Friday, April 27, 2012

Jesus for Dummies

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

William Rivers Pitt is, in my opinion, the best political writer banging on a keyboard in America today.  This week he posted an exceptional piece at in which he takes American Christianity to task.  The article is titled "The Weight,"  and it can be found here:

Yes, Mr. Pitt is a political writer, and yes, his current article focuses on Christianity, and no, he has not strayed too far afield because, unfortunately, there are few things in America as political as Christianity.  Mr. Pitt proudly proclaims his own Christianity, but he sadly notes that it is "brutally hard to be a Christian in America these days."

And it's true.

William Rivers Pitt is not the type of Christian to whom we are often subjected.  He is moral and ethical and takes care of his own business with God.  Pitt's concept of Christianity is based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament which tell the story of Jesus and provide us with his philosophy and teachings.  Mr. Pitt's Christianity is based on those teachings, things like the Golden Rule:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  If the world could only have one law, that one would be hard to beat.  Another worthy possibility also came from Jesus:  "That which you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me."

The world would truly be a wonderful place if every decision that we made as individuals or collectively as nations was carefully measured by those two yardsticks.  Or how about this one, also from Jesus:  "Love one another as I have loved you."  (John 13:34)

Pitt drew a bead on the loud, moralizing Christians who thunder about their God in public places while demonizing those who aren't in lockstep with their own particular views on how the world should operate.  These are the loud and angry political Christians whom Pitt referred to as "Jesus shouters."  (Evil bastards like the Phelps' clan of Topeka - or greedy bastards like mega-church pastors or television evangelists - leap to my mind.)  He quotes Matthew 6:5-6 and  notes that these words of Jesus are a "command."

"Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward.  But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.  And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you."

God isn't about the show, God is about the quiet and deliberate discussion.  He (or She) doesn't want to sit through a newscast or a war in order to hear our views.  A humble prayer would be much more welcome  - according to Jesus.

William Rivers Pitt concluded his piece with the following:

"...I believe that I am my brother's keeper, that I should worship without bragging about it, that the poor will God-damned-right inherit the Earth, and that what you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do unto me.  I believe that the first four books of the New Testament are a wonderful blueprint for being a decent person on this planet, and that's what I live by, as best I can. 
"I am an American Christian, and it is a burden to bear."
The world would be a saner, safer, and much happier place if we all possessed the same level of Christianity as William Rivers Pitt.

God bless him.

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