WHAT WAR? UPON WHOM?


A few years ago, many right-wing talk show hosts complained vehemently about a “War on Christmas.”  A few places, trying not to offend anybody, had required “Happy Holidays”.  Others tried to cater to Chanukah and Kwanzaa, as well as Christmas.  Back in the good ‘ole days, when we had Christmas, by golly, men worked, women stayed home, with 2.3 children, all the dirty dark secrets of everybody, including pedophile priests, remained hidden, and we had a Christian nation.  Back then, smoking and being drunk were cool, blacks were not called that, interracial marriage was a sin (but not interracial sex, as Strom Thurmond did), and gays were thought to be pedophiles.  The good old days weren’t so good.

If there is any war on Christmas, it is the daily financial report in December how sales, and by extension, our economy, are doing. I didn’t think Christmas was about shopping, but I’m not a Christian, so I may have missed something. Being brought up Unitarian, where in my world people were Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish, Christmas was an important holiday, even for kids, for while it meant presents, it also meant caring for those less well off and peace on Earth.  Unitarians believed we had a social duty to our fellow men during our only existence.

In June, I don’t want to write about a war on Christmas.  I am more concerned about those who say there is a war against Christianity, Christians are being persecuted, fascism is afoot, and this is the first step of Nazi-ism, which is a horribly inappropriate word to use.  I’ve seen Mauthausen, where people jumped—or were pushed (they had only those choices)— to their deaths (“Parachuters without parachutes”) with guards laughing. I’ve seen Stolperstein, the brass plaques on cobblestones, commemorating those who once lived at that place, deported and later murdered. Such comparisons by right-wing Christians are not only wrong, they demean those who died, including 1500 who deliberately chose death by crossing an electrified fence to escape rather than to remain imprisoned.

I’m not against Christianity, only against those who want to live in the 5th…or 19th century.  We are today a more diverse, overpopulated world, the last due in great part to religion’s requiring women to bear as many children as possible.

In addition to Christianity, we have Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wiccans, and the most hated group of all, the one group that won’t ever win the presidency in America:  atheists.  The world is not only more religiously diverse, there are those who have a variant of human sexuality, wanting same sex partners.  These people desire to marry, for without marriage, they have no civil rights should one of them become ill.  They do not sully marriage, but they have become hated by so-called Christians, who are supposed to be tolerant of others. It is so bad that some states are outlawing “conversion therapy.”

I have a deeply spiritual side that questions the reason for my existence, the nature of the universe, whether there is a Creator, and is intensely curious about the world.  I believe in the right of people to worship the way they choose, to marry whomever they choose, to live their life the way they choose, so long as it does not infringe upon my right to do the same.  I was against the Iraq war, which Christians started.  Many Americans placed yellow ribbons, with the shape of a cross, on their vehicles, making the war appear like a crusade, the word used by the prior president, later apologizing for a bad choice of words, but not for his bad choice of war.  Instead of “blessed are the peace-makers, for they will be called the Children of God” (Matthew 5:9), we had “shock and awe” (Rumsfeld; March:2003).

Too many of these so-called Christians hate blacks, vilify a half-black president, hate Mexicans and Central Americans who come here for a better life.  I don’t blame those who come here for a better life.  I sadly take the realistic approach that America can no longer save the world, either militarily or humanely.  There are things we can and should do, but policing the world and taking in every refugee is a non-starter.  How we go about changing that and remain true to our ideals is a difficult endeavor.  Banning birth control, which the religious right wants, calling women “a different cut of meat,” disallowing abortions when a raped woman becomes pregnant, which even Iran allows, saying a woman’s body can reject a rape-caused pregnancy, shows a profound war on women.  Want fewer refugees, fewer wars? Start with world-wide birth control, equal rights for women, and in two generations, we’d see a difference.

I reject that notion of a war on Christians.  I am against hate, anti-science hypocrites who use things science provides, megachurches, and Republican support, when it comes as a message of hate, intolerance of others, an armed society, make as much money as possible, destroy the environment, and not regulate anything.  They want their prayers in the public domain; politicians must be believers, preferably white, and non-believers are going to hell.  Regarding the latter, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons have all told me I was going to hell.  They all claim to be right, so either 5 billion people are wrong, or the few who think the way I do are right.  If I voluntarily help a students with math problems, teach adults and children how to read, teach English to people in 90 countries without pay, log on to an algebra site and help people with questions, organize and lead hikes, donate to humane societies, volunteer in several environmental organizations, is that not doing good?  One Muslim woman told me I was going to hell, even though she liked me.  She has since said I was the nicest person she has ever known, and her homeland is 99 per cent Muslim. What kind of disconnect is this?  If religion says that people who do good go to hell, then I want no part of it.

How can these Christians not believe in climate change, what we have done to the environment and to humanity?  Not one of the Presidential candidates on the other side admits that the climate has changed.  “God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ ”  Where did it say, “thou shalt increase the extinction rate of species one thousand fold”?  Where did it say, “And thou shall rain fire and horror down upon a country that did not attack you, but whom you convinced your people it did”?  Where does it say, “Exponentiate” instead of “multiply,” and why has nobody to my knowledge other than me said, “Be fruitful, but you may multiply by one half or by one”?

War on Christianity?  No. But I am speaking out against those who profess to be Christians but whose behavior is completely counter to the teachings of Christ.  I’m not fighting Jimmy Carter.

I am, however, resisting those who say “God, Guns, and Guts made us great,” for they are cowards at heart, bully others with their weapons, and make a mockery of their God to whom they think they alone have a direct line of communication.

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2 Responses to “WHAT WAR? UPON WHOM?”

  1. Marjan Says:

    I’m totally with you Mike.

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