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Syndi Holmes

An Open Letter to the Religious Right - Listen to What Our Country has Become
By Syndi Holmes
Aug 22, 2004 - 12:45:00 PM

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As a Christian, as a Catholic, as a Democrat, as a citizen of this country, I am compelled to speak out against the actions of those Christians who back this President. I point to them because they stand up before the world and point to themselves, loudly proclaiming their religion, their moral and family values even though they have been warned by Christ to " beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father, who is in Heaven." ( Matt.6:1) YET despite their professions, their words and actions do not give credence to the professions of their faith.

You who call yourselves Christians, who speak loudly, and at length about morals and family values, do not dispute a lie when it is in your favour, shield and justify certain criminals (if they nearly  claim your beliefs), posture about the sanctity of marriage while (on the basis of national statistics) many of you have been divorced or have supported and justified the divorce of family, friends, acquaintances or colleagues and therefore have made a mockery of the concept that you now deem sacred, you try to avoid fair taxation (even though Christ commanded the people "to render unto Caesar's what is Caesar's") and even write off what you give to God to save more of your own monies, profess a belief in compassionate conservatism yet will not share your second coat with one who has none despite Christ's admonishment to do so and to give to everyone who begs from you (Luke 6:30). You publicly judge and condemn those that you believe violate Biblical law, quoting advantageous scriptures that you carry in your hand but not in your heart, while overlooking your own infractions. You are commanded to take the log out of your eye first (Luke 6:42), to "judge not that you will not be judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged and the measure you give will be the measure that you get." ( Matt. 7: 1-2). You claim to be pro-life, yet many give little thought to respecting the life that is already on this Earth; many of you are very harsh on single mothers and their children, not welcoming them into your communities and use them as object lessons of "the wages of sin". Many support the dismembering of social programmes that were designed to uphold some semblance of human dignity. Even worse are the silent hypocrites among you who have availed themselves or their family members to abortion services, justifying their action, as one pro-life person did in the New York Times 06//20/2004 article by Amy Horman, that their abortion was different because "they really had wanted their child."

"This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN." (Matt. 15: 8-9)

Stop and listen, listen to the venomous words  now  being spoken, not just in context to this election but about anyone you dislike, disdain or hate and you should be compelled to ask yourself what has become to us, as a nation - as a nation that claims to be under God? We should delete the phrase, if for no ther reason than to avoid the sin of hypocrisy. Christ taught that "if you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even the sinners love those who love them." ( Luke 6: 32-33).

So, because a President says he is born again, you will overlook the fact, that he is unaccounted for by his own military records? You require no credibility yet you tolerate the debasement of the records and reputations of  American soldiers who put their lives on the line and lost much. Senator McCain in his 2000 presidential bid against Bush in South Carolina was slandered as overdramatising his time spent as a POW- a charge just revived in th 08/14/04 Free Republic. There is the 2002 slander written against Max Cleland by Ann Coulter in her article "Dropping Political Grenades" where she accuses him of being the cause of his own injuries that required triple amputations And now there is the malicious slander of John Kerry's war record, all orchestrated by a campaign that keeps Bush looking clean. Do you really believe as Christians that looking clean is ALL that matters? This President sends many American children to war - Where are his daughters? Or is the new  Bush tradition of service that they are above the responsibilities of citizenship that he imposes on others?

Will you overlook the facts that his Vice President told a Washington Post Reporter, George Wilson during a 1989 interview that "I had other priorities in the 60's than military service" when asked about his numerous student and family deferments? Yet today, the company that made him wealthy profits handsomely off the wars that he has had a major role in instigating and wars whose courses he has a major hand in controlling. And does it not disturb you that our own government procurement services keeps exposing massive Halliburton "overcharges" and that on Feb.16, 2004, Reuters's reported that Kuwait's parliament had formed an investigative committee to look into questionable Halliburton dealings in their country? That in Dec. 2003, the London Daily and French headlines announced that Cheney and Halliburton were under investigation for a $180 million dollar bribe paid to Nigerian officials to obtain a $3.8 Billion construction contract. Then there are Dept. of Justice and SEC investigations going on but hey, WWJD?

There are the misrepresentations to justify the Iraqi war, the deliberate misrepresentations of the costs of that war, the deliberate misrepresentations of the costs of the Medicare drug programme, a crippling and ever-growing deficit that will affect our grandchildrens' lives to finance the wealthy's tax breaks, a failing school reform, a failing energy programme that has no plan to wean us off oil and there is the unabated flow of jobs from this country. But if the president simply says that he is born again, does nothing else matter to you - at what point do lies and greed become important moral issues?

GOD IS NOT A REPUBLICAN, HE IS NOT A DEMOCRAT, HE IS NOT EVEN AN AMERICAN. God owes us nothing, but if we claim to be his folowers, then we need to at least try to live by his principles as best we can. ( And if we claim to be His followers then we cannot justify doing what is morally repugnant by saying that the other side does it.) We are ALL sinners who fall short of the glory of God.

Although he was a Hindu, Mahatma Ghandi admired Jesus and often quoted from the Sermon on the Mount. Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met Ghandi, he asked him, "Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?"

Ghandi replied, "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."

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