Sunday August 20, 2017

 

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by P. David Gardner

Can anyone explain to me, using logic and common sense that is, why the Christian religion seems to attract so many gun nuts and other sorts of looneys?

And just how do those ever-faithful, gun-toting acolytes balance their fascination with tools of death with their supposed utter love of, and compliance with, Jesus' teachings?

The last time I perused the Bible, that tattered manual for all things Christian, Jesus urged his faithful to be tolerant of those with opposing viewpoints. To not take vengeance themselves, but to leave it up to God instead. To do good, to seek peace, and to depart from evil.

Yet one needs only to scan the daily news to see for themselves that there are countless examples of supposed good Christians who are the diametric opposites of everything that their own God commands of them.

Just today I read that retired General Wesley Clark is urging the government to toss so-called "disloyal Americans" into internment camps, a return to the shameful days of WWII when the U.S. Government created Nazi-like prisons, which they playfully called "camps," and threw Asians into them whether they were confirmed spies or not. Merely looking Asian was good enough to imprison them because who wants to take chances anyway?

What is a "disloyal American" in Clark's eyes? Why, citizens of the U.S. who are of the Islamic faith, and whom he deems to be "extremist." And how does he define "extremism?" Well, that term seems to be a bit fuzzy. Does this cover those who attend a mosque to practice their faith? Or perhaps those who communicate with their Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East? Or only those who have been convicted of acts of treason against the United States?

I suppose that time will tell, if Clark's dreamy eyed future comes to pass.

Then there is the curious case of the gun-toting ex-preacher who urges Christians to arm themselves to fight against "gay rights."

On July 9, Joshua Fuerstein told his Facebook followers that they should use the business end of a gun to protect their First Amendment constitutional rights. "My First Amendment right is guaranteed by my Second Amendment right," he said as he menacingly hefted an assault rifle in a video posted to his account.

And so here is just a little reminder to you supposed devout Christians, of what your faith requires of you. Plucked straight from the Bible, here are some verses that you seem to have forgotten in your mad rush to judgement and calls for violent and abhorrent action:

"The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence." -- Psalms 11:5

"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." -- Psalms 34:14

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" -- Psalms 133:1

"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'" -- Romans 12:19

"Judge not, that you be not judged." -- Matthew 7:1

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." -- Matthew 7:12

"And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.'" -- John 8:7

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." -- John 14:15

You know, I suppose I could be called guilty of cherry-picking verses from the Bible to support my contention that these two men, among countless others throughout history and especially today, are not as holy as they believe themselves to be. I have no doubt that they too could cherry-pick some verses from their "Good Book" to support their actions.

That's what makes the Bible such a horrible book upon which to base a belief system. While anything is open to interpretation, the Bible is especially vulnerable to this. If you read through it, you will find many examples of outright contradictions, tolerance of acts of violence, and more.

So, we've jumped off the deep end now. I guess, in the minds of the misguided devout, it all comes down to this:

"Praise God and pass the ammunition."

P. David Gardner is a long time writer and reporter, as well as a graphic designer and photographer. And he creates terrific web sites too. For more details, see pauldavidgarder.com.

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