I’ve followed the teachings of Christ since I was 9 years old. For more than 30 years, I’ve served my faith, church and God. I listened with shock as Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center said it was the organization and get-out-the vote campaigns by my evangelical church that put George W. Bush back into the White House. I’m ashamed to call myself a Christian today.
One of the Ten Commandments is “thou shalt not lie.” Yet my church elected a liar. President Bush may not have lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the war, and he may have actually believed that Saddam Hussein helped plan Sept. 11. That myth has been undeniably buried. Yet Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney continued to repeat this lie, manipulating voters all the way.
Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. Bush rode their money to the White House during the first term, then gave them a tax cut.
Jesus had compassion on the sick and dying. Bush arranged a medical plan for the sick that benefits the drug companies and the insurance industry. Then he tells the faithful that the problem with medicine is trial lawyers.
Jesus was moved to genuine compassion, while Bush peddles the message of “compassionate conservatism,” an oxymoron if ever one existed, and can’t move cheaper drugs from Canada for the poor, who literally choose between buying medicine and food.
Jesus risked ridicule, scorn and derision because he befriended prostitutes, tax collectors and other outcasts of society. Bush once began an address to a black-tie dinner crowd by saying, “Good evening to the haves and the have-mores.” He went on to call these people his base. Yes, it was base indeed.
Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan, a man who went outside the ethnic taboos of his day to provide care for a man who was injured and near death. Bush stirs up the faithful by stoking homophobia with the same-sex marriage issue.
Jesus said that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Bush has become a rich man’s haven as he pandered to special interests, who will surely come calling for tribute when it’s time for writing advantageous legislation.
Because I expected so much more from people of faith, a shattered illusion lies in pieces.
• Richard Williams lives in Marietta.
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