As I read the news about what happened in Oslo, I felt it best not to comment immediately and respect a healing nation. I walk past the World Trade Center on a daily basis and my heart went out to those that lost their lives, victims that survived and the family members of all those involved in Oslo. What outraged me most was the response by conservatives and Christians in the US failing to admit/acknowledge that the killer in Oslo was a Christian fundamentalist. A reminder, I was raised fundamentalist/Evangelical/Pentecostal. So when I speak, it is from experience of being indoctrinated. Yes, there are nut cases in Christianity. Every religion has extremists who pervert what is considered the purity of the faith. Christianity is not immune from this type of extremism. I was not surprised that the Oslo killer was Norwegian or that he was a fundamentalist Christian. Have we forgotten Timothy McVeigh – homegrown terrorist from the heartland of America claiming to be patriotic to the core! I have met some sincere Christians, but they have been severely wrong in what they claim to be the truth. Even when Evangelical leaders are caught in “major sins” – the ones they publicly condemn (marital infidelity or homosexuality), their congregation rallies behind them and the larger Christian community does not condemn the action. However, if a Democrat is caught in the same sin forgiveness is not an option. A couple of years ago, there was talk of one conservative group proposing to re-write the Bible because Jesus appeared to be a liberal. Doing good and helping others is not liberal it is a Christ principle. If being Christ like means you need to change the Bible for fear of being thought of as liberal, then I seriously doubt you believe the faith you claim.
It never ceases to amaze me how the American Christian community blindly follows anyone who claims to be pro-life or anti-homosexuality, particularly when it comes to politicians even when their lifestyles are in direct conflict with the life Christ commanded. Christ taught to feed the hungry, visit the fatherless, attend to the widows, clothe the homeless and instead of showing favor to those that are highly regarded, extend favor to those considered the least among you. As I stomached the deficit talks, I shook my head in disbelief. The same people that conservative Christians have backed as “defenders of the faith in politics” are the very ones taking away benefits from the fatherless, homeless, orphaned, and aging. Maybe if conservative Christians were more concerned with going into the highways and byways and ministering to the needs of the fatherless, homeless, orphaned, there would be no need for social services by the government. Unfortunately, most churches are more concerned about feeling secure in their belief that they are saved that if a homeless person dare cross the church threshold that person would not be welcomed.
I watch the GOP kowtow to Tea Party concerns – all the while the American people and economy hang in the balance. Where are the traditional fiscal conservatives of the Republican party? I used to have some respect for them but it seems as if they have turned over leadership to the Tea Party. Democrats aren’t blameless either. Once again, I expected transformative leadership from Obama and instead he plays the negotiator/mediator. As Congress had a tantrum like a two year old in the store, Democrats allowed the tantrum to continue up to the deadline. This was not democracy at work. It illustrated how the two party system in the US has high-jacked our democratic principles. After a final agreement, I watched as one GOP said the agreement left in place GOP values and helped them for the election and that the August 2 deadline was not real and no damage would occur. The American economy was already crippled and they hobbled it for the sake of getting someone elected to presidency in 2012?! Where were the American people? No mass protests on the Hill, no demonstrations of outrage at how ridiculous Congress acted. Now news of S&P’s downgrading of US from AAA to AA+. In the words of Rodney King, “can’t we just get along?” No we can’t because the two party system is more concerned about self preservation even if it means sacrificing the American people and economy.
Unfortunately, we are trapped. When 2012 arrives, I will vote for the lesser of two evils fearful that a Michele Bachman might actually make it to the oval office.