in a church, you are entertaining them with a “religious experience” that sometimes borders on mass hysteria.

    The worst of the lot are the extortionists – the preachers who tell their flock they must donate their last dime to the church, and promise that God will reward them with ten times the amount of money. If these weren’t churches, they would be shut down for fraud. It is amazing what “religion” gets away with in America. When religious people tell us there is no separation of church and state in America, what they really mean is the state must be subordinate to the church. They are closet theocrats parading around as an oppressed minority, all the while enjoying tax exemptions and raking in money from a fearful audience.

    Christ is actually an afterthought in American Christianity.

  • The only historical knowledge we have of Jesus is what has been passed down through the church. It’s ultimately futile to argue with the custodians of Christ about what he actually meant when he said things, because whatever knowledge we have of him, we got through them, which makes them the experts. (If you’re Christian and have a vested interest in being one of the experts, you’ve got a different problem than I do.)

    When it comes to orthodox (small o) Christian theology (setting aside the question of whether that itself is Christlike), it’s hard to argue that the Right is not more observant of that teaching than is the Left. Go read the 39 Articles (or the equivalent in your tradition) and see for yourself.

    But Christians across the board are guilty of “cafeteria Christianity”: picking the parts they like and leaving the rest. Christians across the board are also almost universally guilty of designating segments of Christianity with whom they disagree as not authentically Christian.

    To me the problem lies in holding up Christianity, or Christ, as a normative moral standard. If there was a real Jesus, he must have had moral failings, as we all do. So rather than building a fictive paragon, obscured by centuries of imperfect transmission and Baroque elaboration, as a model to be emulated, I think we’d be better off cultivating and following an innate secular sense of right and wrong, and building whatever intellectual capital we need to support that.

  • The rest of the year it’s all Old Testament because that’s where the drama is, full of interesting people and situations.
    The New Testament is a one-trick pony.

    Retired Mainframe maven, active curmudgeon, poet, writer.

  • who had a psychotic episode and became a peddler of un-Christian principles, but they don’t actually agree with the principles laid down by Jesus himself.

    Jesus said:

    Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.


    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”


    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    whereas Saul of Tarsus said:

    Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”


    “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”


    “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

    To me, it’s abundantly obvious that conservative so-called Christians are followers of the insane authoritarian motherfucker Saul, while any halfway decent disciple of Christ (hippie that he was) would be a leftist pretty much by definition.

  • “The last time they mixed religion and politics, people got burned at the stake.”

    What’s sad is that the so-called ‘Christian’ Right would shrug and say, “So what?”.
    Those who rail against Islam for wanting to establish Sharia law are those who are attempting to replace the US Constitution with a Christian theocracy.

    Huckabee is reported to be making anti-abortion a major plank in his campaign.
    And look at what S.Dak came up with:

    Retired Mainframe maven, active curmudgeon, poet, writer.

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