"Christian" - A Commitment, Not Just A Label
Beware of those calling themselves "Christians" yet who do not model their lives in anyway upon Christ's.
For example, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has been indicted on corruption charges, appeared on Charlie Rose last night, April 19th, in an interview.
Mr. DeLay, who epitomizes what the Republican party stands for these days, calls himself a Christian. He made the following statements:
In regard to the tragedy at Virginia Tech:
"We need to remove the ban on guns on the Virginia campus and allow people to defend themselves and allow people to get conceal carry licenses."
In other words, he said that if more people brought guns on campus, students would be safer.
I only wish that Charlie Rose had asked him this question:
Mr. DeLay, if concealed guns make people safer - why did you did not work to reform your own place of work, the Capitol, and end the ban on guns there while Republicans were in power and could have passed such a bill?
Surely, if he is not a merely a hypocrite but actually believes in the pro-gun philosophy he endorses, he would have felt safer knowing that everyone in the Capitol - from the janitor to the Whip - was armed?
Yet, you and I know he would never dream of introducing such a bill. He wouldn't dream of allowing people who came and went - including other representatives - to carry guns into the Capitol building.
We all know the obvious answer. It wouldn't be safe for him. The presence of guns make people less, not more safe. So just as it wouldn't be prudent to allow them in the Capitol, it is insanity to allow everyone who wants to carry a gun to do so on our college campuses.
The fact is, every developed nation on earth spawns the kind of disturbed individual as Cho Seung-hui.
Yet the United States is the only nation in the world that insists on arming them.
Why? The weapons manufacturers and the NRA are allowed to, literally, call the shots over three hundred million people
Therefore, it is no surprise that we lead the world in these kinds of grotesque tragedies that other nations manage to avoid through proper gun controls.
In regard to education, Mr. DeLay said this:
"I think we ought to abolish the office of education. It's [education of our citizens] not a federal responsibility and it shouldn't be."
In other words, people - no matter their economic condition - should not be educated unless they can pay all costs of it themselves.
Furthermore, Mr. DeLay evidently believes there should be no standards for education. He would make education - and literacy - of our citizens optional.
Imagine - as the entire third world struggles to achieve literacy and some degree of education among its citizens - Mr. DeLay would turn back the clock and throw us into the Middle Ages.
Bottom line, if you're poor, you do not deserve to learn how to read. One can interpret Mr. DeLay's position in no other way.
Of course this would serve him and his kind very well.
Those who cannot read or write, and those who have not been taught critical thinking, would be unlikely to every find out the degree of corruption that is rampant in Republican-brand politics so that Mr. DeLay and his party could continue to get elected based upon lies and distortions, and continue their economic rape of the nation.
A case in point, President Bush changed 90% of environmental laws to our detriment. For instance, the Appalachian Mountains - and the communities below and around them - are now being systematically destroyed through mountain top removal mining.
Lastly, Mr. DeLay painted himself as a victim in regard to his criminal indictments. He warned the American people against those who would "win at all costs and destroy people in order to win power and hang onto that power."
Ironically, Mr. DeLay described himself and the actions of the GOP perfectly.
John Dean, former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon has explained in Conservatives Without Conscience how the Republicans, under Tom DeLay, completely subverted the democratic process from 2000 to 2006 by excluding democrats from the legislative process, crafting legislation in private sessions and forcing votes in violation of house rules.
Democrats, thinking that the American public would not care about how the rules were being broken - and that Republicans would distort the issue as they did everything else - thought it would be futile to try and explain procedure to a public that makes decisions based on ten-second sound bites.
Sadly, they were probably right.
Given the incredibly dirty tricks - and outright lies - that Mr. DeLay and his party used in 2000 and 2004 to get Mr. Bush elected - not to mention what appears to be illegalities in the way he got Texas reapportioned - he was surely warning us about himself and his party when he said that the American people had to be "warned" about those interested in:
"Winning at all costs and destroying people in order to win power and hang on to that power."
I must wonder: is he a very crafty politician projecting his own sins upon the other party or he is simply, in the final analysis, without insight?
Either way, what a grotesque individual!
If only all national politicians were forced to answer questions and go through a round of televised debates before their elections. I would hope that someone like DeLay would not be elected - or re-elected - if his hazy thought processes were clearly held up to the light of day.
Maybe the entire process of campaigning as we know it should be abolished and replaced by widely broadcast forums and objective debates, both on a state and federal level. Otherwise, how can we know the true character of those for whom we are voting?
Surely, although Mr. DeLay calls himself a Christian, anyone who is aware of his career of questionable activities can tell that he does not follow Christ's basic principles.
And anyone who watched him and listened to his words last night could see that he has trouble defending his own positions - and could not defend them in the light of Christ's example.
Would Jesus say: "forget the poor - don't educate them?"
Would Jesus say: "carry a gun and be ready to shoot anyone who threatens you?"
Would Jesus lie and connive for power and later project his own misdeeds upon others?
You know the answer.
Mr. DeLay is a self-styled "Christian" in name only. It has been convenient for him to label himself as a Christian and use a Christian front as a cover for his questionable activities. It has been useful for him to beat the drum against abortion and divert attention away from all his corrupt practices.
For instance, in 2003 Majority Leader DeLay set up a charity for abused and neglected children, with part of the funds going to the 2004 GOP convention.
The New York Times described it as "aides to Mr. DeLay... acknowledged that part of the money would go to pay for late-night convention parties, a luxury suite during President Bush's speech at Madison Square Garden and yacht cruises. ... 'They are using the idea of helping children as a blatant cover for financing activities in connection with a convention with huge unlimited, undisclosed, unregulated contributions,' said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a Washington group that helped push through the recent overhaul of the campaign finance laws."
Beloved, being against abortion does not make you a Christian. Being a Christian is more complicated than that. It requires an intention to do good, to be honest, to be kind, to be generous and practice forgiveness.
If we based all our decisions for voting upon this criteria - asking how Christ-like a candidate is rather than how well he attacks and smears someone who is pro-choice - we would have a far better government - and a far stronger nation - than we have today.
But if we keep on voting for people just because they say they are Christians, the coals that are falling on our heads will continue unabated. Being a Christian is more than a label. It is a lifetime commitment to do good.
Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth. Matthew 22:16
I have given you an example , that ye should do as I have done to you. John 13:15
The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to that that are bound. Isaiah 61:1