As a Jew, I try to tread lightly when it comes to discussing matters Christian. But I think I can say with confidence that if you're a traditional Christian who is not offended by Jim Rigby's column at the Huffington Post, Christians Who Want Democracy Must Stop Bowing to a Dictator Christ, you're not reading carefully.
Rigby is the pastor at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX. He has gotten into hot water for conducting ceremonies for homosexual couples. His church has also admitted a professed atheist as a member.
Let's start with this choice bit of blasphemy:
"Jesus was born illegitimately."
Other verbatim excerpts likely to elevate believers' blood pressure:
- Should we be surprised that religious nations that picture Christ as a loving dictator have produced conquistadors, inquisitors and crusaders?
- Many Christians seek a white male king. He may be called "Pope", he may be called "the decider President," he may be called "televangelist," but the title only masks what he is, a benevolent (or not so benevolent) dictator.
- Today's church lifts its arms to praise Christ wearing liturgical garments woven in sweatshops. So called "Christian America" is still a nation built on the work of slaves. We do not see them because they toil invisibly in other countries. Today's church doles out bits of charity from booty stolen from God's powerless people the world over.
- All of us can begin to plant seeds of a better future for our children's children. For Christians today, that means suffering the consequences of refusing to bow to the dictator Christ of this culture.
- From Popes, Luther and Calvin we have some of the ugliest slurs ever recorded against women, intellectuals, and those who refused the church's message. How did Christians hold slaves, oppress women and slaughter nonbelievers? Perhaps they could not see Christ in non-male, non-European, and non-Christian people because they were limited by their theology. Their "Christ" was merely a glorification of the most powerful member of their own culture.
- To picture God in terms of power is also one of the great bait and switch gimmicks of all time. People within the power hierarchy proclaim that God is the ultimate authority, and then appoint themselves as God's interpreters and enforcers. They are God's humble bullies. It has been one of the most successful con games of all time.
- The real Jesus was an anarchist.
- If you want to know why Americans are so frightened and why we are attacking anything that would challenge our dominance over others, read the Bible. Like Cain we have murdered members of our human family.