I don’t have much writing to do on this post, save a hopefully brief introduction to an article that does a much better job than I might have.
I have rarely seen eye to eye with my evangelical Christian friends and acquaintances, but for so many of them, I have had great affection as being people of integrity and character. I did not agree with a lot of their beliefs (positions) that stemmed from Biblical interpretation, and I quibbled with how they could be fluid when they moved between Old Testament texts and ignored contradictory ones in the New Testament. Being Christians, I thought, the latter was, well, more pertinent.
My strongest push back to their positions were in response to their political activism that would impose their beliefs on all people regardless of their own beliefs. I argued that what they wanted to do was not really any different than the theocratic movements in the Middle East, and elsewhere, whose aim was to trample any deviation from what those forces felt was the one, true and righteous way to live. While their beliefs and perhaps methods of enforcement differed from other extremists, the results seemed too familiar to me.
Whenever my friends would stand on Old Testament principles, or sometimes things that weren’t in the Bible at all but seemed to have become commonly accepted doctrine, I assumed that Jesus, as their savior who brought a new light to the world as they proclaimed, should trump all else. Last year, I fully expected the faithful and believers to take firm stands in the name of Christ against the eventual nominee and now President when he pushed aside just about every moral red line and religious belief I had been taught myself, growing up, and what I heard as critical from my devout friends. As it has turned out, Jesus was indeed trumped.
If you are wondering where the title of this post came from, tune into the series on HBO. A fascinating character study, what I imagine to be a candid look inside the Vatican politics (and what is not real is certainly entertaining), The Young Pope makes you cringe while at the same time you can’t stop watching. Jude Law and Diane Keaton play characters who are unlikely pious nor powerful, but they are. Any number of people who have watched it seem to compare Papa to Trump. Unfair to Papa, in my opinion.
Mike Pence said during the campaign he was a Christian, conservative and Republican in that order. His words, actions and influence are turning that around, and I can’t help but wonder if the first one he said has all but disappeared. And he is not the only one.
I submit to a higher power who has written on this far better than I might.
Writing about religious beliefs is the only thing that is more inflammatory and volatile than writing about politics. But when those two become fused, writing about them is imperative. If you can use, as one of my friends often suggests, adult words to share your opinions whether they are different than mine or not, I welcome your comments. If you cannot use adult words, please ask yourself what Jesus would say and do. I mean really say and do.