I have a lot of issues with the Christian right. I'd like to say it boggles my mind how they can use Jesus Christ as an excuse for bigotry and violence, but the truth is it doesn't. The core of my belief in Jesus Christ is based on the moral code that he laid out. Christ told us not to judge each other. He told us to live in love and tolerance, and that is why I love Him.
For the right, however, the value in Christ lies not in his teachings, but in his divinity. They assert that the only way to be deemed good in the eyes of God is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. In doing that, they not only elevate themselves (in their own minds) above everyone of even slightly dissimilar belief systems, but they also negate the value of Christ's core teachings (in their own minds). This is a problem.
Luckily, I'm not the only person who has noticed this problem. Apparently Eric Reece has too. From The Washington Post:
American Christianity has historically been focused so obsessively on the
Nicene Creed—which says Jesus was the son of God, who was crucified for our sins
and rose from the grave three days later—that it never made much room for the
actual teachings of this radical Jewish street preacher.
This is why I'm against Easter. It celebrates the death of Jesus nearly to the exclusion of his life. If the Easter miracle can save us from this life, then why bother with the harder work of enacting the kingdom of God here? It is, after all, much harder.
Back in Catholic school (from which I will probably never recover), some religion teacher or another explained to us why Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar (instead of Christmas, which is what we all thought it was). It is, they said, Jesus' death and resurrection that make his life significant, not his birth. Even as an eight-year-old, this argument didn't hold water for me. First of all, how can a man die without first being born? If He hadn't been born, none of this would have happened. There would be no Christian code of morality to ignore, nor would there be a resurrection to revere (though some of us might argue that it's pretty unlikely there actually was a resurrection).
Every denomination of Christianity, whether or not they like to admit it, has evolved out of the Catholic Church. Nothing makes this more evident than the prevailing Christian obsession with the death of Christ. I mean, what's the central symbol of Christianity? It's the cross on which Jesus died. While most Christian denominations have progressed from mourning the death of Christ (as the Catholics do every day of their guilt-ridden lives) to celebrating it, the obsession is still there, and still disturbing.
To follow the Word of Christ, or rather to follow the spirit of the message, is a brave thing to do in America. Now, as ever, the prevailing religious sects are self-righteous and corrupt. They praise a God who said not to judge, yet all they do is condemn. They worship a God of Love while spewing only hate. They follow the letter of the law (the parts they like, anyway) without understanding the meaning behind it. They are fucking ridiculous, and they think we're fucking ridiculous. It's pretty fucking ridiculous.
So, good on you, Eric Reece, for calling them on it. That's WTF Jesus would do.