Sunday, April 14, 2024

Did Jesus tell us to bear false witness and lie?

| February 22, 2024 12:00 AM

I have a bumper sticker featuring a quote from Gandhi. It says, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

This quote speaks truth that is evident today. Many Christians are brainwashed by right-wing media and are unwilling to follow Scripture.

Evangelical Christians have aligned themselves with Trump and his corruption. In doing so, Evangelicals are placing themselves in contradiction to Jesus.

Having grown up in a conservative Christian community with Calvinist roots, I examined my own beliefs as a young man. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t call myself Christian because I lacked the strength to eschew material possessions. I struggle with the concept of turning the other cheek and loving my enemies, as Jesus instructed.

I don’t deserve to call myself a Christian because my faith cannot match my desire for earthly comforts. But I’m not alone.

Avowed Christian politicians in Montana have refused to feed hungry children and have supported removing 100,000 Montanans from Medicaid. Christian radio urges listeners to support Israel as they bomb Palestinian children. Many Evangelical supporters never wore masks and still believe that COVID-19 is a hoax. I suppose denying an election is relatively easy compared to denying a global pandemic.

I cannot call myself a Christian because I refuse to associate with politician preachers who attack education, human sexuality, migrant children, and library books. Did Jesus tell us to bear false witness and tell lies?

Election-deniers are spinning falsehoods and right-wing agenda is supported by churches that spread the poison of election-denialism, personal enrichment and material wealth.

Being exposed to other perspectives and beliefs, whether through books, drag shows or affirmative action, is not a sin. Nor should it be a crime. Conservatives pushing prohibitions, including over reproductive health, are doing so for power. They do not reflect the values of Jesus.

I was taught that Jesus rejected the temptation of earthly power. God’s Kingdom does not operate on abuse, intimidation or corruption. It does not include an army of lawyers, non-disclosure agreements, or screaming fanatics.

Those who follow Jesus’ example humbly seek to serve others, not enrich themselves through PACs, stock portfolios and real estate.

In which Gospel does Jesus condone adultery? Trump paid $130,000 in hush money to Stormy Daniels as a business expense, hiding his actions through non-disclosure agreements, a technique also popular with Harvey Weinstein.

Congress should pass a law voiding non-disclosure agreements involving presidential candidates. Participants from “The Apprentice” are still bound by non-disclosure agreements, as are Trump’s own family members. What else is Trump trying to hide?

Thou shalt not steal, except for Trump. Through their political support, Evangelicals condone inflating values of real estate for loans while deflating values for tax purposes. Trump’s legal troubles reflect shady business deals including stealing national security documents for later resale. Why would a true Christian support a candidate involved in over 3,000 lawsuits?

Thou shalt not kill, except for vice-presidents. Trump actually tried to assassinate his own vice-president! During the January 6 Insurrection, Trump incited his mob to attack Pence, then waited three hours and only after the Secret Service had secured Mike Pence’s safety, before instructing his followers to withdraw. If Trump had had his way, many more people would have been killed on Jan. 6.

Many evangelical Christians believe we are living in End Times. I find no scriptural support that gives Christians license to hasten the destruction of the world. Trump’s base shows a disposition towards anarchy and monkey-wrenching society. Our government is under attack, as is the Constitution itself.

Even if End Times were upon us, true Christians show compassion and mercy. This is not happening in partisan America.

The Ten Commandments instruct us to have “no other Gods before me.” But Orange Jesus, Trump, supplants every tenet of faith in the Gospels. He routinely violates every commandment given to Moses. He threatens the foundations of our country.

So why is he embraced by self-professing Christians and what does that say about their faith?

David Daniels