April 02, 2006

What Has Happened to America's Jesus?

I recently ran across a piece that speaks to a lot of concerns I have about Jesus' position in American society.

The columnist, Rob Borsellino, went to Sicily, Italy to visit family. His piece was based on how he would tell his family about how Jesus is viewed in this country. This excerpt in particular struck me:

"Several times during the week, I thought about telling my family what's happened to Jesus in the United States — how he's been kidnapped by politicians and preachers who decide what he does and doesn't think. They speak for him, and it doesn't always make sense.

They say Jesus is "pro life," but he doesn't seem to have a problem with the death penalty. And he thinks stem cell research — something that would save lives — is no different from murdering babies. They say he's the embodiment of kindness, love, decency and compassion. But he hates gays, lesbians and Muslims. And he's not too crazy about Buddhists, Hindus and the rest. Jews? He can put up with them if he has to.

The Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka claims to speak for Jesus and goes around the country talking about how "AIDS cures fags." Pat Robertson says it would be a good idea if the United States killed the president of Venezuela. It would be a lot cheaper than starting another war.

All week I went over that stuff in my head and decided not to mention any of it to the family.
It would make America look ridiculous."

It sure would. Too bad it's true.

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