2005/01/25

Well Said!

Folks, this is an excellently penned suggestion on what being faithful Christains is all about - in the face of the current political makeup in the U.S. today. At least, it suggests the kind of Christains I think Jesus was hoping for.

Oklahoman Minister Speaks Out
Dr. Robin Meyers Oklahoma University Peace Rally November 14,2004

As some of you know, I am minister of Mayflower Congregational Church in
Oklahoma City, an Open and Affirming, Peace and Justice church in northwest
Oklahoma City, and professor of Rhetoric at Oklahoma City University. But
you would most likely have encountered me on the pages of the Oklahoma
Gazette, where I have been a columnist for six years, and hold the record
for the most number of angry letters to the editor.

Tonight, I join ranks of those who are angry, because I have watched as the
faith I love has been taken over by fundamentalists who claim to speak for
Jesus, but whose actions are anything but Christian.

We've heard a lot lately about so-called "moral values" as having swung the election to President Bush. Well, I'm a great believer in moral values, but we need to have a discussion, all over this country, about exactly what constitutes a moral value. I mean what are we talking about? Because we don't get to make them up as we go along, especially not if we are people of faith. We have an inherited tradition of what is right and wrong, and moral is as moral does. Let me give you just a few of the reasons why I take issue with those in power who claim moral values are on their side:

When you start a war on false pretenses, and then act as if your deceptions
are justified because you are doing God's will, and that your critics are
either unpatriotic or lacking in faith, there are some of us who have given
our lives to teaching and preaching the faith who believe that this is not
only not moral, but immoral.

When you live in a country that has established international rules for
waging a just war, build the United Nations on your own soil to enforce
them, and then arrogantly break the very rules you set down for the rest of
the world, you are doing something immoral.

When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and yet fail to
acknowledge that your policies ignore his essential teaching, or turn them
on their head (you know, Sermon on the Mount stuff like that we must never
return violence for violence and that those who live by the sword will die
by the sword), you are doing something immoral.

When you act as if the lives of Iraqi civilians are not as important as the
lives of American soldiers, and refuse to even count them, you are doing
something immoral.

When you find a way to avoid combat in Vietnam, and then question the
patriotism of someone who volunteered to fight, and came home a hero, you
are doing something immoral.

When you ignore the fundamental teachings of the gospel, which says that the
way the strong treat the weak is the ultimate ethical test, by giving tax
breaks to the wealthiest among us so the strong will get stronger and the
weak will get weaker, you are doing something immoral.

When you wink at the torture of prisoners, and deprive so-called "enemy
combatants" of the rules of the Geneva Convention, which your own country
helped to establish and insists that other countries follow, you are doing
something immoral.

When you claim that the world can be divided up into the good guys and the
evil doers, slice up your own nation into those who are with you, (or with
the terrorists?), and then launch a war which enriches your own friends and
seizes control of the oil to which we are addicted, instead of helping us to
kick the habit, you are doing something immoral.

When you fail to veto a single spending bill, but ask us to pay for a war
with no exit strategy and no end in sight, creating an enormous deficit that
hangs like a great millstone around the necks of our children, you are doing
something immoral.

When you cause most of the rest of the world to hate a country that was once
the most loved country in the world, and act like it doesn?t matter what
others think of us, only what God thinks of you, you have done something
immoral.

When you use hatred of homosexuals as a wedge issue to turn out record
numbers of evangelical voters, and use the Constitution as a tool of
discrimination, you are doing something immoral.
When you favor the death penalty, and yet claim to be a follower of Jesus,
who said an eye for an eye was the old way, not the way of the kingdom, you
are doing something immoral.

When you dismantle countless environmental laws designed to protect the
earth which is God?s gift to us all, so that the corporations that bought
you and paid for your favors will make higher profits while our children
breathe dirty air and live in a toxic world, you have done something
immoral. The earth belongs to the Lord, not Halliburton.
When you claim that our God is bigger than their God, and that our killing
is righteous, while theirs is evil, we have begun to resemble the enemy we
claim to be fighting, and that is immoral.

We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.

When you tell people that you intend to run and govern as a "compassionate
conservative", using the word which is the essence of all religious
faith-compassion, and then show no compassion for anyone who disagrees with
you, and no patience with those who cry to you for help, you are doing
something immoral.

