Holidays, gay marriage, abortion, & the pseudo-Christian bogus issues machine
[Posted 17 December 2005]
I met Jesus back in the 90s. He was working as a cook at the Malibu Inn, a former
truck stop made into a restaurant & bar. I made him
laugh by deliberately pronouncing his name the American way, JEE-zus, instead of
his native Mexican way, Hey-ZEUS. It was much more fun to tell people that I'd
met Jesus, and to introduce him as Jesus to drinking buddies who came into the bar.
Somehow Americans don't name their kids Jesus nearly as often
as Mexicans do. Perhaps white
America sees it as disrespectful to their deities, or maybe pretentious.
Who knows. The real point here is -- how did you feel when you started reading this
article and saw the words "I met Jesus"? Got a lump in your throat? Did your
heart start pounding your sternum, or your stomach lurch into your heart?
You see, a lot of Americans claim to believe in Jesus, but they really see him
as a myth. Some claiming to be "Christian" visit church once in a while, but through
experience they know that Jesus really doesn't interfere in their lives.
They really never expect him to show up, even though supposedly he'll return someday
and judge everyone. Theoretically, he could be fixing that burrito you just ordered,
but no one would believe Jesus in the kitchen might be the reincarnation of
Jesus of Nazareth -- unless he started judging people and shooting lightning bolts
from his fingertips, or something extra-dramatic like that. Yet think about it --
would the real Jesus be mean enough to zap people with electrical bolts, or
nice enough to feed them?
And so the topic of this rant begins -- the people I call
"pseudo-Christians." Because of my background in sociology, I feel obligated
to give a brief definition of "pseudo-Christians," just like any other paper dealing
with a term that isn't yet well-defined in the literature. Basically, I define
"pseudo-Christians" as those who claim to be Christians, but whose beliefs and
actions are COMPLETELY OPPOSED to Jesus and
everything Jesus has ever represented. They like to call themselves Christian
and have that "good Christian" image, but if Jesus were to really show
up one day, they'd be in deep, deep trouble.
I could go down the list -- people who support the Iraq War or war of any kind are
anti-Jesus. "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity:
he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword." (Revelation 13:10)
And "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God"
(Matthew 5:9). (Has to make you wonder -- who are warmakers children of?)...
People who support the death penalty are anti-Jesus. "Ye have heard that it hath
been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto thee, that
ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turned him
the other also (Matthew 5:38 39). And "Blessed are the merciful for they shall
obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7). That's in addition to Jesus' alleged father's
"Thou shalt not kill" commandment... People who don't help the poor are anti-Jesus...
People who harm people for profit are anti-Jesus... But listing everything modern
Christians do that is in reality anti-Jesus would take
me months, if not years, to compile. And books have probably already been written
on the subject. I'm just bringing up a few examples of what I call
"pseudo-Christians." They call themselves Christians, but when you look at what
they REALLY believe and do, Christians they ain't.
Pseudo-Christians have been on the move lately, making themselves political
"activists" on a number of issues. The latest "issue" was featured quite a bit on
CNN over the past week -- the use of the term "holiday" versus "Christmas." Some
of the Christian fringe is upset with President Bush for sending Christmas cards
wishing people happy "holidays" instead of a merry "Christmas." I could get into
the whole historical timing of Christmas, not actually the time of Christ's birth
but instead a period selected to compete with Roman feasts at the time, but
that's too much of a diversion from my subject.
My point is -- aren't there more pressing
things that REAL Christians would be spending their time on? Just look at the
number of people killed or disabled on a daily basis in Iraq. Or the poor in this
country, with their benefits recently cut yet again by a government hungry for
war money. Or hurricane victims whose needs aren't even close to being met by
government and non-profit aid. What kind of Christian would waste their time on
dopey issues like holiday cards and holiday sales? Well, pseudo-Christians in
Florida and elsewhere are actually threatening to boycott stores if they don't stop
advertising year-end sales as "holiday" sales. And so they get a few of their
faces on the news promoting a "fluff" issue, at the expense of the Christian ideal
of tolerance. You see, pseudo-Christians need an issue to rally around, in lieu of
feeding the poor, or housing hurricane victims. No depressing soup kitchens for
them. They'd rather spend their time on simple-minded issues that don't mean
anything, and don't benefit anyone, even themselves.
Another "big issue" of the pseudo-Christians, popularized during the 2006 elections,
was gay marriage. That's right, because the Old Testament condemned sodomy,
pseudo-Christians think that bashing homosexuals is the Christian thing to do.
That's despite Jesus not dealing with the issue of homosexuality,
instead preaching tolerance.
But that doesn't matter to pseudo-Christians. As long as they don't have to
deal with real Christian issues like the death penalty or health care,
war or peace,
starvation or poverty, they're willing to hop on just about any bandwagon. As
long as it's simple-minded enough for them to understand, and gets them on the
news. The fact is, bashing homosexuals drives a part of their membership
away, alienates the "sinners" they're allegedly trying to "help", and shows the
rest of the world how intolerant "Christians" (pseudo-Christians) are. But
"counterproductive" is a big word, and tolerance certainly isn't a pseudo-Christian
value. So if they can help their war-mongering, death-penalty-hawking,
impoverished-slandering political candidates get elected by scaring fellow
pseudo-Christians with gay marriage, then so be it.
And then there's good old abortion. Roe Vs. Wade, Pro-Choice, all of that. One of
my friends in college was a women's rights activist, yet somehow at the same time
an anti-abortionist, a/k/a "Pro-Lifer." She'd go to protests and carry a
really grotesque photo of an aborted fetus. (I was always amazed by the Pro-Lifers
and Lesbians who attached their causes to the women's rights movement, apparently
trying to pick up support from the larger movement for their smaller movements.)
Well, my friend genuinely believed in the Pro-Life movement, and some Christians
do. But in the end, abortion is largely exploited as a cheap political issue by
those not at all opposed to killing people AFTER they're born, or letting
children suffer and even die from lack of health care, war, and other hardships.
And then there were the deaths of women who couldn't get a safe
abortion before it was made legal. All of this death while protecting a zygote.
But you see, that makes abortion a gray area -- an issue that isn't easily
resolved ethically. Something that isn't clear-cut either way -- and so yet
another issue for the pseudo-Christians to exploit! As long as it isn't their
own teenage daughter who can't have an abortion.
Some people are anti-abortion because they really don't believe in killing any
human life though, and so here's how you tell the difference between actual
Christians and pseudo-Christians:
If they're AGAINST abortion, yet FOR the death penalty, you know they're
If they're AGAINST abortion, yet FOR war, you know they're
If they're AGAINST abortion, yet AGAINST welfare, you know they're
If they're AGAINST abortion, yet AGAINST national health care, you know they're
If they're AGAINST abortion, yet INTOLERANT of homosexuals or any other group,
you know they're PSEUDO-Christians.
If they're AGAINST abortion, yet INTOLERANT of other religions and their holidays,
you know they're PSEUDO-Christians.
As always, the list could go on forever. The point is, pseudo-Christians aren't
really there because they believe in Jesus. They hardly ever give a care about
anything Jesus said or believed in. Instead, they're a bogus issues machine for
the Republican Party. There, I said it. They just beg votes for the fringe
element of Republican candidates, using any issue that appeals to the lowest
elements among us. Remember that the next time someone slanders a
"Holiday Tree." They're just trying to get you behind a non-issue, supported by
a political candidate who loves to talk about JEE-zus. But who also loves killing
people with wars, poverty, bad health care, and death chambers.