Posted by: Jim | April 9, 2007

Christians Acting Like Christ

Now this is news. The Pope did a good job of representing the followers of Christ yesterday.He lamented the continual slaughter in Iraq , and made an impassioned plea for world peace. A few months ago he pointed out the particularly violent teachings of Islam, and even though he was pressured into apologizing for that, I’m beginning to like this Pope. Now if he were only to let his clergy marry, encourage birth control (espcially in 3rd world countries), and take a neutral stance on abortion, I may consider the eucharist.Well, okay. I still wouldn’t. But it would be nice.Back to the point: this represents a sea change in the world’s demeanor toward Iraq. When the Pope speaks, all of Catholicism listens, and that equates to a good chunk of the world who will now be obliged to take a stand against Iraq.

So now the Pope is implying that God is against the war in Iraq. Shiites in Iraq are protesting us this very minute , are saying God is against us. (These are the people, by the way, who were oppressed by Hussein’s Sunni faction that we overthrew.) The God of the Sunnis is against us–that’s a given. I wonder if we can get the millions of Hindu gods to chime in on the subject? Then we would have most of the bases covered.

Yet many American Christians are holding fast to the teachings of George W. Bush, who claims God is on our side. (Note to self: I wonder if any nation followed a man who said, “God is not on our side”?) His stance has no visible means of Biblical support, but Christians eat it up like it’s a communion wafer.

It makes me sad that such clear ethical questions must result in a religious showdown, but I fear that GWB is outgunned. As the Pope goes, so goes the West. I don’t believe in a God who takes sides in wars, but if that’s what it takes to end the continual slaughter in Iraq, I’ll take it.

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Responses

  1. It’s too bad the Pope didn’t lament the slaughter in Iraq when Hussein was in power. Hell, even I lamented when I learned what was going on when Hussein was gassing Kurds, and when the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan oppressing women and destroying ancient monuments. The press makes it sound as if Iraq and Afghanistan were Utopian prior to the U.S. presence. What a crock, and most of us have such a short memory…

  2. I was about to post to say that the KoolAid drinkers, no matter how devoutly Christian they claim to be, would still line up behind BushCo, but look at that: Toddo proved my point for me.

    True Christians are not the folks behind BushCo, it’s the wanna-bes that drive his engine. They’re the ones who talk the talk because it makes them feel superior, but they really have hate in their hearts and relish the thought of a vengeful, violent God. They love the Old Testament because it’s all about base human motivations like vengeance and anger and people being smited left and right; the New Testament with its peaceful message of acceptance and love and forgiveness isn’t nearly as much fun for them. Bush is all about Old Testament smackdown and that’s why they’re with him.

  3. Todd, you are right that these places were a mess prior to our involvement. I never said they weren’t. And Bush Co. never said we were going into Iraq for that reason, either. We went in because he was going to attack US with WMDs, and because he had already been involved in the 9/11 attacks. Same with Afghanistan. We didn’t go in because of the horrible Taliban. We went in because of their involvement in 9/11 (and in that case we were right.)

    So to say now that we went into Iraq or Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission to end the horrible oppression is an even greater inaccuracy than what you are accusing the press of now.

    We’re not the good guys!

  4. I take it Chuck, you don’t have much love for the OT?

  5. hey jimmy,

    bit of a typo – the pope was forced to apologize not to apologized. 🙂

  6. I don’t have “love” for either T, I just think that the New Testament was supposed to be an update on the guidelines of the Old Testament, but the TV-style bible thumpers don’t cotton much to “judge not” and “love your neighbor.” “Eye for an eye” is much more satisfying for them.

  7. Jim, I respectfully disagree. We *are* the good guys. Sometimes change is not pretty. I believe you are taking out of context the few bad apples on our side (which happens in every war, on every side) and applying that label to the whole. Did the American revolution go off without a hitch? No – change was hard then, too. Sometimes, for the sake of a larger ‘whole,’ if you will, certain deeds must be done to ensure the survivial of sanity, of civilized existence. You make it sound as if we are over there slaughtering the natives. I simply differ in my beliefs in that if we left the Middle East to stew long enough, more harm would have come on a global scale. I can not prove this, and you cannot disprove it, since we took proactive steps (some may even say reactive) to save the world. Once again. I’m just glad we actually did something about the growing concern of terrorism.

