Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Born Again Christian Says Tea Party is Un-Christian

Claims to the contrary, the Tea Party is not Christian. Every time I've said this over the last few years a "believer" would look at me with shock and horror. I could hear whispers of "blasphemy" as this cold, hard, withering stare washed over me. I was almost forced to look down to be sure the buttons on my blouse hadn't popped open to expose a bare mid-section. (More text follows)

Writing for the Texas Observer, born-again Christian Katherine Dobay explains why she believes the Tea Party is un-Christian and exposes the "hypocrisy of Tea Party members who claim they are defending Christianity -- a way of life they don't follow."
Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus exhort his followers to be nationalistic. All that Jesus said regarding the political state was that we must pay our taxes. Believers ought instead to be patriots of heaven, as Paul explains in Philippians 3: 20 "For our citizenship is in heaven..." Nor did Jesus instruct his followers to stem the tide of what the world considers progress by force . . . . For the end times we are told only to prepare for Jesus' return by keeping ourselves in fit spiritual condition. In fact, Jesus reserved his direst warnings for members of the church themselves, whom he warns against false teaching and ear-tickling;* even love of country can be an idol or a kind of heresy if placed before love of God and fellow man. (emphasis mine)
. . . Jesus clearly states that only those of his children who do his will, that is: feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked and visit prisoners and the sick, will receive the reward of eternal life. The good news we are told to spread in the Great Commission is not the gospel of economic doctrine or political philosophy. . . . Some of the fruits we can expect when we do God's will include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That sure doesn't sound like the Tea Party rally to me! When we disobey God's will in favor of our own however, the results can be anger, greed, division, strife, gossip, ugly speech, hatefulness, and every manner of uncleanness.
We have seen some fruits of the Tea Party movement which many consider a dangerous faction exploiting tough economic times and the fears of suffering people to prosecute a political agenda. In seeking to control and manipulate a society they claim to be "saving", they are only succeeding in tearing it apart. Individuals in the Tea Party who claim to be Christian have a lot of explaining to do, for biblical teaching is full of calls to submit to secular authority, trust in God, and to pay taxes. "Pay everyone what he is owed: if you owe the tax collector, pay your taxes; if you owe the revenue collector, pay revenue; if you owe someone respect, pay him respect; if you owe someone honor, pay him honor" (see Romans 13: 1-7). No exceptions were allowed. Paul did not say to pay only as much as you feel is right. He did not say you could feel sorry for yourself to the point of open rebellion. He did not say submit only to those authorities of whom you approve, but said to give respect where it is due. The president of the United States is owed the respect of all Americans.

. . . Isn't it ironic that early Christians under pagan Roman rule flourished in holiness and martyrdom, yet today some Christians manage to feel persecuted while living in the greatest democracy in history and enjoying material blessings undreamed of by their distant kin? . . .
Now, I am the first to admit that I get very uncomfortable when anyone claims "Jesus said" for the same reason I am uncomfortable when someone says "Shakespeare meant." How do we know what someone said or meant based on writings that are centuries old, and in the case of the Bible, have eight to fifteen different versions? How do we know which writer's account is accurate?

For the most part, members of the Tea Party do not under any circumstances represent what I was taught and what I consider to be Christian. I was instructed in tolerance, forgiveness, love, peace and helping those less fortunate such as those who have experienced a major catastrophe - an earthquake, hurricane or tornado. Above all I was taught that God loves all his creations.

My grandmother, an unusually intelligent and independent southern woman, and a Methodist minister cousin of mine, always opined that people who wear their religion (and patriotism) on their sleeves are anything but. I believe it's called hypocrisy.

Having said that, I respect Dobay's opinion and applaud her courage to denounce the Tea Party's hypocrisy - especially since she lives in a little town of 7,000 in the Texas Hill Country. As we've seen all too often, people in that part of the world can get hurt if they don't think right.

*ear-ticking myths: "Once saved, always saved." "No sin or doctrinal heresy will keep you out of Heaven. Fornication is permissable." Remember that Newt.


  1. It appears the Tea Party and Radical RightWing
    Christians are the ones who go to church on Sunday to ask forgiveness for what they did on Saturday and intend to do on Monday, Tues. Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat again!

