Monday, October 18, 2010

Go Ahead and Piss Them Off (for Jesus!)

When I was in high school I went to youth group at a local church, spending my Sunday evenings learning about God, the Bible, Jesus and their apologetics (defense of a faith). One night we watched a short film about a man on death row for Jesus saying goodbye to his wife and son, encouraging his son to fight the Good Fight despite his father's death at the State's hand.

By virtue of the filmmakers setting it in the near-ish future, the movie looked hokey. The music did little to help, because if it was any sappier and you could put it on a pancake. Acting? Please. Even so, this film certainly got its point across: heathens and blasphemers will soon control the (United) State(s), so you had better be ready to die for Jesus. For Jesus!

There's a scene in Five Easy Pieces in which Jack Nicholson's character is trying to order toast, but it's lunchtime so they don't serve toast. So Jack orders a sandwich on toasted bread, hold everything. He's kicked out and his friends congratulate him on sticking it to the waitress. "Still didn't get my sandwich." What the movie's message and this scene have in common is that taking the defining characteristic from something ("sandwich," "Christianity") and using it asininely ("hold everything," "Us vs. Them") defeats the purpose, dismisses the crusader and sends the poor, downtrodden hero away hungry.

There was an amazing amount of hubris in Die for Jesus in the Year 2000 or whatever it was called. See, it thought that in the near future, someone, anyone in the US will be threatened by Christianity. Maybe they figured the USSR would take over and outlaw religion and were hedging their bets, but I doubt it. No, these people honestly thought the government would be worried about a group of people who:
  • are naive enough to watch Fox News.
  • bored enough to argue over Harry Potter's devilry.
  • complacent enough to hole up in the suburbs.
  • demure enough to allow atrocious wars in US's name.
  • gullible enough to elect a man to start those wars because he's "a Christian."
  • Buy, consume, bitch and buy some more.
It's as if the government decided that since waitresses could, maybe, someday spit on their food, better throw them in prison now. Next time, bitch'll give me my sandwich. Right?

American Christianity has removed the point of the faith: rockin' the boat. Jesus asked the rulers of His time, "why are people poor?" "Why are you still wealthy?" "Is that what God wants, or are you using God to get what you want?" "Will you carry your cross (sign of a criminal) and follow me?"

A friend of mine recently posted as her facebook status, "God, keep us safe from the police." I responded, "God, make us the kind of people of peace whom threaten the police." Let's think about what's wrong with the social order and mess things up a little. Let's get sent to the Death Star's death row. Let's earn all the promises of suffering Jesus made by doing His will on earth.

What would Jesus do?

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