When you talk about Jesus constantly, who was a healer of the sick, but do
nothing to make sure that anyone who is sick can go to see a doctor, even if
she doesn?t have a penny in her pocket, you are doing something immoral.

When you put judges on the bench who are racist, and will set women back a
hundred years, and when you surround yourself with preachers who say gays
ought to be killed, you are doing something immoral.

I'm tired of people thinking that because I'm a Christian, I must be a
supporter of President Bush, or that because I favor civil rights and gay
rights I must not be a person of faith. I'm tired of people saying that I
can't support the troops but oppose the war.

I heard that when I was your age, when the Vietnam War was raging. We knew
that that war was wrong, and you know that this war is wrong, the only
question is how many people are going to die before these make-believe
Christians are removed from power?

This country is bankrupt. The war is morally bankrupt. The claim of this
administration to be Christian is bankrupt. And the only people who can turn
things around are people like you, young people who are just beginning to
wake up to what is happening to them. It's your country to take back. It's
your faith to take back. It's your future to take back.

Don't be afraid to speak out. Don?t back down when your friends begin to
tell you that the cause is righteous and that the flag should be wrapped
around the cross, while the rest of us keep our mouths shut. Real Christians
take chances for peace. So do real Jews, and real Muslims, and real Hindus,
and real Buddhists, so do all the faith traditions of the world at their
heart believe one thing: life is precious. Every human being is precious.
Arrogance is the opposite of faith. Greed is the opposite of charity. And
believing that one has never made a mistake is the mark of a deluded man,
not a man of faith. And "war is the greatest failure of the human race" and
thus the greatest failure of faith.

There's an old rock and roll song, whose lyrics say it all: War, what is it
good for? Absolutely nothing. And what is the dream of the prophets? That we
should study war no more, that we should beat our swords into plowshares and
our spears into pruning hooks. Who would Jesus bomb, indeed? How many wars
does it take to know that too many people have died? What if they g ave a war
and nobody came? Maybe one day we will find out.

Time to march again my friends. Time to commit acts of civil disobedience.
Time to sing, and to pray, and refuse to participate in the madness. My
generation finally stopped a tragic war. You can, too!

11 Comments:

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1/25/2005 06:24:00 pm  
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1/25/2005 06:25:00 pm  
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1/25/2005 06:26:00 pm  
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1/25/2005 06:27:00 pm  
Thank you surrogate, for that post. I will look into Dr. Robin Meyers as well, since I am already reading Jim Wallis' book: God's Politics. 

Posted by Sarah
1/25/2005 06:55:00 pm  
Gosh, it looks like we're censoring the comments but we're not. LOL Someone had a problem with the comment app.. Hopefully we will find a way to clean up the leftover trash Blogger leaves behind.

 

Posted by Dianne
1/25/2005 06:55:00 pm  
Surrogate, this is one of the best one's I've read in awhile. Thanks so much! He truly is speaking for many of us out there.

I agree..it's time to do it again. We can stop the madness. 

Posted by Dianne
1/25/2005 07:00:00 pm  
man, that anonymous person likes to leave lots of blank comments huh? 

Posted by surrogate
1/25/2005 09:11:00 pm  
yea reminds my of when someone is cussing by blanks:

you know:

blankety blank blank blank

I like the article. Thanks for sharing. 

Posted by catonine
1/25/2005 10:54:00 pm  
it was not blank comments. i some how managed to send the same comment numerous times. dianne and whynot just fixed it. nothing was censored and it was a mistake.

now on to my comment.. all i have to say is try read revelations int the king james version of the bible 

Posted by APRIL
1/26/2005 01:33:00 am  
"where I have been a columnist for six years, and hold the record
for the most number of angry letters to the editor"
.

Why am not surprised?

Wow, thanks for this brilliant post, Surrogate. I believe minister Robin Meyers has reconciliated me with the *believing* world. If only the majority of the followers had the same morals as we atheists have, we might actually start to believe there is no difference in moral values between us and them.

"There's an old rock and roll song, whose lyrics say it all....".

Another one I love is the one that says:

"Imagine there was no country.... imagine there was no war.... imagine there was no religion...".

Dreamer? Perhaps. 

Posted by WhyNot
1/26/2005 08:23:00 am  

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