Evangelicals: Less like Jesus, More Like Guys Who Crucified Him
American Evangelical Christians are a lot less like the apostles of Jesus, and a lot more like the guys who nailed him to a cross.
Now, I may be an agnostic homosexual (read: heathen sodomite), but I did go to Catholic school for what seems like forever. And I am from Oklahoma. And, yes, I have read the Bible. So when it comes to Jesus…. sure, I know the guy.
And you know what? He seems pretty cool. I like him. Why? Because, to me, Jesus was the kind of person who stuck up for the little guy. According to the Bible he was big on healing the sick and helping the poor. What’s there not to like about that?
Another thing I like is that he was willing to go against the status quo. He rolled with a posse of smelly homeless dudes and a prostitute. He had his own ancient Breakfast Club! He also preached against the evils of greed and violence. I mean, he was a real rebel! So much so that the Roman Empire, the biggest upholder of the status quo at the time, labeled him a threat.
Sure, Jesus has been painted in several different lights to fit several different religious and political ideologies. I get that. But from everything I’ve read, I think it’s safe to say that Jesus was at least a real mover and shaker. For me, he’s right up there with the other “radicals” like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Because, well, Jesus was a man who was interested in changing things.
Hmm… changing things. Let’s keep that in mind as we flash-forward to his modern day fan club.
Who is the church of Jesus today? Well, that’s difficult to say. There really are all kinds of Christians out there. There are Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Christian hipsters who frequent coffee shops… But you know what’s easier to answer? Who is the LOUDEST church of Jesus today? That’s easy, we say in unison - the Evangelicals.
And who are the Evangelicals? They’re the ones on your TV screen asking for money, first of all. Many of them are also fundamentalists. But beyond that, they are a large Christian group with a lot of power in American politics.
And what are their politics? We call it social conservatism: the idea that morality can be and should be regulated by the government. AKA the “small government” Republicans trying to regulate your bedroom activities.
This group often cites Jesus as the spiritual guide for their beliefs. In this way, they can justify being against certain things.
And, let me tell you, in the history of American Evangelicalism and Christian fundamentalism… they have been against a lot of stuff.
Remember when the super-duper Christian South realized slavery was against the teachings of Jesus and immediately freed all their slaves? No? Oh. That’s probably because they were against the Emancipation Proclamation.
Remember the civil rights movement in the 60’s? When Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference sought out “the promised land” and equality in this country? Yeah. They were against that.
Remember when two people of different races could finally celebrate their love openly and get married? … They definitely weren’t for that.
How about when feminists said women deserve the right to vote? Well, Evangelical Christians were kind of hoping they would just stay in the kitchen. You know. Where “God” told them to be.
And what about today? What about gay people trying to get equality and respect in a world that has historically oppressed them?
Even the president came out and said he was for that! But not Evangelical Christians. No. See, they would kind of prefer it if gay people just died out.
And, FYI, they’re still pretty shitty about racial issues and women’s rights.
Have you noticed a pattern here? No? Maybe? I think you do, but I’ll spell it out for you just in case.
Evangelical Christians are very interested in keeping things the same.
No matter how bad it might be for someone else, they are interested in keeping the status quo.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold on now! What’s the deal?!
If Jesus was in the business of changing things… why is such a sizable chunk of mainstream Christianity trying to keep things the same?
If Jesus was all about the poor and downtrodden, then why are Evangelical Christians all about oppressing them?
If Jesus was against the status quo, then why have Evangelical Christians become guardians of the status quo?
But, then again, when have people ever been interested in actually following the teachings of some guy in a bathrobe preaching peace and love?
Between the times of Jesus of Nazareth and today, there has been so much bloodshed and acts of hatred carried out in the name of Christianity that it would make your head spin.
So, yeah… maybe this is nothing new. Still, I can’t help but think that if Jesus had been alive today instead of back then, and he was still trying to meddle and go about changing things, then his biggest enemies wouldn’t be agnostics or atheists. They would be Evangelical Christians.