  2. The Teabagger Christianists are going all in, worshipping supply side Jesus IMO. Correct me if I am wrong with this, this whole get rid of the brown people or help your neighbor or the poor, elderly and disabled. Is there not something said about welcoming strangers in your midst, as followers of the Christ's teachings, because you(generic) yourself may be a stranger someday? When I, as an atheist, tell this to people who supposedly follow the Bible to the letter, I get well no it isn't meant that way. It seems as if people just pick and choose what they want to believe and throw out the rest, it doesn't fit the narrative of hate. I don't know how many Christianists(I don't lump them in with followers of the Christ) don't know the parts of the Bible where God is telling people, these strangers need your help, you must help them. I have been told more than once, for someone who has no belief in any deity, I behave better than some Christianists**

    Christianists, my stolen terminology, describing a hypocritical follower of the Christ and His teachings. The people that know nothing of their own Holy book and when called on it, it means something entirely different to the different people you talk to. Speak with someone in a non denominational affiliation and you get inclusiveness. Speak to a born again and me, I want to poke my ears out, so I don't have to listen to the garbage they spew.

  3. A young relative, very precious to me, is an atheist, and we have had so many in-depth discussions. Neither of us thinks the other is a fool. The line we drew: respect each other. In so doing, he, the atheist, and I, the Christian, are obeying what Jesus called his “greatest” commandment.

    The real tragedy, from the perspective of my own belief, is that the more hypocrites “witness,” the more people they turn away from what I believe to be the true tenets of Christianity. In some copies of the New Testament Jesus’ words are marked with red letters, and he was so plain spoken, it is very hard to understand why he is so misinterpreted. How hard is it to understand words like “Love one another”? What other interpretation can one give “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”? One of the most beautiful and clear passages in literature is the Sermon on the Mount; yet, in my opinion, its message is the very antithesis of what the modern-day Republican Party represents.

    In his time, Jesus was a revolutionary. By today’s definition, he was a liberal. What the Religious Right has done is to shape this master teacher into a “graven image” to justify their own narrow-minded views of life.

    Here’s a verse that cannot be misinterpreted: “Jesus wept.”


  4. This is a post every "Christian" should read. Unfortunately, many simply would not see themselves in this in these words.

    As B.J. says above, it's all really very simple, if one truly believes. I'm not a believer, but the ideas of Christ are basically good ones, but have fallen into far too many bad, self-serving hands.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hey, just because our citizenship is in heaven doesn't mean we should live in an Obaman hell on earth! Any bets on how long it will be before the right thinks Hitler is too could for the president and starts comparing him to Satan?

  7. Tiny, I don't think all of them are like that but the vast majority are. Proof positive is in the pudding, a cocktail made up of the usual poisons - Beck, Robertson, Limbaugh, Palin and their "ministers." To minister: to give service, care, or aid.

    Jess, my grand mom wasn't a regular church goer and she NEVER went around preaching, but she was a saint. My mom told me that during the depression my grand mom always gave something to the hungry soul at the back door, sometimes at the expense of her own family.

    Now, I would like to add two things (my opinion of course): 1) Doing good works is not just a Christian thingy - many other religions practice love, peace and goodness; 2) There are Tea Baggers who are not racist, who are very loving and giving, and who walk the walk, not just talk it. We simply don't hear much about them because they aren't out there yelling at the top of their lungs, wearing stupid tea bags on their hats and carrying misspelled signs that advocate shooting the president.

  8. tnlib, of course it isn't, but to listen to some people, people like me are the devil and we should not be trusted because we have no belief in any god one religion or the other. the Christianists are the ones I am talking about. Who hate just for the act of hating, because it makes them feel superior in one way or another to the person next to them.

  9. The presentation is that only if your christian can you be a good person. Hoagwash!
    Most christians I know don't have room in their religion, or their hearts for anyone not on the Gop path.
    The niciest people I know are not christians. You don't need Ten Commandments, to lead a good life, but leading a good life will include those commandments.
    The question is, why don't christians follow the Ten Commandments, or the peace and love for ALL that Jesus preached?
    The dumb question: What would Jesus do?
    What would Jesus say about the hate and bigotry of the Republican party?

  10. BJ: "he was so plain spoken, it is very hard to understand why he is so misinterpreted." But that's the problem. I think many of the Christian right are too paranoid or too insecure to think on their own, to analyze or to question. even. They really have to have someone dictating to them just because they can't think or question. It's kind of sad really.

    jad: "the ideas of Christ are basically good ones, but have fallen into far too many bad, self-serving hands." Totally true. I think it's been mushrooming over several decades and hopefully this will be the end of it. I scanned what looks to be a good post at your place and will be over later.

