Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hey Culture Warriors, 'Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword!'

So Rick Santorum is claiming President Obama's faith is "phony," just political posturing?

Here we go- will the bogus culture war turn into an inter-Christian-denominational civil war? This is the very reason our founders came up with the separation of church and state, pluralism was the antidote to hundreds of years of wars between Protestants and Catholics in Europe.

Republican thinking: So... unemployment's down, the stock market is up, Detroit's back and both the automakers and the banks have paid back their bail-outs. Meanwhile Bin Laden and Gaddafi are dead, we're pulling out of Iraq & Afghanistan, Al Qaeda's on the run, and people all over the world are demonstrating for greater democracy. Better start a "Culture War."

Of course, I also can't help feeling that there's just a tinge of racism involved here too- under the guise of class warfare. Good suburban white Christians abstain from sex where as those poor urban people just can't help themselves is the insinuation.

But lets face it, the real difference between Santorumism and Obamaism, as I see it, is Legalism vs. Grace- as I've talked about many times on my Prophet, Priest & Pirate blog there's the letter-of-the-law side and the spirit-of-the-law side.

Some Christians want to control the morality of society by banning gay marriage and contraception use, punishing abortion with the death penalty, teaching creationism and demanding mandatory prayer in public schools, denying climate change and using the military to build God's empire here on Earth. These are people actually convinced that poverty is God's punishment for being sinful, irresponsible, lazy, or dependent on the government. They ascribe to Social Darwinism but call it being called, predestined, blessed and exceptional. They stir up anger, fear, resentment and division.

Then there are those who recognize that you only change hearts and minds with things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control. You make friends and convert believers by loving your enemies and praying for those that persecute you. They believe Jesus called us to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and visit those in prison. They read a Bible that calls on them to protect the oppressed, widows, orphans and aliens. They believe that you help build God's kingdom by what you do, not by what you demand others stop doing. They sow empathy, hope, compassion, and tolerance.

It's NOT a matter of who's the better Christian, or a matter of "Real" Christian and "Fake" Christian, it's between those who claim to be arguing for religious liberty but really want to impose their morality on everyone else and wage wars on everyone they deem to be infidels, and those who believe that true religion is a personal matter of the heart, a relationship with God that motivates you to join in God's ministry of reconciliation.

If I'm going to err too much on either the side of the law or the gospel, I would rather err on the side of the gospel.

I know my Republican Christian friends and family no doubt fear for my very salvation...
but I would rather stand with Jane Addams than Ayn Rand
I would rather stand with Martin Luther King Jr. than with Jerry Fawell,
with Billy Graham than with Franklin Graham,
with sinners and tax collectors than with Pharisees and white-washed tombs, and with Barack Obama than with Rick Santorum.

As Martin Luther once said, "Here I stand, I can do no other."