By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader
How long will the public simply accept media anointing of some of the most virulent, intolerant people of our society as EVANGELICAL?
How long can a reasonable society label as “righteous” any group of people largely propped up by bigotry, arrogance, intolerance, division, indifference and outright contempt for the most oppressed?
It’s time to stand up, point and shout: “The Emperor has no clothes!”
The media is an accomplice in this virtually criminal misinformation of Americans. Not only does it subliminally create false realities that promote chaos through twisted news commentary and analysis—but also overtly perpetuates confusion by enabling talking heads to babble half-truths and outright lies without challenge.
This intellectual conspiracy keeps the country divided—arguably more than economics, class or even race. It’s time to disavow the shroud of wolves in sheep’s clothing; to reveal that everything they speak in the name of God is not godly.
Let’s deal with the facts. The term Christian essentially means “follower of Christ” or “Christ-like.” Christian is the term given to true believers in the first century A.D. The term evangelical comes from the Greek word “euangelion” that means “good news.”
Evangelism is sharing the good news of the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. An evangelical, then, is a person dedicated to promoting the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Combined, the description “evangelical Christian” is intended to indicate a believer who is faithful in sharing and promoting the good news.
In Western culture today, there are many caricatures of evangelical Christians. While there is no theological support for the interpretation, the term evangelical Christian to some is equivalent to “right-wing, fundamentalist Republican.”
The Holy Scripture is clear in instructing Christians to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, shelter the homeless, turn the other cheek, respect all people equally, promote world peace, forgive, atone, repent, and respect the earth.
The ironic and tragic thing about the “religious right” is how little of their own agenda they have achieved. And by voting for a conservative ideological agenda, they actually hurt the poor, resist immigration reform, promote endless wars, reject health care, stoke ambers of division, and neglect the environment.
Media propagation of the so-called “evangelical movement” is a big lie. The truth is that the religious right is all wrong.
Let’s define LIBERAL. The dictionary says the word means: “favoring reform; open to new ideas, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others, not bound by traditional thinking, broad-minded; generous and tending to give freely, and flexible.”
Compare that to the definition of CONSERVATIVE. “Opposition to change and innovation; the inclination to maintain the existing or traditional order, respect for established institutions and opposition to attempts to achieve social change.”
While no one knows, if you had to assign one or the other to the Lord, in your heartfelt opinion…what would Jesus do?
Religious abuse has provided smokescreens for evil in the United States throughout history. Don’t take my word for it. Revisit vicious lynching activities prayed over by local southern clergy and their congregations; witness how the Bible was misused to contain slavery, ponder Americans twisting scripture to support segregation.
More than ever, in today’s political climate, a large segment of the religious right remains dreadfully wrong. Even if their bigotry today is subtler, institutional and systemic, it is still heinous and hateful and harmful and hypocritical.
There is something terribly unholy about men and women who claim to love God, while bitterly rejecting sisters and brothers of another color.
Jesus said: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”
Love and hate can NOT co-exist in the same space or time without one cancelling out the other. It’s impossible.
At some point, these evangelical Christians must stop living a lie; turn away from pompous hypocrisy and embrace true Christianity – Kingdom-minded love and kindness for all God’s children. The impact of such a spiritual transformation could be foundational for the change this nation so desperately needs.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.