Monday, October 11, 2010

Obama, Cain, and Jesus: A parable of confused morals.

I don't pretend to be a Biblical scholar, so I rarely delve into any type of religious topic. If you had read my previous article about the attacks on Christianity, you might have come to the conclusion that I’m religious. I’m not.

As an agnostic, I’m really not even a person who calls himself a Christian—although I was raised by a Christian mother—nor a “person of faith”—a failing my wife often criticizes and suggests that I work on getting a little more faith.

But I don’t disrespect anyone for their religious beliefs. As an agnostic, who can’t lean on a “faith” to get me through troubling times, I rather envy anyone with faith. And, as Thomas Jefferson once said, “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”

Which brings me back to Obama. Yes, you knew I’d get there eventually, right?

While I agree with Jefferson’s statement that “{Religion is} a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle”, I can’t help but contemplate our current president’s odd expressions of “faith”. I rather preferred Obama’s previous lack of religious expression to his recent proclamation of faith in Christianity.

Apparently responding to polls suggesting that over 20% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim pretending to be a Christian, Obama publicly stated that he “came to Christianity as an adult”, and was attracted to certain aspects of the religion, although admittedly not all. Now, myself being an agnostic who can’t blindly believe that Jesus was “the Son of God”, I understand his sentiment; I nevertheless don’t judge Obama for not being able to believe the Christian dogma part and parcel. But unlike Obama, I won’t call myself a Christian just because I like “certain parts” of the religion. There is at least one core part of the religion you have to believe or you simply are not Christian: that Jesus was God on earth and he died for our sins to give us eternal life. It’s great if you agree that we should love our neighbor, but if you don’t believe that Jesus is God, you really have no business claiming to be “a Christian”…especially if you only do it in election years!

Many conservatives have already spoken or written at length about that topic, so I won’t delve into it deeply. But there was a statement Obama made that really caught my attention. Remember when he said that he liked that part in Christianity about “being your brother’s keeper”? That was a statement he quoted often during the healthcare debate. When asked about his Christian faith, Obama told the LA Times:

“The precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brother's and sister's keeper, treating others as they would treat me.”

I haven’t read the Bible lately, but of course all those years of having my mother drag me to church had some benefit, because I realized that the quote Obama spewed out wasn’t a quote from Jesus…it was actually Cain who said it after he’d murdered his brother. Genesis 4:9.

Cain and Abel, sons of the original Adam, were promised to marry twin sisters. Abel was to wed the more attractive of the two, and Cain was envious. He argued with his father and brother and in order to settle the quarrel, Adam arranged for Cain to make a sacrifice to God, to see what God’s response was. God rejected the sacrifice, which was an indication that he disagreed with Cain’s argument. So angered by these events, Cain murdered his brother. In some versions, he did it with the jawbone of an ass. (Is it wrong to note that the ass is the emblem of Obama’s Democrat party?)

Returning to Obama’s statement, the last part of it does, in fact, sound like something Jesus is quoted as saying. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 5:43. But even then, Jesus was repeating a quotation of the Hebrew Torah, from Leviticus.

Still, there something profoundly ironic about Obama misquoting Cain’s smart-Alec response to God’s query “Where is your brother Abel?” to which Cain responds: “I don’t know, am I my brother’s keeper?”. A holistic examination of Obama’s statement of faith reveals that he has conflated Cain’s disrespectful response to God with the advice given by Jesus! He has somehow joined the concept of “treating others as you would have them treat you”, and the story about the first fratricide in recorded history, and concluded that they contain the same moral.

What does that say about his adherence to Christianity? Did he learn this from Reverend Wright?

A short period after Obama misquoted the Bible, he stood before an audience, attempting to persuade voters in the upcoming November elections to support his party, when his Presidential Seal fell off the podium.

If I were superstitious (I’m not, but it’s amusing to think about this from the perspective of how the ancients might have read the signs), I might consider that an ill omen portending tragedy for Obama…the equivalent of God rejecting Cain’s sacrifice, as it were.

Think of it this way: Cain slew Abel out of envy. God did not consent to grant Cain’s greedy demand to be given the more attractive wife, so Cain murdered his brother in a jealous rage.

What’s ironic is that Obama, with his class warfare rhetoric, sows the seeds of envy among millions every time he promotes his notion of social justice and redistributive policies, and then ends up trying to prove his adherence to Christianity, but in so doing, quotes Cain instead of Jesus. It’s bizarre but fitting.

So do I think that, when the Presidential Seal fell from the Podium, it was God's way of telling us that He had rejected Obama’s Presidency?

I guess I’ll have to consider that as a “matter of faith.”

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Christian strikes back: Kathleen Folden was right

On Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010, Kathleen Folden entered the Loveland Museum/Gallery with a crowbar hidden on her person and destroyed part of Enrique Chagoya’s lithograph “The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals.” Witnesses claimed that, as she destroyed the piece, she asked, “how can you desecrate my Lord?” Afterward she was arrested, and as she was led away she reportedly stated to reporters: “Remember; God is real.”

