Tuesday, January 16, 2007
We are not a Christian nation.
It doesn’t matter what our founding fathers believed about their own personal faith. To be a Christian nation we would have to act like one. We would have to be the servant of all and as a nation make meaningful sacrifices for the good of all people.
We would have to love those who hate us and wish to do us harm , pray for them, ask that they be blessed, forgive them and do good things for them as well.
Far too many times we Christians have excused crimes against humanity done in our name. Our nation has too often placed into power or supported dictators guilty of many human rights atrocities for what is perceived as some short term foreign policy benefit. Often these arrangements are made for the profit of powerful international corporations.
A short list of sins against our neighbors would include; detention of innocents, accepting the use of torture, tolerance of the killing of innocent women and children as just a casualty of war, participating in and profiting from the arms trade, and supporting cruel and unjust economic policies in the third world.
‘God bless the whole world-no exceptions’.
Christ clearly tells us what he expects of us.
31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
40 And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41 Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
44 Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
45 He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Matthew: Chapter 25
Jesus tells us that we are to love God with our whole heart and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He also tells us to love our enemies. The demands of our Christian faith dictate that we must care for the benefit and well being of our enemies as well as ourselves.
The greater part of faith is trust. If we have faith in all that Jesus taught then we should muster the courage to trust Him as well.
Saint Paul very plainly tells us of love and its importance.
1 If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and, with full knowledge, comprehend all mysteries, if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give everything I have to feed the poor and hand over my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.
5 Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood overinjuries.
6 Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth.
7 There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
8 Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away.
13 There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.
(1 CORINTHIANS 13)
The Prayer of Saint Francis
"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light,
and Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seekto be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."
Among the conservative right the flag and its pledge has risen to a station of an icon and its prayer.
They have a high priest—(Bush);
Bishops—(the administration and party leadership);
Various ranks of priests—(national and state office holders);
And a blind faithful flock—(the base).
They worship at the Alter of Commerce in the Church of Supremacy.
Their dungeons are full of skeletons and sinister secrets.
Half truths, self- aggrandizement and trepidation are the subjects of their sermons.
The virtues they cherish are greed, pride, gluttony and tyranny.
The fruit they bare is misery, death and devastation.
Darkness follows in their wake;
And ruin is their toll.