Friday, June 16, 2006

Know Thy Neighbor

Was watching CNN this morning (what my friend Ray Holloway used to call "the swirling eddies of the coming apocolypse") and caught an interview Miles O'Brian did with pastor Gary DeBusk of Christ Church of Peace.

This is a church in Florida which is networking with an organization called Know Thy Neigbor. They have launched an effort to use information freely available to the public to post on-line the names and addresses of people who have signed petitions supporting a ban on gay marriages.

The people on these petitions are outraged, and Miles (as a bona fide member of the mainstream media with his obvious liberal bias) was taking Pastor DeBusk to task for this terror tactic.

Pastor DeBusk replied that this was all information freely available to the public and that he found it rather odd that people who would so strongly support a change to the Constitutions of their states or the nation would prefer to do so under the cover of darkness and in secrecy.

Miles asked him if, by using this tactic, he also was in favor of websites which post the names and addresses of doctors who perform abortions.

Way to stick it to the conservatives, Miles, you ultra-liberal mouthpiece.

This clearly flummoxed the pastor, who could immediately see that Miles was infering that highly organized groups of militant gays might start killing these good theocrats who innocently signed these petitions, just as abortion doctors have been killed by fanatic fundamentalist anti-abortion advocates.

His stammering undermined his credibility...and then Miles went in for the kill with, "Is this website something that Jesus would do?"

Pastor DeBusk was shocked to be placed so squarely on the defensive and then said, "I wouldn't presume to say what Jesus would do." A fair answer, but since he is a minister, one might suspect he'd be in a unique position to make those presumptions.

I realize that sitting here at my keybord it is easy to armchair quarterback the interview. I might have lost my temper and done even worse. But here is what I wish Pastor DeBusk might have said to Miles.

I wish he'd said, "Miles, isn't it ironic that the very same people who so strongly advocated their right to post information identifying the people who performed actions they disapproved of are now so outraged when the same tactic is used to identify them? It lets you clearly see why of all the things which angered Jesus, hypocrisy topped the list."

I wish he'd said, "Miles, I can't say for certain what kind of website Jesus might put online, however I can say with absolute certainty what Jesus said, because it is written in the Bible. As the people who signed these hateful petitions surely know, for they believe the bible is the literal truth, Jesus commanded us to love one another, he asked us to forgive, not to hate, to pay our full share of taxes, to avoid accumulation of wealth, to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked. I'd like to ask the conservative base of the Republican party who claim to be Christians how they can so consistently take political positions which are polar opposites of the postions Christ so strongly advocated in his teachings."

The thing which makes me so angry is how the so-called conservative Christians in this nation, whom I call the Theocratic Elite and other call the American Taliban, have effectively linked advocating redistribution of wealth, anti-poverty work, universal health care, forgiveness rather than retribution, anti-hunger efforts, and other positions clearly advocated by Christ as linked to Communism. Because they have successfully done this, actually doing What Jesus Would Do is seen by them as both Anti-Christian and Anti-American.

That old devil sure does good work.

Know they neighbor, examine their fruit, and be wary of those who would work in secret to limit the freedoms of others.

Another website to list gay-marriage foes: Mass. critic assails tactic's use in Florida, By Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe, June 12, 2006


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