    K - I hate to say it but I think they already do in some cases.

    Jess: I don't disagree. I've been told since I was a young think that I was going straight to hell because I didn't attend a particular church.

  11. Tom - I agree with you for the most part and I know a lot of people who believe this way. On the other hand I know a lot of people who call themselves Christian, such as my Methodist minister cousin, who are quite scholarly, realistic about the meaning of the Bible, and who are warm, compassionate people and who - above all else - deplore the hate, racism and ignorance that is being touted as Christianity today. Even if they felt the way Dobay does, I doubt if many would have the courage to say so.

    You can't imagine the hard hate-filled looks you can get.

  12. "Shakespeare meant. . ."


    So much of the dialogue is an assault on the motivation of the excoriated, and that is a pet peeve of the Hobbit. Who among us can truly say that the position of an opponent is due to their religion, for example? Frodo knows Catholics who think that birth control is not only rational, but necessary. So is it fair to castigate all Catholics simply because the church leadership is populated by individuals with loose screws upon their foreheads? Of course not.
    The same may be said of those who cast stones upon the President, "because of his socialistic agenda." Adding 31 million people to the security of affordable health insurance just might have been driven by the experiences he knew with a critically-ill mother, and not because he may view Leon Trotsky with a little more sympathy than, say Sharon Angle.
    Acts of violence should be reserved for those who define the motivations of another in order to justify their personal deprivation.

  13. Frodo: Did You write all that across your body? I think the only reason they cast stones at the president is because he's black and their good Christian teachings tell them that Blacks are "dark and ugly things."

  14. I am skeptical that many people who claim to live by the Bible actually read it, or at least most of it. There are a few passages most people sort of vaguely remember, and aside from that, they simply "know" that it basically backs up their own prejudices.

    It has been said that a religious fanatic is a person who does what he is sure God would be doing if God knew the facts of the situation.

    A few months ago I heard that Conservapedia was planning a new revised version of the Bible with all the liberal stuff taken out. Wonder how that's going.

  15. Infidel says,"...with all the liberal stuff taken out." i.e., Jesus? Har har har...idiots.

  16. Infidel: I know so many people who do nothing but go to Bible study groups - day in and day out. Everything, but everything, revolves around these studies. By now they know every word by heart. It's their interpretation(s) that are the problem.

    I'd never really bothered with Conservapedia. Barf. There's nothing really encyclopedic about them - they're just an extension of Fox.

    J: Typical though, isn't it?

  17. I meant to say God path, but gop path is fitting.

  18. JadedJ: Infidel says,"...with all the liberal stuff taken out." i.e., Jesus? Har har har...idiots.

    They're going to have to drop that Jesus guy. He was obviously a socialist, and probably born in Kenya, too. Not the sort of person a proper born-again Christian would associate with.

  19. One doesn't need extended theological education or certainty about which translation of the Bible is the right one to understand the thrust of Jesus' life and teachings. It was all about faith, hope, charity, humility, love and respect.

    As pointed out so well in your post, those things are conspicuously thin on the ground wherever tea party types gather.

    Like other variations on the conservative Republican theme, the tea party set seems incapable of being embarrassed about exhibiting ignorance, selfishness, dishonesty and hypocrisy. Take away those "attributes" and all you've got is blowhard bullies, paranoid personalities and all-around resenters making clear what a mistake it was for this country to all but do away with mental institutions.

    It's not surprising tea party types would try to cloak themselves in Christian trappings. Religion can be readily twisted to become camouflage and a means of control at the same time, and has been throughout history. Reason enough right there to preserve separation of church and state, for everyone's ultimate benefit.

  20. Too many organized religions organize around hatred and a thirst for power over others. And for that reason, I will continue to distrust them.

  21. Good Morning Ms.Leslie!

    This was an informative read for me, having not known exactly what this particular brand/ cult/ sect of christian's think/ say, etc ... there are so many denomination's these day's, I cant even keep track of them hardly anymore. Both you and Mr.Infidel have some contrasting yet accurate point's. Being most do not read the bible these day's, folk's barely have time to catch the news these day's .... heh, heh, heh, heh, heh ... but then there are also those like you said that live and study the bible daily. I have never been a christian, but have read the bible KJV almost entirely, at least 80% of the old testament, and all the new testament to be more accurate.

