NO LONGER A
Karen Horst Cobb)
INTRODUCTION BY F.E.REILLY
You know, I may not agree with everything I
see at Common Dreams website, but I have to say this is probably one of the most
profound Articles I have ever seen on a website that is not dedicated to
Spiritual items. This is one serious piece of communication on a set of
standards, ideas, and concepts I have seen in the secular media in a LONG time.
KUDOS and salutations to Karen Horst Cobb for a brilliant defense of My Lord's
word's, attitudes, and the reality of who he was. This was sent to me by a man
who I am fast realizing, that in spite of our adverse, and even "at odds"
backgrounds, I believe that I share what will turn out to be an eternal
brotherhood with. In spite of the fact that he and I come from different
ends of the political spectrum, we share ABSOLUTE unity and brotherhood on items
of such great importance, that I am realizing we have a kindred spirit, and I
personally believe that spirit to be the spirit of My Lord and master; Jesus of
I post this document in its totality and
exactly as it existed on Common Dreams web site for your edification, and
believe me when I say, that even if you totally disagree with what she says, or
even HOW she says it, you WILL be edified by reading it just because the words
will linger, and will be examined in your heart.
Thank you brother, (you know who you are), for
your encouragement, your friendship, and even though I have only known you for
such a short time, your Brotherhood, and for this extraordinarily blessed, and
God Bless our readers as you read....
Published on Monday, October 25, 2004 by Common Dreams
No Longer a Christian
by Karen Horst Cobb
I was told in Sunday school the word "Christian" means to be
Christ-like, but the message I hear daily on the airwaves from the "christian "
media are words of war, violence, and aggression. Throughout this article I will
spell christian with a small c rather than a capital, since the term (as I
usually hear it thrown about) does not refer to the teachings of the one I know
as the Christ. I hear church goers call in to radio programs and explain that it
was a mistake not to kill every living thing in Fallujah. They quote chapter and
verse from the old testament about smiting the enemies of Israel. The fear of
fighting the terrorists on our soil rather than across the globe causes the
voices to be raised as they justify the latest prison scandal or other accounts
of the horrors of war . The words they speak are words of destruction,
aggression, dominance, revenge, fear and arrogance. The host and the callers
echo the belief in the righteousness of our nation's killing. There are
reminders to pray for our "christian" president who is doing the work of the
Lord: Right to Life, Second Amendment, sanctity of marriage, welfare reform,
war, kill, evil liberals. . . so much to fight, so much to destroy.
Let me tell you about the Christ I know. He was conceived by
an unmarried woman. He was not born into a family of privilege. He was a
radical. He said, "It was said an eye for and eye and a tooth of a tooth, but
now I say love your enemies and bless those who curse you." He said, "Blessed
are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those
who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall
inherit the earth. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the
children of God." (Matthew 5: 3-9) He said, "All those who are called by my name
will enter the kingdom of heaven." He said, "People will know true believers if
they have the fruit of the spirit--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, gentleness, self control."
He knew he would be led like a sheep to the slaughter. He
responded with "Father forgive them." He explained that in Christ there is
neither Jew nor gentile, slave or free male nor female. He explained that even
to be angry is akin to murder. He said the temple of God is not a building, but
is in the hearts of those are called by his name. He was called "the Prince of
Peace." His final days were spent in prayer, so that he could endure what was
set before him, not on how he could overpower the evil government of that day.
When they came for him he was led away and didn't resist his death sentence.
This is a stark contrast to the call of the religious
christian right, who vote for war and weapons, and suggest towns and villages be
leveled to bring freedom and peace to the people. They proudly boast this
country's superiority, suggesting God has blessed our nation. Today, as I
listened to a popular christian news network, I was reminded that in the last
days, even God's elect will be deceived, (II Timothy 3:13). When the religious
media moguls preaching prosperity spout their rhetoric, I am reminded of the
difficulty Jesus described of a rich man's ability to enter the kingdom of God.
(Matthew 19: 24)
Some who believe they are fighting evil will
cry to the Lord, and he will say "I never knew you." (Matthew 22). They will
have a form or godliness but will deny the power (II Timothy 3:5) to move
mountains through prayer. (Matthew 17:20). Jesus explained that he has not given
us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. (II Timothy
1:17) I wonder if the innocent moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and aunts
and uncles, and grandmas and grandpas who were the victims of US military
weapons (the never reported collateral damages we are protected from in the
"liberal" nightly news) felt the love of Jesus with the shock and awe. I wonder
if the surviving family members now understand His radical love and that they no
longer have any need for weapons or defense.
The solutions to the social issues used to manipulate good,
decent people have no resemblance to how Jesus responded to the social concerns
of his time. He never once mentioned the "right to life" the year he was born
King Herod ordered the execution of all babies. (Matthew 2:16). He knew that
passing laws does not change the heart. As a follower of his teaching I believe
in the right to life, including the children in Iraq who stumble onto land
mines, cross the street at the wrong time, or who are snugly tucked within the
warm bellies of their wounded or grieving mothers as US fighter jets fly
overhead. These are living, breathing children. The killing of these little ones
are never even reported, and our tax dollars pay for these bombs. I believe in
the right to life for those in the United States who are unwanted and
impoverished. I believe in the right to life of the naive kid who was promised
by the recruiter they could choose a desk job and still get their education paid
or could see the world or could accelerate their life or could play a very
realistic video game from a cockpit.
