If Christianity had its own PR flack, he would be slamming his fist on the desk right about now, as the faithful are spinning out of control.
A Tennessee man, Ronnie Monday, and his friends thought they were doing the “Lord’s work,” by raising money to erect a massive billboard in the town of Portland that called homosexuality an abomination. It quotes Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination.” To the right of the verse the billboard says, “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.” Yet what Monday didn’t address is that a few verses later in Leviticus, homosexuals are condemned to death. So much for loving the sinner.
The United States Air Force entered the religious battle this week when it said it would not let a veteran airman reenlist unless he swore an oath unto God. The airman, who has remained unnamed, signed the oath document, but crossed out the words “so help me God.” Bryan Fischer of the ultra-conservative American Family Association said that atheists should not even be allowed to serve in the armed forces. “There is no place in the United States military for those who do not believe in the Creator,” he said. “A man who doesn’t believe in the Creator … most certainly should not wear the uniform.”
How quickly Fischer dismisses the lives of those like Pat Tillman, an open atheist who lost his life not long after he walked away from his professional football career to fight Al Qaeda after 9/11. The American Humanist Association and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation quickly took action against the Air Force, which strongly defended the wording of the oath. Eventually, the organizations wore the Air Force down, and it dropped its religious enlistment requirement.
After the Air Force’s decision to drop the requirement, the 700 Club’s Pat Robertson went onan anti-Semitic tirade: “There’s a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein [president of MRFF] who has got a group about people against religion or whatever he calls it, and he has just terrorized the armed forces.” He continued, “You think you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to defend us, and you got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you.”
On the subject of the military, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared in front of a crowd that the US should not fear a war with the Islamic militant group ISIS because Huckabee has read the Bible, and it contains a prophecy. ”I got good news for all the dispirited and disquieted Christians in America who somehow are afraid that the Sons of Ishmael who are challenging us now in the Middle East will overwhelm the Sons of Isaac,” Huckabee said. “Let me assure you, I have read the end of the book! My dear friend, we win!”
For those who have not read the Bible, there is a massive lack of information about how to deal with ISIS, but that did not stop Huckabee, who even appeared on Fox News endorsing greater military action, saying dropping bombs is not enough to “eradicate ISIS.”
And last, if you are not familiar with Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount, Jesus blessed the poor and the hungry. But now he’s blessing the gun nuts? Pat Robertson, who can’t stay out of the news, has added a new verse: “Blessed are the fully armed because theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”
Robertson was referring to earlier fear-mongering comments in which he claimed, “Violent attacks and even deaths on church property occur far more often than people realize.” But Robertson had good news for his viewers, saying, “The good news: You can protect yourself. What are you going to do, are you going to give church members AK-47s at the door to let them blow away those intruders?”
I don’t think Jesus meant handguns when he said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”