On Friday, Oct. 8, the Denver Post compared Folden’s attack on the lithograph to the Taliban’s destruction of monumental statues of Buddha. Readers left similar comments on the Post website.

One attempted to claim that Christians have somehow decided to embrace the fanaticism of Muslims who defend their religion with violence: “I think all the funny business over that fat pastor threatening to burn the Koran, and the ensuing sanctimony of Muslims, has influenced Christians, this lady specifically, to embrace Islam.”
Another directly accused Folden of terrorism: “The woman is a terrorist, plain and simple. She executed pre-meditated terrorism and carried out the plot. The Taliban has come to America disguised as Christianity.”

The Post interviewed Adam Lerner, director of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, who said, “I really hope this doesn’t create any kind of precedent.”

It is very easy to understand how this event could shock liberals who cannot comprehend how a sane person could possibly be motivated enough to drive from her Montana home to Loveland, Colorado, in order to destroy a piece of art. To these people, the fact that the so-called “art” depicted Jesus Christ’s head on a woman’s body with another man apparently performing oral sex on Christ should not be good enough reason for such a horrendous response.

The anger and apparent offense they express give me the impression that they feel victimized by a particularly brutal form of secular blasphemy.

This is easily understood, as the very first amendment to our beloved constitution defends the individual’s right to freedom of expression, and we all would agree that even obscene and offensive forms of expression are to be tolerated.

Interestingly, however, we must for a moment remember that not all expression is protected. Just as one cannot call out “FIRE” in a crowded theater, because it creates a safety risk, Liberals have also passed a number of laws denoting “protected status” on certain groups within our society, and identifying certain types of speech that are felonious “hate crimes”.

From this reasoning, it is understood that a black man who punches a white racist who called him “N-----” has committed a lesser offense than the man who was “expressing himself” with that hateful term. A homosexual who defends himself after being called a “queer” or “fag” would be defended as being “in the right”.

And as Mr. Lerner indicated, an isolated event is not as worrisome as a “precedent” indicating the start of a trend. If only one white person were to have ever called a black person the “N” word, then it would not be such an offensive situation, would it? But when we consider the greater history around that word, and the litany of offenses and crimes associated with the kind of hate the word represents, then we understand that the black man struck the offending racist not because of one word, but because it was the tipping point in a series of offenses that pushed him over the edge.

Perhaps it’s time to examine the long list of offenses perpetrated by the “art world” and defended by the liberal mindset that has finally driven Christians to the point of violent reaction. I don’t even have to search very far. Anti-Christian sentiment is inspiring violent vandalism against Christian buildings and symbols. Virgin Mary statues were destroyed in Boston, Mass. and in Leadville Colorado. One man, Jay Scott Balinger, admitted to between 30 and 50 Church arsons across various states. You might think this sort of serial-arsonist would be accused of hate crimes, and that his crimes would have garnered national attention. But he wasn’t, and they didn’t.

The disrespectful representation of Christ in the Chagoya painting was not an isolated incident. This was just one more in a series of highly offensive and religiously blasphemous artistic expressions designed specifically to insult Christians. Here’s a short list: The “Piss Christ” sculpture by Andre Serrano. “Corpus Christi”, by Adam Cullen. “The Ninth Hour”, by Maurizio Cattelan. “Bearded Orientals: Making of the Empire Cross”, by Priscilla Bracks.

The fashion to insult Christians goes beyond the plastic arts. Plays that portray the Christian Prophet as a homosexual have been staged for the sole purpose of inciting the Christians for their opposition to gay marriage and other aspects of “the homosexual agenda”. At Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan, gay activists interrupted a church service by yelling “Bash back!” outside the church and screaming “Jesus was a homo” through a megaphone.

So yes, there has been a precedent set, but it is not the one that Mr. Lerner feared. To the contrary, the precedent has been that, while Liberals clamor to show respect to Islam and all Muslims, they participate in a hateful orgy of insulting, degrading, attacking and offending Christians. Perhaps this is why so many of their attacks are tinged with vulgar sexual and scatological references.

One Denver Post reader stated the obvious: “To the extent that the Loveland art was an attack on Christians, it provoked an in-kind response. Some jurisdictions recognize the concept of 'fighting words' in inciting violence. The Loveland art was the lithographic equivalent of 'fighting words'. If this were a black man smashing art that contained race controversy, DP bloggers would be expressing a very different viewpoint.”

Many Christians will publicly state that they wish she had not resorted to vandalism. But we must face the fact that the onslaught against Christians has been going on for decades in this country and has pushed them to a tipping point. With both cheeks already battered and torn, who can reasonably expect them to accept one offense after another without striking back?

Kathleen Folden, unlike the Taliban and other Muslim extremists, did not bomb a building, or torch a church, or stab an artist to death. Like Jesus overthrowing the carts of the money changers in the temple, she has simply destroyed one lithograph that was, without any doubt, a hateful expression against her religion. She will bear the burden of fines and a criminal record. But she will also be able to proudly declare that she fought back against hateful indecency.