Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hate and Slander are not Christian Values

“I hope someone will take President Obama out. I hate that man.”

“Vice-president Joe Biden arranged to have his first wife killed in a car crash so he could marry Jill.”

“Obama won the election because his party bribed Mexicans (presumably illegal ones) to vote for him.”

“Obama hates America and is bent on bringing it down in whatever way he can.”

“I’m convinced that Obama is the anti-Christ prophesied in the Bible.”

These are just a few of the examples of ill informed and hate-laced rhetoric my wife and I have heard since the November election. What is disturbing is that each of the above came from people in our area who are Bible-reading, church-going Christians.

As a member of the worldwide “Kingdom of God” Party, I'm neither a registered Democrat nor a Republican, and have no illusions about this or any other administration ever ushering in either a Grand Utopia or the Great Tribulation. But the above malicious statements about  a US president exceed anything I've witnessed in all of my 73 years.

Such toxic attitudes sometimes make me fear Obama may not live to finish his second term. When out of ignorance and/or malice large numbers of people become convinced the president is a militant Muslim, a Hitler-style Fascist, a dyed in the wool Socialist, and/or a rabid Communist who hates America, we have created a mindset in which some mentally disturbed psychopath will feel he or she is saving the country and acting as a true hero by taking him out.

I hope and pray I'm wrong, and that our Valley neighbors--and people of faith and goodwill everywhere--will take the time to get actual facts before they embrace every conspiracy theory they hear over the internet or via the grapevine. If first century Christians could love their enemies and pray for pagan and despotic rulers like Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus, surely believers today shouldn't fear living in a constitutional democracy led by a Republican Congress, a relatively conservative Supreme Court and a Democratic president.

Ironically, Obama, no matter how one judges the authenticity of his Christian faith, is at least a bona fide member of a mainline Christian denomination, something not true of his chief rival. Having said that, religion should have no bearing whatever on anyone’s suitability for office, since Article VI, paragraph 3, of the Constitution clearly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

The apostle Paul had the following to say to those living under Roman oppression and persecution:
"I exhort therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."    -- I Timothy 2:1-2 Webster’s Bible translation

Note that “godliness, honesty and the giving of thanks” were to be the rule, even in times of terrible hardships. Compared to many of our spiritual ancestors, we should feel blessed beyond measure, and should be loving and praying for even our worst political “enemies” in these difficult times.

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