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Jesus’ message lost in translation

The Christian Coalition proudly notes they are the “largest and most active conservative grassroots political organization in America.” A more accurate description for its Web site would be the “largest force in perpetuation of misconceptions about Christianity through condemnation and arrogance.”

This may seem harsh, but the Coalition’s agenda speaks for itself. According to its Web site, its current top issues include legislation protecting the words “under God” in the pledge, legislation allowing for church promotion of political candidates without losing tax benefits, cutting contributions to the United Nations, three legislative initiatives relative to abortion, two relative to television content and one related to tax cuts.

The news source affiliated with the Christian Coalition, Agape Press (agape, ironically being the Greek word for unconditional love), has recently published a story warning “conservative Christians” not to decrease their alarm and protest over same-sex marriage. They also published an article Monday expressing concern for the admittance of Saudi transfer students (who could potentially be terrorists) into U.S. colleges.

Hypothetically, if a U.S. citizen had no information about Christianity except for what the Christian Coalition stands for, they would be led to believe Jesus was disgusted by the perverse world around him. They would probably believe Jesus’ highest priority was pointing out the immorality he saw, and dealing harshly with people who did not measure up to his standards.

It’s interesting to contrast the Christian Coalition’s rhetoric to the words and lifestyle of Jesus.

Jesus was a friend of the lowly; the people rejected by society and looked down upon by the “religious” men of his time.

In fact, when asked about the greatest commandment, he did not say “No same sex marriage!” or “No abortions!” or “No wasting tax dollars on social programs!”

He said love.

Love God and love people; period (Matthew 22:37). In fact he added that every other law hangs on love. It’s the pivotal point. These are the New Testament cliff notes. He was saying “if you get nothing else, remember love.” He repeats this same concept so many times; it cannot be missed or argued.

This movement of people and politicians who refer to themselves as “conservative Christians” (in and outside the Coalition) who have taken part in bombing abortion clinics and protesting outside the funerals of soldiers who died fighting for a country which “harbors homosexuals” are corrupting the world’s view of Christianity, and more importantly, of Jesus.

Instead of having one finger in the face of the sinner and one hand tightly wrapped around his wallet, it’s clear Jesus would have both hands wrapped around anyone and everyone he’d meet – even Bill O’Reilly.

Thus legislation banning “immorality” would not be priority. Promoting public prayer and allowing for displays of the Ten Commandments would also not be priority. Jesus did not force himself on others, or try to play a role in politics. He was interested in relationships and self sacrifice. So, it’s clear, cutting taxes going toward humanitarian programs would not make his list of initiatives.

The title “religious right” is currently used interchangeably with “conservative Christians,” but it would make more sense if the use of the word “Christian” was completely removed. “Religious right” makes sense. This group is certainly religious.

Religious as in: dedicated to a set of defined morals held by a group of people. But the priority is not love, so it’s not Jesus, so it’s not Christian. Maybe it’s time for the Coalition to think about a name change.

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