Monday, August 3, 2009
If you are Christian, the importance of the Bible is obvious to you.
If you are an atheist or a person of a different faith, please note that 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Therefore, if you are trying to reach Americans with the truth, it might help to know a little about the Bible. If you can quote scripture, you may more easily reach people who might not otherwise listen.
The government has done everything it could to scare the daylights out of the American public in order to promote its political agenda.
The government has used fear as an excuse to torture, spy on Americans, deny rights to those accused of crimes, deny free speech to government critics, and otherwise ignore large portions of the Bill of Rights and of international treaties like the Geneva convention.
But as former high-level CIA officer (and Catholic) Ray McGovern wrote Saturday:
[A poll shows that church-goers support torture more than non church-goers].
I am not a psychologist or sociologist. But I recall that one of the first things Hitler did on assuming power was to ensure there was a pastor in every Lutheran and Catholic parish in Germany. Why? Because he calculated, correctly, that this would be a force for stability for his regime. Thus began horrid chapter in the history of those who profess to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth but forget his repeated admonition, Do not be afraid.
A mere seven decades after the utter failure of most church leaders in Germany, their current American counterparts have again yielded to fear, and have condoned evils like torture by their deafening silence.
Indeed, Jesus repeatedly told his disciples and other people not to be afraid. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus:
- Speaks these words to the disciples during a storm (14:27)
- To Peter, James and John during the Transfiguration (17:7)
- To the women outside the empty tomb (28:10)
- To the disciples he is about to send out to teach, preach and heal, he says, "Have no fear" of those who have called the master of the house Beelzebul and will surely also malign those of his household (10:25)
- "Do not be afraid," Jesus says, reminding those he is sending out of the One whose eye is on the sparrow. "You are of more value than many sparrows" (10:31)
(In other sections of the Bible, Jesus said do not be afraid another 10 times.)
Jesus told his flock not to be afraid. Christians that succumb to fear are not following Christ's teachings. Those of us who succumb to fear are following those who would manipulate - instead of free - us.
To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.
- Mother Teresa