    How bad must a situation get before we finally do something about it? Hitler overran and killed his neighbors for two years before we even lifted a finger. Pol Pot killed over one million of his own people. Think of the lives lost prior to the war, then try to justify sitting on our collective thumbs.

    It’s a shame it took something happening on our home turf for us to realize there’s an evil out there, and that evil wants the West dead. Period.

  8. Jim

    You need to remember that people like Dobson etc don’t class Catholics as being particuarly Christian (I know, I know)

    I think the Episcopal Church was about the only major Christian Church in the US to oppose Iraq War from the beginning.

    Todd’s just off in a wibbly world of his own once more, he’s a piece of bread that always lands butter-side down.

    (Quick Jewish joke:

    Moses: Why does the toast always land butter-side down?
    Abe: Let’s test it
    Abe butters a piece of toast and drops it. It lands butter-side up
    Moses: You klutz! You buttered the wrong side!)

  9. Todd,

    If the bad apples you’re referring to are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, okay. But I’m not decrying the bad behavior of our soldiers.

    Comparing the Iraq war to the American Revolution couldn’t be more incorrect. A better comparison would be to compare our occupation of Iraq to England trying to occupy the U.S. during our Civil War. Our response would be “WTF? Get out of our country you limeys!” (No offense, KingFelix!)

    Again, I’m not decrying the “hitches” in the war. All wars are ugly, but not all of them are unjustifiable. This one is.

    Now … you may have a point that the Middle East was a ticking time bomb. But rather than diffuse that bomb, we detonated it. Once again I highly recommend reading the Iraq Study Group report. It shows that there was a very finely balanced equilibrium in the Middle East before we ousted Saddam. Once that Sunni power was gone, we kicked out one of the legs of that balance–and didn’t have a plan to recover it. Oops!

  10. Have another glass of Kool-aid, Todd. Take mine; I ain’t gonna drink it.

    * * *

  11. You know what they say: the funnier the hat, the holier the wearer.

    * * *

  12. Am I the only one who found the Jewish joke hilarious? lol

  13. Jewish joke was funny, yes, but Todd is the real comedy here: “The Iraq war is justifiable.”

    AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha!!! Oh man, he just kills me.

  14. Well, the Jewish joke was mildly funny in a Grandpa Joe kinda way, but as ‘ethnic’ jokes go, there really wasn’t anything particularly Jewish about it. Actually a better version would be a Democrap and a Repugnican pundit with the same piece of toast, since they’re the ones who will always try to spin the outcome of anything in their favor.

    If you want a good Jewish joke, here it is:

    Ehud Olmert.

    * * *

  15. I found it in a Jewish joke book, that’s why I labelled it as a Jewish joke.

    I had an old American Humor book, too, from the early 1900s, here’s one from that:

    Where were you educated?
    A: Yale
    Really, and what’s your name?
    A: Yohnson

  16. Now THAT one is good!

  17. I have not known the Catholic Church to not allow homosexuals into the church. In fact, the Catholic church today emphasises the importance of social justice and welcoming all regardless of status and sexual orientaton.

  18. Shame on me for assuming. I will edit my post right now.

  19. Jim

    The Catholic Church and homosexuals? They’re as welcoming as any SF bath house, haven’t you read the stories? The fact that an organisation with such a track record of abusing its power in communities, its access to children, has not been disbanded, in the US or the UK, or Ireland, and so on, is a total disgrace. Again and again, stories emerge of how the hierarchy, right up to the Pope himself, have been complicit in simply shuffling abusive priests on to another patch.

    “Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had ‘obstructed justice’ after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church’s investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret.

    The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001.

    It asserted the church’s right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood. The letter was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected as John Paul II’s successor last week. ”

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1469055,00.html

    Hmmm, I’d like to see any other institution reserve the right to itself to investigate what are serious crimes. I think ecclesiastical courts make a mockery of the secular rule of law that the rest of us submit to.

  20. By the way, Jim, in answer to a question you posed, God is the best person to have on your side, particularly when the facts are against you. The one thing all these Gods appear to share (besides the genius of their insubstantiality) is a huge aversion to the facts.


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