Christianity: Deeds, Not Words
by Saab Lofton
"It would be nice if someone would read this sad-eyed crowd the Sermon on the Mount, accompanied by a rousing commentary on income inequality and the need for a hike in the minimum wage. But Jesus makes his appearance here only as a corpse. The living man, the wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist is never once mentioned, nor anything he ever had to say. Christ crucified rules, and it may be that the true business of modern Christianity is to crucify him again and again so that he can never get a word out of his mouth."
--Barbara Ehrenreich, from her book Nickel and Dimed
The number one problem with religion today is a failure to acknowledge that performing good works is the ONLY legitimate form of worship. Fancy steeples, catchy jingles and condemning evils need to take a back seat to helping people. And before you get on my case about rhyming like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, keep in mind the following taken from Jackson's Wikipedia entry ...
"In 1983, Jackson traveled to Syria to secure the release of a captured American pilot, Navy Lt. Robert Goodman who was being held by the Syrian government. Goodman had been shot down over Lebanon while on a mission to bomb Syrian positions in that country. After a dramatic personal appeal that Jackson made to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, Goodman was released."
... all too many preachers do nothing more than, well, preach. Brother Jesse, however, saved a life. According to the Koran, the supreme virtue is to, "Vie with each other in charitable works." In other words, compete by doing good deeds. Too bad a certain network has been demonizing Islam since 9-11 -- otherwise, this essential lesson might've been learned and acted upon by the masses ...
Since this is December, FOX News will no doubt get on its high horse (again) and claim the world's coming to an end simply because we're advised to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" as a courtesy to non-Christians. This is typical of the rich/powerful for whom FOX speaks: Avoid dealing with the poor/oppressed by fixating on trivia rather than actually combating poverty and oppression.
There's a lot of talk about the true meaning of the season, but that's all it is: Talk. When I used to live in Las Vegas, a couple of so-called Christians came to my door, and unlike everyone else in my apartment complex, I let them in. They sat at my kitchen table, and after spewing their usual spiel, I asked these two proselytizers three questions:
First, "Did God create the Earth?" Both bible thumpers were quick to resoundingly answer yes, while pointing out Genesis, no less ...
Next, "Can a nuclear holocaust destroy the Earth?" This left each evangelist with that infamous, deer-caught-in-the-headlights facial expression. I then answered FOR them and said HELL yeah it can.
Finally, "Let's review: If God created the Earth, and a nuclear holocaust can destroy the Earth, how do think God feels about those who live in MTV Cribs/MC Hammer mansions based on the sale of nuclear weapons? More to the point, why are y'all wasting time trying to convert me when you people ought to be protesting the Nevada test site [where nukes are regularly detonated underground]?"
I never saw two Christians run so fast in my entire life; you'd swear their asses were struck by lightning and given the superspeed of DC Comics' The Flash. Suffice to say no one with a bible in hand ever darkened my door again.
Most of poverty's victims are children -- poverty which would be averted if money wasted on war was instead spent on the poor -- and yet certain Christians act as though Harry Potter's witchcraft is the number one threat to children today. I'm not what you'd call a fan of the Harry Potter series, but as I understand it, the characters spend most of their time reading in a school. Between video games and 500 channels with nothing on them, if anything, I'd call Harry Potter a blessing! Alas, helping the impoverished could get you red-baited by McCarthyites like Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity. Remember the words of Roman Catholic Archbishop, Dom Helder Camara: "When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist."
Truth be told, those commies white suburbia has been bred for decades to hate are the biggest Christians of them all -- that is, if practicing Christianity means following the example of Christ. In 2004, it was discovered that 63,000 Venezuelans couldn't read because they were blind from cataracts and pterygium -- so President Hugo Chavez acted like Jesus and paid for their expensive operations via the taxes he imposes on Venezuela's oil industry. And to think the phrase "tax and spend" is assumed to be a bad thing … Oy!
Speaking of, the irony emanating from this story in The Guardian (United Kingdom) still blows me away ...
"The Bolivian soldier who executed Che Guevara 40 years ago has had his sight restored by Cuban doctors ... Mario Teran entered history as the young army sergeant who was chosen to execute the captured guerrilla on October 9th, 1967, an act which marked him as a villain to those who revered Che. Almost four decades later the aging, retired executioner had his cataracts removed by a Cuban-run medical program which showcases the benefits of the island's socialist revolution … Mr Teran was treated under Operation Miracle. Funded by Venezuelan petro-dollars and staffed by Cuban doctors, it offers free eye treatment to poor people across Latin America."
Personally, I'd have let the old bastard stay blind upon realizing what he did back in the day, but then, I'm not as Christian as those communist Cuban doctors. Happy holidays (oh, and if ya ain't seen it, rent Michael Moore's Sicko -- it's his best yet) ...