Sharon's Muse.... Let's chat over coffee while I ponder some things

About Me

My Meez


Recent Entries



Interesting Sites




In Stores

Watch mini trailer

Clip of places featured in Again

Need Flashplayer to view. Give time to load.


Short, Short Ebooks

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Oh, preach the truth! - Overturning the Gospels

The "Christianity" of today's America has become downright unchristian in its self-righteousness and uncharitable views of those "others" (you know, those people not quite like you). Well, Melinda Henneberger shines an illuminating spotlight on the so-called Christianity, especially in the aftermath of the Katrina tragedy.

In a Newsweek web exclusive, "Overturning the Gospels", Henneberger cites another article featured in last month's Harper's entitled "The Christian Paradox: How a Faithful Nation Gets Jesus Wrong'' by Bill McKibben. McKibben's piece points out that three out of four Americans believe the Bible teaches that "God help those who help themselves." Actually, that "verse" is attributable to Ben Franklin, not the Lord Almighty. But many Americans, especially those ultra-conservative right extremists, use this dictum as an excuse not to help the less fortunate, but to condemn them instead.

"The thing is," McKibben writes, "not only is Franklin's wisdom not biblical; it's counterbiblical."

Hennenberg notes, "We as a nation—a proudly, increasingly loudly Christian nation—have somehow convinced ourselves that the selfish choice is usually the moral one, too. (What a deal!) You know how this works: It's wrong to help poor people because "handouts'' reward dependency and thus hurt more than they help. So, do the right thing—that is, walk right on by—and by all means hang on to your hard-earned cash."

She further points out how this self-righteousness has twisted Christian morality, which now seems more focused on other people's sex lives than helping the needy. After all, it is much easier to condemn others than to love the unlovable.

The politicization of Christianity has further perverted the bible's premise, as partisan interests use the book to clout political opponents and follow their own agendas. Which explains the uncharitable question asked by Alaska's Gov. Frank Murkowski in explaining why debit cards for Katrina was a bad idea: "How do you separate the needy from those who just want a $2,000 handout?'' Shouldn't his question have been what are we going to do for those people let down by their governments, both federal and local?

One can only hope that there are some shreds of the true Christianity left by the next election. Thankfully, there have been smatterings of it in the outpouring response by the true Americans, if not the political representatives.

Side note: Compassionate conservative - the new oxymoron?

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 9/14/2005 12:56:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


Layout Design by Hajira Thanks to:Getty Images BlogspotBlogskins