    But if I may here .... Most folk's dont even know that only two third's of the dead sea scroll's have been recovered, so therefore that there is one point of inaccuracy. Another thing is I have never seen one solid piece of evidence that this Jesus Nazarene historically existed. As matter of further fact ... tracing approx. a lil over 8000 execution's surrounding a 25 year span/ area recorded as being under Roman authority, there is no documentation of his execution that I seen (yes, they were recorded). Your first christian sect's were underground because of persecution (pagan rule was the order them day's, you could worship any figure but had to worship at least one figure approved also by Roman rule)..... and date to approx. earliest 6 AD/CE, some even sacrificed one newborn to god back then. As I pointed out in earlier posting, it wasnt until 323 AD/CE(?, exact year) or so until it became mainstream (under Constantine, who's mom encouraged him as well). Also, before any text's were approved to go public ... there were approx 55 or so different version's, which only a few were approved of, there are also several other "gospel's beside's the 4 known, that are not presented. There are also several historical inaccuracies in the bible, thing's of sort like say the so called "exodus" out of Egypt of the Jew's, which has been investigated in detail and the finding's were incredible as far as inaccuracies, but many more as well. I love reading the bible as far as literature, but dont see how anyone in any balanced way could take it seriously, I have alway's considered it as one of the greatest sci-fi, occult, horror fiction novel's and familia tree stories. It is also not just a book of "love" but has over 300 mention's of death, blood etc, so it can be very horrid as well, much persecution, morbidity, and death at that. Bottom line is .... it is not nearly anything that most feel it is, and so easy to take out of context, compiled by so many culture's to intertwine over centuries, yet contradict's itself time and again.

  22. Another thing if I may ... I hear about these "teaching's" of Jesus, for the record ... Jesus never wrote anything ( as christian record), any more than god wrote anything, these "teaching's" were supposedly recorded by other's, even the stories changed as time and author's evolved. You can look at the 4 gospel's for instance ... which are all basically the same story from different view's .... and the ressurection part didnt come till way after the execution scenario's, basically after the execution that was it. Also as many probably know ... as far as "holiday's" are concerned ... they all have been around way before christianity, after christian's became a dominant force and incorporated into military and such, then all the former pagan holiday's/ festivities were all changed/ taken and adapted new stories. Even Xmas is of course originally Saturnalia ... week long celeb of the then pagan Mithras sect/ cult, that climaxed approx Xmas day. The nativity scene can go back to even for one abcient Egypt ... and Isis/ Horus. Xmas tree's ad light to ancient greek's I believe ... and Dionysis(not sure spelling) arriving on a sleigh/ similar transport vehicle of ancient era, treat's for the children, candle flame's adorning tree limb's, etc. Or thing's like the mistletoe being also anicient Celt if I'm correct (I dont have any of my literature right in my hand, so am going on memory) ... but was to kiss under to summon's lust/ mating ... even Easter goes back to ancient fertility paganism ... the list is actually endless. Bottom line being .... your first religion's(pagan type, that was the root's of all festivities/ holiday's)) were actually religion's/ worship that payed homage to nature ... then later became mainstream worship of "being's" (still mythological archetype's, but presented as actual being's resembling our species) ... that made these spirit's more personal to our desire's and to set standard's for changing societies, ruling power's, etc. Much of which was created or manufactured by the "have's", to offer "hope" (afterlives, etc, portraying us now as like god's lil personal loved children and such) for the have not's". Your Aztec King's were some of the most devoted politician's/ ruler's ... because they actaully pierced and mutilated in blood letting ceremonies, their penises, as offering's to the god's.

  23. Infidel: Way back in the 60s there used to be a poster of Jesus as a hippie. He was.

    SW: I think most members ot the TP are simply too ignorant to realize they are in fact ignorant and therefore they don't know enough to be embarrassed. They're also the ones trying to destroy the separation of church and state. Actually, I don't think it would be going too far to say they are trying to destroy the country and its form of government.

    JR: I don't think all of them do. This so-called Christianity the TP's push goes back to the days of the snake handlers, circuit preachers, revivals and baptism by drowning. They really haven't advanced much since then.

    btw, the only church membership that grew last year was the Morman church - altho I think I read somewhere that the RC's also grew a bit. The U.S. ranks 11th (44%) in the world for church attendance.

    RC: I read the KJV when in HS because the school was run by Episcopal nuns and it was part of our many, many religious studies. I still think it is one of the most beautiful books ever written as far as language goes but you have to keep things in pespective just as you do with anything you read.


