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What probably first comes to mind, is that isn’t this a contradiction in terms? One would hope that Christian and bigot couldn’t possibly go together. Alas, all too often they do. At least for a certain type of Christian.

I’ve been thinking a good deal about the “Pastor” Terry Jones and his tiny brigade of haters who had planned to burn Qur’ans. This spurred a world-wide whirlwind of response from the President, Pope, and others in positions of power and influence.

Terry seemed undisturbed by it all, claiming that God told him to do this.

Indeed, his god probably did. But is this THE God or only the convenient one he has created to salve his guilty conscience at his alive-and-well wealth of hatred? I would think the latter.

A few weeks ago, someone (speak up if it was you!) suggested that “born agains” which most of these fundogelicals are, don’t really experience any real conversion interiorly. They simply profess that Jesus is my savior and then go about their lives pretty much the same, with a generous “amen” and “have you confessed Jesus as your Lord and Savior” sprinkled throughout their conversations.

The Bible, then, becomes for them, a hugely wonderful resource for finding all kinds of quotes to sustain whatever personal beliefs they have about just about anything. I for instance have been told that Jesus never authorized governments to take care of the poor. (I just can imagine Jesus condemning Rome for its decision to take over the care of the widow and orphan in Jerusalem, freeing the Jews to spent their money on Temple maintenance!) 

I can only speak of my own conversion some seventeen years ago, as an example. I was flooded with guilt for months, until my baptism, and I actually went around to a number of people who I felt I had wronged and asked forgiveness and made my amends as best I could. I allowed to come forth all those natural feelings that hate and prejudice toward others was wrong. I resolved to actively work against the desire to blame “others” for whatever ills I fashioned were wrong with the US and the world at large.

Of course, I fail more than I succeed. Yet, I resolve each day to do better, and occasionally I think I’ve beat another hatred back a bit. It’s an ongoing battle, and of course it is meant to be. We don’t become saints over night, and most of us never. But we try.

Our new resident troll seems to suggest that we are intolerant because we aren’t tolerant of intolerant people! Wrap your brain around that one if you can. He misunderstands of course. I am most tolerant of anyone’s right to spew hatred whether they be Christian bigots ala Terry Jones, or the KKK or self-serving money grabbers such as Glenn Beck.

They have every right to do what they do. This is what freedom is about after all. But I, I have every right, and frankly a duty to speak out against their hatred. Their intolerance cannot be allowed to go unchallenged lest the uniformed be persuaded that this stuff is the right way to think.

Christian bigots as I said, sprinkle their talk with lots of godly words. They make Facebook entries like “Do you love Jesus?” They are always punctuating sentences with “Praise God.”

But if you look closely at what they cite in their defense of their bigoted ideas, it is almost never Jesus. No they speak of Jesus but never quote him much. Much of what they quote is either Paul taken outrageously out of  the context of very specific issues, or Hebrew Testament cherry picking. This is the more interesting because when they don’t like something in the HT, they invariably tell you that NT subsumes the Old, and Jesus fulfilled all the HT. That allows them to eat pork, and charge interest, and a plethora of other things that they find unpleasant or tedious.

You can know them almost precisely because they don’t quote Jesus, who, by overwhelming degree, spoke about love, forgiveness, and taking care of each other. Jesus above all talked of treating “enemies” not as such, but gently, with friendship, with love, and with hospitality. For as he often said, sinners treat well people who treat them well. Doing the same is nothing to brag about for the believer. Jesus spoke of the poor, the outcast, the sinner.

To suggest that God wishes us to burn the spiritual book of another faith is simply absurd. Most of us know that. Most of us know that Jesus would have condemned anyone who tried to box an entire faith system as evil. He found faithful people among the Roman legions for goodness sake.

Terry Jones, is a preacher in his own mind. He has so little sense, that he apparently actually became convinced that  Imam Rauf, who has stood against all manner of politically powerful idiots, suddenly bows to a dolt such as Terry and agrees to move his Islamic Center. I mean how full of it can one be?

Jones is captured by his own press at this point, and actually apparently thinks he is an important individual. He is nothing but a pimple on the butt of Satan. And the media, ever ready of course, to take the easy road, gives him play all day long. What should be done, is simply to ignore the fool and his tiny band of ill-educated, and unconverted hate mongers. Their god is no god, but an idol they have constructed to justify their bigotry.

We would do well to get on with life, leaving Terry and his ragtag troop to their marshmallow roast, ignored and shunned.