Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Two kinds of Christianity?

I was meeting with board members of a fine, socially aware downtown church in a nearby town, hoping to persuade them to give HFP some free office space. But then I noticed one board member with an angry look on his face. It didn't take long for him to speak up, and express strong opposition to giving HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS anything. He didn't want his church affiliated with some do-gooder group that wanted to free vicious criminals and might put the church in a controversial position. No way.

Another retired reporter and I were talking about the anger in people these days. Even, and perhaps especially, among those claiming to be Christians. We think it's getting worse. What do you think?

We recalled the recent scene where gay military personnel who have been serving their country were booed. Where a presidential candidate who boasted about his death penalty position received applause. Where poor people in need of welfare were angrily advised to get a job, get a life. And much of this behavior is found in a group of people calling themselves Christians. Frankly, I'm not terribly surprised because, as an advocate for prisoners, I'm pretty used to it. Doesn't make any difference whether you go to church or not. If you never knew anyone in prison, and if your friends and family never had anyone in prison, chances are you don't like to hear about it. Because then you have to think about it. And Jesus said you darn well better do something about it.

Speaking of Jesus, maybe it's time to forget the rhetoric of people, and listen to the words of our master. We might start by once again reviewing the words to the Sermon on the Mount.

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