Saturday, January 28, 2017

Good News For Modern Man

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A blast from my past.
Met for writing group this morning at my friend’s church. I found a shelf full of Good News For Modern Man, the same edition I was given for my First Communion at Our Lady of Lourdes around 1974. My friend and I spent the summer before second grade reading the whole thing. It was something to do and why not?
In writing group, we kept coming up against politics. Yesterday the Big Leader barred refugees and citizens of seven Muslim nations from the United States. Being in a church returned me to this: What would Jesus do? It’s the best question I can imagine today.
Jesus was unlikely to keep quiet in the face of oppression and offense against God. One of our group apologized for bringing up politics, to which I said we should stop apologizing. This is our world. If such talk offends the Big Leader’s people, so be it. There is no good in being polite if it gives tacit approval to the acts being done in our name.
I was taught in Catholic school and church that Jesus welcomed all. The only time He really went off was on the money-changers in the temple. My favorite part of Jesus Christ Superstar has Jesus destroying the stands of those profiting in his father’s house. “My temple should be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!” I would love to see that Jesus in the current White House.
It’s too much to wish for divine intervention. It’s left to us to stand up to the money-changers barring a religion from our country. The ban will be chalked up to fears of terrorism, but it is stated in religious terms like a ban on Jews. There is no escaping what this is and no good reason not to talk about it.
I may return to Good News For Modern Man though I no longer have my copy.  There are other editions all of which lay out the obligations and expectations of being Christian. I’m curious where in there I will find God’s directive to fear and loathe my neighbor, turn away those in need, and damn others for how they worship and dress.  
I’m curious too if there are Christians who supports the Big Leader’s actions. I bet it’s only those posing as Christians. The bans enacted yesterday aren’t the work of the Lord. They’re the acts of thieves and sinners, small men who have lost their way.