Monday, May 30, 2005

Don't Look Back, Muscle Jesus!

Don't Look Back, Muscle Jesus!
An American Catholic's Reflections on Pastor Ted and his anti-Catholicism
"...As a Republican, I'll say goodbye to "old Jesus" and hello to "new Jesus. " Sure Christ started out as a liberal Jew, and look where that got him. Compassion, love and diatribes against the rich only encourage the weak and punish the most successful among us. The Jesus that Republicans worship is a muscular, decisive, pro-war crusader hard at work cleansing the world of evildoers, not, God forbid, turning the other cheek..." - LINK

Jeff Sharlet's Soldiers of Christ is available for reading at Harper's Online.

Jeff has covered related stories at The Revealer for quite a while, and I'm glad Harpers continues to pick up on some of them.

"Pastor Ted"
Click photo to see related story by Jeff Sharlet

Pastor Ted Haggard, leader of Colorado Springs' New Life (mega)Church, and head of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), talks to President George W. Bush (or his advisers) every Monday.

I am a Catholic. I get a real sense, after reading about Ted Haggard, that he is anti-Catholic. It seems to me that Pastor Ted, for all intents and purposes, thinks that Catholics are losers because we "look back" to the works and examples of the Saints and, darn it, we just aren't blood-thirsty enough.

"Muscle Jesus" has bulk and fangs. Haven't we learned?

Ted blames poverty and third world conditions in Mexico on Catholicism. (Instead of placing blame where it lies: corrupt, inefficient government and pure greed).

Listen to his stereotyping, his smackdown of the value we Catholics place on the compassionate works of the Saints, and his arrogance:
"Catholics," he said, “constantly look back.” He went on: “And the nations dominated by Catholicism look back. They don’t tend to create our greatest entrepreneurs, inventors, research and development. Typically, Catholic nations aren’t shooting people into space. Protestantism, though, always looks to the future. A typical kid raised in Protestantism dreams about the future. A typical kid raised in Catholicism values and relishes the past, the saints, the history. That is one of the changes that is happening in America. In America the descendants of the Protestants, the Puritan descendants, we want to create a better future, and our speakers say that sort of thing. But with the influx of people from Mexico, they don’t tend to be the ones that go to universities and become our research-and-development people. And so in that way I see a little clash of civilizations.”
I think Pastor Ted is using his pulpit to divide Christians - and that is anti-Christian.

This, my friends, is the fellow who has our President's ear.

Take a look at the violence in Belfast, Ireland that continues today, and think about America's society and how we've learned that the separation of church and state can alleviate a lot of stupid and senseless fighting over religion. Imagine Pastor Ted on a Belfast street - in a Catholic neighborhood - preaching about the benefits of Protestantism. Those Belfast Catholic boys would beat the daylights out of old Ted - and if I weren't a Christian myself, I might be tempted to applaud.

The 'Muscle Jesus' is at work in the hearts and minds of men with old grudges.

Pastor Ted thinks the Catholics are "out", and evangelicals are 'in'.... and the battle boils down to evangelicals versus Islam.
QUOTE from article:

“My fear,” he says, “is that my children will grow up in an Islamic state.”

And that is why he believes spiritual war requires a virile, worldly counterpart. “I teach a strong ideology of the use of power,” he says, “of military might, as a public service.” He is for preemptive war, because he believes the Bible’s exhortations against sin set for us a preemptive paradigm, and he is for ferocious war, because “the Bible’s bloody. There’s a lot about blood.”
Pastor Ted is down with the idea of engaging in a Crusade. Isn't that stealing directly from the Catholics? Is that not "looking back?"

As a progressive Catholic who subscribes to Liberation theology, I think Pastor Ted should get 40 lashes from the power-whip of his own created "Muscle Jesus".
That'll learn him!

I promise not to look back.


"Our lord loves the country, he's with you at the polls
He knows the lever that you pull
He's keeping track of souls

The way it used to be
The way it ought to be
The way it's going to be again
And when we're in heaven you'll be sorry
When we're in heaven you'll be sorry
When we're in heaven you'll be sorry then.."

-From Soldiers Of Christ by Jill Sobule


"I think we Christian believers are responsible not to lie, but I don’t think we’re responsible to say everything we know."
- From the Christian wisdom of Pastor Ted

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade, Camillus, N.Y.
Monday, May 30, 2005

"To honor them, why speak of duty
or the will of governments?
Think first of love each time you
tell their story.
It gives their sacrifice a name and takes from war its glory."

- Sam Hazo (Real Audio)
See 2LT Cowherd, Final Roll Call - I think this is the best Memorial Day Tribute available on the blogs today. See this related post, also.