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?
Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
5 thoughts on “Our Country’s Behavior Bar Is at a New Low”
Oh Yeah! But many of us should avoid introspection…on second thought…Sainthood could be attained.
Bill, this is so on point. Jesus would label them all hypocrites.
Thank you for informing us of the Clergy Project and its robust membership. I join in your appreciation of Doonesbury/Trudeau. You hold up his honest depiction of an Evangelical congregation thanking the Pastor for “lowering the bar”.
We are now witness to the spectacle of a twittering catalog of abominations. Proverbs 6:16. Perhaps the daily Sins are performed as a distraction. Behind the curtain of Power, a foreign-funded stealth front, and a stolen election. The illegitimacy taints all that this pretense of leadership touches.
Many leaders of Evangelical Churches in America continue to support this illegitimacy. They open their chests to this same sword. Their own fraud exposed.
I join your lament.
I am constantly unnerved by the standards that have slipped to an all time low in America. Many of my friends who have businesses say they cannot hire the younger generation because many of them are only working to get a paycheck and when they get that they no longer show up for work.
But that’s not the worst of it. People treat other people in abominable ways. Kids taunt one another at school and seem to be taught no standards at all. What are today’s parents doing for parenting?
About 2016, I was discussing the upcoming elections with one of our national ministers and she asked me what I thought about the upcoming elections and Trump’s chances of getting the Republican nomination. I told her I was terrified. I have come to the opinion that 75% of our people never read a thing (including Trump) and never study issues and seemingly vote as popularity contest and pay no attention at all to the behavior of our leaders.
She said “I think you’re wrong. I think it’s about 85%”. I had to agree…especially after the population voted into office someone like Trump who is an admitted predator….going by what he said during that “Access Hollywood” video of him admitting to grabbing anyone he wanted in the crotch because he was a “celebrity”. He and most of congress (who enrich themselves with lobbyist money and perks) have ushered in a new standard of bad behavior….and the women who allow such things must be desperate and have absolutely no self respect.
Needless to say, I am appalled with today’s lack of standards. It’s an all time low.
I agree, Bil, but I must not lose hope as that is essential for life.