As a lifelong observer of the spectrum of folks who declare that they cleave to Jesus, I have a few thoughts, some more charitable than others.
At one end of the spectrum are what today my dear friend The Blue suggested I call the Fanged Christians – zealots who have co-opted the name of Jesus but do few of the radical acts he required. At the other end are the tirelessly kind and humble, quiet folk who tend to ‘the least of these’ as their devotion of acts in Jesus’ name and service, the Tender Christians.
Alas, our nation is in the grip of the Fanged Christians who have little to do with Jesus’ breathtakingly radical exhortations to Love Your Enemy, Turn Your Other Cheek, Turn Your Other Towers. It is a deep shame that the Fanged get to blurt and bleat his name to cover horrible and even brutal acts of violence and intolerance.
Fanged Christians are people who are willing to call children mutilated by our preemptive acts of war, collateral damage. They are willing to cut Medicaid and to allow an absurd, an obscene minimum wage while lining the bulging pockets of the have-mosts with more filthy lucre. Can you really imagine that Jesus would countenance that the have-mosts should have yet more? It’s preposterous on the face of it.
The beauty of Jesus was that he dared to be tender. His job was to tend to the fragile, the poor, the outcast – because these people were not outcast by God, but by the false powers and contumely of men.
If there were a Satan and he set out to mock the simple, fiercely mild truths of Jesus, he’d devise twisting exactly our sweet hope of the poor, hope of the tempest-tossed, beloved America into the wretched greedy, belligerent travesty it has become today. Satan smirks. Jesus weeps.
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