It has always stunned me, how people defend their conservatism while stating that they are strong Christians. That requires clarification; not just strong Christians, but Right Christians, those who understand the truth of Jesus’ message. The American right is probably the most easily recognizable, where the rich somehow manage to make people believe they are delicately balancing the tight rope that is being rich while being godly. I know they get something out of the Bible that I never was able to, and I’ve written about the disagreements of the conservative anti-socialist policies and the Bible that I see at length in the past. That being the case, it was incredibly refreshing when I tripped across this article about the Liberal Jesus. Even as an atheist, I can appreciate the very strong good sentiment going on in this article, and I really wish more people would write about (and believe in) this kind of Jesus…
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but in the northwest hemisphere of our wonderful planet, the voice of the Christian Right is far louder than the voice of their liberal counterbalance. I do a ton of research and reading in regards to Christianity, and occasionally it feels very lonely to be a left-leaning, atheist, socialist blogger when looking at the walls of the great city of the Christian Right. When I see an article that seems to be ripped right from my own thoughts (albeit written much better than I could write it), I tend to latch onto it. I want everyone to read this, I want to hear the counter arguments, I want people to cite passage, chapter, and verse in defense of the Jesus I see, the Jesus I thought I knew when I was still Christian. The Jesus of mercy, the Jesus of forgiveness, the Jesus of giving to the poor.
The article also opened me to a passage in the Bible that I was clearly not familiar enough with. Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6) is… Well, since I have not brought it up myself, but I would have to say that it is largely ignored by the Christian Right. Certainly, it does not fit into their worldview. The passage calls for so many things that stand in stark contrast to the hoarding of wealth by the rich under the rather skimpy costume that is “trickle down economics”. Give without expecting repayment, forgive without expecting forgiveness, do not judge, even those who judge you harshly. Sinners give to each other, expecting favors in return, and what good does it do them? If a good person does good for another, expecting them to be good in return, what good does it do their spirit? So be good to those who are evil to you, and your reward will be greater outside of this world (if you believe in that kind of thing).
Really, the whole point I am trying to make here is that we should be kind and merciful to those who have it the worst. It seems so often to be forgotten, especially in the United States, where “justice” is the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world (take THAT, Communists!).
I think this article posted to cracked.com is very relevant; no one wants to even help pedophiles overcome their desires because they are … What? So far gone that nothing can save them? Is that your opinion?
No, I think we need to extend more of a hand of mercy, to help them. At least, help the ones who are trying not to succumb to their desires; even I am not one to extend a hand of mercy to a diddler… But just because you are a pedophile doesn’t mean you are a diddler, and I think too many people forget that.