“Jesus is my Saviour and Bill Maher is right”: A Reflection on Religion
So yesterday was Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday depending on your tradition. It’s the high holy day for those of the Christian faith. I’m not sure where the bunnies and eggs originated though. Maybe celebrating salvation wasn’t fun enough for America. Anyhow, I think it’s important for me to define my spiritual background so that you can understand where I’m coming from in this post.
I am the type of Christian that believes that what the Bible says is true and real. I believe that it’s the Word of God, and that it is sharper than any two edged sword. I believe that there is power in the Name of Jesus, and that prayer really can change things. I have had too many “coincidences” in my life that confirm that God hears my prayers; it’s not something you ever forget. I believe that God can do miracles even in 2012. I believe that God has a plan for my life, yes, God has a plan for little ol’ me; which blows my mind when I think of how big the world is. Yes, I am the type of Christian that Bill Maher (the famous Atheist comedian who I am a huge fan of) would call Cray-Cray. Now Bill, I’m pretty sure I’m not crazy in the way that you think, but I understand where you are coming from.
I often examine my Christianity in the context of politics because I try to follow what’s going on in the country. When big things happen during the week with politics, I often find myself wondering what jokes Bill is going to have on Friday about all these political shenanigans. Although I think he’s funny, and I agree with the majority of things he talks about from a policy standpoint, I always shift in my seat a little bit when he starts going in on Christians. Honestly, I feel like he just wants Christians to act more like Jesus. If you watch his show, that’s basically the punch line of a lot of his Christian jokes, and how can we disagree?
It seems like the general public thinks we are close minded, education hating, gun loving, racists, who just seem to be mean. (I say general public loosely here because 78.4% of Americans identify themselves as Christians). Christians (or I guess Evangelicals for the sake of clarity) are viewed in this light because “extremes” is what gets press, and also because of that show Good Christian B**ches (GCB). Just kidding… kinda. From a policy standpoint, it seems like Evangelicals:
- Care more for the wealthy than the poor, even though Jesus said (you know, the red letters) ”Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40).
- Favor large businesses that make money off of the exploitation of a less fortunate group (which is sort of the basis of Capitalism as I understand it, but perhaps that’s a conversation for another day).
What about healthcare? Would Jesus want people that aren’t financially stable to have to rely on the kindness of the church-like folks like they had to in the good old days, according to Ron Paul? My question to Congressman Paul is this, if I was broke and dying back in your day, would the churches you are thinking of have stepped in for me as a Black woman? What about the Christians in the crowds at so many Republican rallies who yell hateful things? What about the Cross-burning Ku Klux Klan Christians? Look at the folks at Westboro Baptist Church who protest at people’s funerals. Oh yeah, Jesus would definitely be down with that! Even the KKK has issues with these Christians, go figure.
Humans are behind religion as an institution in this world, and that’s pretty much why things are so messed up I believe. We humans have been making God look bad for the longest! Many of you have probably heard this quote from Gandhi: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” How sad is that? In Matthew 7:16-20, Jesus said (more red letters), “that they will know us by our fruit.” In Galatians, the fruits of the spirit are listed as: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And a lot of the fruit that people see from Evangelicals is just plain rotten. So is Bill Maher right?
To me, Bill seems that he wants to believe in something, but he needs to literally see a mountain move or something miracle-like to do so. How many of you can relate to that? He bases his decisions and life on human logic, but FAITH is completely illogical. That’s why it is so powerful! I often say a prayer for Bill, of course because I’m a fan, and more importantly because God loves him just like He loves me, right? He’s not the Devil incarnate, he’s a man that makes money off of telling jokes and calling people out on their BS. I believe more than anything, he wants people to be about what they say they are about. I’m not mad at him.
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