“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a commonly quoted line from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet appears to argue that the names of things do not matter, only what things really “are.” The line’s meaning is applicable in America in the sense that although the overwhelming majority of religious conservative Americans hate everything Jesus Christ preached and taught, calling themselves Christians and followers of Christ does not change the fact they are anti-Christ in every sense of the name. The notion of so-called Christians exposing themselves as the anti-Christs they really are is being played out in the drive to put more guns in the hands of more Americans, especially conservative Christian Americans; it is no surprise it is being advanced by right-wing Christian churches.
Last month at the Lone Oak First Baptist church in Paducah, Kentucky, a line of people wrapped around the building waiting anxiously to get inside, but not because they sought spiritual guidance from Jesus Christ’s teachings, but to win one of the twenty-five guns being raffled off. One may be inclined to think Lone Oak First Baptist is an aberration among churches purported to be “followers of Christ,” but according to the Kentucky Baptist Convention, handing out human-killing weapons is the best way to get people into church. Last year there were at least 50 “Christian” church gun giveaways in Kentucky alone, and an official at Lone Oak Baptist said handing out free guns is a rallying point to bring people to Christ.
According to Lone Oak Sunday school teacher David Keele, “We’re doing two things here. One, we’re going to talk about the Second Amendment to bear arms. But that isn’t the primary thing. The primary thing is who Jesus is.” The only primary thing is that Keele and Kentucky Baptists lack even a rudimentary understanding of who Jesus was or why calling themselves Christians while crusading for 2nd Amendment rights makes them rank liars and anti-Christs for opposing Christ’s teaching.
The featured speaker at the Baptist gun giveaway was hired by Kentucky Southern Baptists as a traveling full-time evangelist who defended the Baptists giving away guns and said, “if giving away guns allows them to come into the doors of the church to hear that the church has a message that’s relevant to their lives, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.” The paid evangelist wasted little time getting to the Christian message that is relevant to people’s lives and told other Christians that, “There’s no government on the face of this earth that has the right to take this gun from me” to thunderous applause. The evangelist even said he believed in Christ’s message of turning the other cheek, but only to a certain point; a certain point that cannot be found in any of Christ’s teachings.
The idea of Christian churches handing out guns, following the teachings of the NRA, and crusading for the 2nd Amendment is not restricted to Kentucky or Baptists. Other Christian denominations in other states regularly offer guns alongside bibles cementing their proud identity as “followers of Christ.” Christian churches handing out guns brings up a larger point regarding so-called Christians in this country; there are very few, if any, Christians in America. It is especially true of the Christian Right that supports any Republican candidate, conservative policies, or agenda founded on greed and inhumanity. It is highly likely the last American to adhere to Christ’s teachings was not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination, but he certainly understood the value in Christ’s moral teachings. Thomas Jefferson created his own rendering of Christ’s teachings after carefully removing every reference to Christ as a deity, miracle worker, or supernatural being in “The Jefferson Bible.
It is impossible for any American to support conservatives or Republicans and be a follower of Christ no matter how devoutly they claim Christianity as their religion. In fact, it is relatively safe to say that if a person calls themselves a Republican, teabagger, libertarian, or an independent and votes for Republican candidates and claim they are also Christians, they are pathological liars of the first order. It is utterly impossible to support any Republican policy and be a Christian, and yet they are the people most likely to claim their religious devotion to Christianity informs their support of conservatives in general and Republicans in particular.
Any Christian that supports the NRA or adheres to the 2nd amendment as the be all, end all defining trait of being an American, they are a liar and not remotely close to being a Christian. In fact, unless a so-called Christian lives in the wilderness and depends on hunting for survival, there is no reason to own a firearm if they subscribe to Christ’s teachings in the bible that all they need is faith that they will be resurrected by Christ after they die; even if they die at the hands of an armed intruder.
One often hears so-called Christians claim they adamantly support feeding, housing, and providing healthcare for the poor, and in the same breath claim their undying support for Republicans; they are liars. The same people vehemently claim they believe in, and support, the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights for all Americans, and then vote for Republicans passing legislation restricting gay, women, and people of colors’ equal rights. Conservative Christians who oppose the federal government, taxation, and Constitutional prohibition on establishing religion are in violation of Christ’s admonition to pay taxes and obey government authority like a good slave. The list goes on and on, but the point is glaringly obvious; it is impossible to be a Christian and support Republicans on any level.
On a larger scale, it is a near-impossibility to find a so-called Christian of the conservative type that follows the bible they claim is the infallible word of god. It is true they have latched on to a couple of verses that fit their culture of hate, but it is a rare day indeed to hear even one conservative Christian cite one verse attributed to their avatar of light Jesus Christ. The so-called Christians are not even good Jews as part of their storied Judeo-Christian heritage. They worship graven idols like the cross their lord and savior was crucified on, swear allegiance to a symbol of objects in the sky and Earth (American flag), and violate the majority of the Ten Commandments they insist should replace the Constitution. However, it is their devotion and dedication to Republicans, guns, and a culture of greed and inhumanity that informs they are not Christians; they are anti-Christs.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.