Feb 28, 2014

Rewriting Jesus

This was my comment to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer when I signed the petition asking her to veto SB1062:

Whom would Jesus refuse to serve? This bill isn't just un-Constitutional. It's un-Christian.

I'd love to think that her decision to veto the bill was because of people like myself who petitioned and protested this legislative abomination. I'm not naive. I'm quite sure it had much more to do with the business leaders who brought their cumulative corporate weight to bear. Arizona doesn't want the opinions of the little people so much as it wants their tourism dollars.

Either way, that particular crisis was averted. But hate is a hydra. A similar bill is gathering momentum in Georgia.

Georgia -- with its tumultuous past of discrimination -- is following Arizona's recently failed attempt to pass what amounts to anti-gay legislation with the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.

The state may shift from the cradle of the civil rights movement to the vanguard of legalized 21st-century bigotry with the consideration of this legislation, modeled on Arizona's, that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers on the basis of alleged religious conviction.

When did we get the idea, in this country, that the First Amendment protects the right of certain religious groups to control other people? Since when is religious freedom about stuffing your beliefs down everybody else's throat?

And what funhouse mirror version of Christianity tells us to condemn anyone we think is sinning and refuse to associate with them?

Zack Hunt asks, "What if Jesus had been more like the Arizona House of Representatives?"

Answer: The Sermon on the Mount would have been quite different as would much of the New Testament.

But I tell you, have nothing to do with your enemies and denounce those who disagree with you. If you love those who don't love you, what reward will you get? Are not sinners to be shunned? And if you serve people you don't agree with, are you not subliminally supporting their ideas and way of life? Be judgmental and exclude others, therefore, as the Pharisees and Sadducees judge and exclude others.

Remember that leper Jesus embraced and healed? No more miracle service for him. Lepers in the Bible get leprosy because they sinned or their parents sinned, so they must be avoided at all costs, for their own good and the good of the community.

The woman caught in adultery would have died, pummeled to death under a pile of stones. She was a sinner and undeserving of any advocacy service Jesus could provide her.

I liked that compassionate Jesus I learned about in church much better.

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