Every day after I finish my morning meditation, I read the newspapers. At times, this feels counterproductive, especially in today’s world. Maybe I should read the paper first, get all worked up, and then do my devotions and calm down again. As my favorite prayer says: Whatever!
I always save the best section of the newspapers for last—the comics. One of my favorites is Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau, who has a brilliant, insightful mind. His April 22, 2018, comic addressed one of my biggest issues: what the fundamentalists are doing to Christianity, the message of Jesus, our democracy, and our country.
In this comic strip, a pastor announces to his congregation that there has been confusion over what constitutes sin, and he wishes to clarify that bullying, cheating, arrogance, lack of faith, sexual assault and adultery, among a long list of other sins, are now acceptable among evangelicals (a code word for fundamentalists). After the sermon, one congregant tells the pastor that he loves the new lower standards, and another devilish-looking congregant suggests that he might even be considered a saint now.
I can’t believe this kind of behavior comes from people who label themselves the “moral majority” and the “religious right” and appoint themselves as the judges of what is right or wrong. The top spots on their naughty list are always reserved for the LGBTQUI community, anyone involved in abortions, and the “morally depraved” people who question the inerrancy of the Bible, which, of course, was written by God.
I belong to a group called the Clergy Project, which serves clergypeople who are no longer welcome in their churches. Most of the other seven hundred–plus members are fundamentalist pastors who can no longer stomach the very narrow, limited view of life in the evangelical movement.
The April 22, 2018, Doonesbury comic suggests that the fundamentalists, by supporting a president with no moral compass, have set a new, lower moral standard for Christianity and for our country.
Nothing in the sayings of Jesus, the Gospels, or the New Testament condones the behavior continually exhibited by Trump—but the Bible does provide a lot of proof that such behavior is totally unacceptable. The fundamentalists’ unyielding, unscriptural support of morally bankrupt people has destroyed the meaning of the term Evangelical Christians.
Thanks, Garry, for reminding us what a hopeless, helpless mess our country has become in less than two years.
As John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept.” Me too! How about you?