    I cross posted this to The Swash Zone. I'd like to share a comment Capt. Fogg made because I think it sums up what I feel:

    "But do we absolutely need a divine command to be decent people? I don't think so. I think compassion is inherent in most of us and I see it in times of emergencies. I see it in volunteerism and in the desire people have to help others. I even see it as the backbone of patriotism, since what is a country but its people."

    My response:

    I share all your thoughts in that paragraph. We even see compassion and decency on an everyday basis - for the most part. Maybe the past two years of teabuggery have caused us to forget that there are kind thoughtful people out there. I haven't given up hope, I'm just a little nervous.

  24. Re: the Capt. Fogg comment. Back in the '60s there was a popular saying, "God is love." That is elegant in its simplicity yet profound. Taken to heart together with the golden rule and practiced universally, you have a concept with the power to lift up all mankind quite nicely. No more war, crime, cruelty or poverty. Imagine.

  25. INterestingly there was a record of a subject people leaving Egypt during the reign of Hatshepsut, the female pharaoh.

    That being said, I'm a practicing Roman Catholic and Idon't believe taking the Bible literally is wise.

    For that matter, I've always said never trust anyone that's too religious. They are always using it for something. Whether it be taking money from someone, or thinking God will give them money for acting like nuts. Prosperity theology only makes money for the preacher that preaches it. Dig deep my friends.

  26. SW: I vaguely remember "God is love" but I remember "Make love, not war" best of all - and I joyfully practiced it every moment I could. ; )

    But seriously, I do agree and sometimes I get a little concerned when people turn their noses up if a thought is expressed eloquently but simply. It smacks of intellectual snobbery.

    Truth: My uncle, the Methodist minister, always said the same thing.

  27. I am a Christian. I found this post because I was searching to see if anyone was as disturbed about Tea Party, Religious right... and those professing values they do not possess. People like that make a mockery out of Christianity. This whole thing has been the most eye opening experience for me. For years, the republican party has cloaked itself under flags, family values and Christianity to make Christians think they represented their view. They have been so effective that many Christians do not believe you can be a Christian and not be a republican. Silly Rabbit...Tricks are for kids! You know them by their fruit... These are mere impostors saying they are Christian. Yet when others look at their deeds, there is a such disparity between what they say and what they do.
    Consequently, so many people are turned off instead of being attracted to Christianity. We have to expose the wolves in sheep clothing.
    I have observed The Tea Party crowd filled with anger and hatred. They are scratching where they do not itch. This is not about fiscal conservatism...that is what they have been trained to say. Listen to their verbiage "We are going to take back our country?" Pardon the heck out of me, but who do you plan to take it back from? We have a duly elected President who ran on the theme of "Change" who told you exactly what his platform was and would be. He won. You may not agree with everything. So now they take to the streets and say he is ignoring the will of the American people. Well there are other American people besides the opposition who deserve to have their voices heard. You show respect... as Christians we pray... and if you want anew administration... you go to the poll at the appropriate time and vote. You don't spend 4 years reaking havoc in this country you claim to love so much, promoting hatred, violence and unrest.

    I watched the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin spewing venom and poisoning the streams that the majority of conservatives drink from. I was one of them until my spirit was so grieved and I no longer wanted to hear anymore hate speech.

    These people do not promote Christian values at all. I can see why someone who thought otherwise would want no part of Christianity.

    The truth is the majority do not represent true Christian values but merely pose as such.

    Religious television has got on the bandwagon and I am taken aback by what I hear from many preachers...speaking out against the President.

    They have ceased to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God for which they receive offerings to help them take the gospel to the 4 corners of the world. They are now expressing their hot displeasure, some saying or insinuating the President is the anti-Christ or will be the dictator of the new world order. Sensationalism, New World Order, Socialism...Buy my dvd to learn more... Give me a break! TO TELL THE TRUTH: Will the real Christians please stand up!

    I applaud Katherine Dobay for speaking up on this issue.

  28. Anon: Normally I delete anonymous posts - see "Post a Comment" - but since this is your first time here, I suppose, I'll let it stand. Your comment would carry a lot more weight if you used your name or had a blog. I really don't care whether someone agrees with me or not but I do expect people to have the courage of their convictions.

  29. So good topic really i like any post talking about Ancient Egypt but i want to say thing to u Ancient Egypt not that only ... you can see in Ancient Egypt Ra God The Sun God and more , you shall search in Google and Wikipedia about that .... thanks a gain ,,,