I've worked at a shelter, and I know first hand the reality
of unwanted children. I know the reality of this right wing rhetoric when week
after week I begged and pleaded with people to give up only one night every
three months to sit with these unwanted living children for a few hours while
the overworked house parents had a night off. Of the few I found, many changed
their minds when they discovered that they would need to wear rubber gloves to
change the babies diapers. These "believers" stand on the street corners holding
right to life signs and then vote against medical assistance for the mothers and
their unwanted children creating an impossible existence for them. The few of
these abortion activists who might adopt some of these unwanted children
generally want the white and the healthy. The ones with hydrocephalous,
tracheotomies, emotional/ mental problems and communicable diseases along with
their life long medical expenses can be someone else's problems.
I cringe as many christians vote for policies that deny help
to the poor in our own county, who vote to support the war and military
strength, assuring the latest weapons are developed and that the heavens will be
dominated by the military of the United States. We develop electromagnetic
weapons to shatter skulls , split the earth... and silently destroy a body as a
thief in the night.
Studies are even now searching for the
frequencies to override the free will. These unbelievable technologies are a
reality and DNA specific weapons can or soon will target a specific
I weep as the waters Jesus walked on become contaminated with
I grieve as the missiles fly through the
atmosphere on the continent where Jesus rose into the sky, defying death and the
grave and where the Holy Sprit first descended. I cry out at the horrors of war
and the indignity of the prisons so close to where He took captivity captive. So
I am no longer a Christian if Christianity has become what is presented to us by
our Christian president and Christian media. I cannot support the right of the
United States and Israel to develop and use the most heinous weapons ever
imagined. I want no part of a temple built on the blood of the innocent. The
sheep have been lead astray by the teachings of prosperity and misinterpretation
of the final battle between good and evil. Many no longer can recognize the
voice of the good Shepherd.
Some "good christians" even work at weapons facilities. It is
not a stretch to say that a woman who tightens a last rivet on a shiny new
missile just off the assembly line might be the same woman who licks the gold
star on the attendance chart in morning Sunday school. The missile could be
launched by the kid in the youth group who reads the invocation and it will find
it's destiny at a "target of interest" which might or might not have been a
result of good intelligence. The collection plate circulates children are taught
to love their enemies and bless those who curse them.
The statements and lifestyle of Jesus are difficult for me to
understand. What would he say to evil dictators? This God would not justify
15,000 or more deaths. Even the wrathful jealous God of the old testament spared
whole cities for a few righteous souls. For Christians, to support mass killings
as a way to prevent future deaths is not at all like Christ. He would not say,
"When I am talking about war I am really talking about peace," like the self
professed christian President proudly states. Who but God has the right to
determine what price a people should pay for their freedom? The religious
leaders on the airwaves today respond to the voices of the few brave peacemakers
who dare to speak out. They say that pacifism is insane, and that it doesn't
make sense, but what is forgotten is that logic and faith are separate entities.
I believe in the example of Jesus and his admonition to love your enemies and
bless those who curse you . Do I understand how this works on the global scale?
Do I know what Jesus would say to all the world's leaders? No, nor do I totally
understand how the example of Christ's life and his message of love works in the
world today. That's why I need faith. Am I always correct in my assessments and
actions? No, that's why I need grace. Am I brave and unafraid? No, that's why I
need the perfect love that casts out fear. Some put trust in Chariots and some
in horses but I will remember the name of the lord our God--the Prince of Peace.
Perhaps politics has no place for imitators of Christ.
Who will show the face of Christ to the world? Who will speak His radical
message? I hear from these so called imitators of Christ that the pacifists are
a collection of kids, hippies, socialists and communists who haven't got a clue.
Some of us, however, have come to our beliefs as a result of careful and
prayerful study of the scriptures and admonishment from our elders. Many are
Mennonite, Amish, Quaker and other Anabaptists, whose ancestors did not resist
their torturers and were drowned, burnt at the stake and flogged for their
pacifist stand. They truly followed the example of Christ, and their resistance
against the catastrophic effects of the merging of church and state cost them a
great price. Churches today have signed onto the government plan and have agreed
to look the other way in exchange for tax free privileges. The true message of
Christ still exists to some degree in the quiet of the land to peacemakers, but
sadly these good people have been deceived by the angry words from a righteous
sounding religious media majority broadcasting in cars and trucks and tractors
all over our land ironically preaching the "good news of war for peace" and
convincing 24-7 "liberal" bashing. I suspect there are many who share my sorrow
at the loss of what it means to be Christ-like, but our voice is seldom heard.
The blaring rhetoric drowns out the still small voice of the mighty God. Peace
used be the opposite of war, Conservative used to mean the tendency to conserve
resources. Liberal used to mean kind and generous, and Christian used to mean
So I am no longer a christian but just a person who continues trying to follow
the example of Christ. I'll let him call me what he wants when I see him face to
face. Until then, I will pray that someday people like me will be able to
reclaim the meaning of Christ's identity, and the world will see the effects of
the radical message of Christ's love--the perfect love that casts out fear.