Photo by Richard Shiro/AP
By and large, most of the current crop of nutcases running for the Republican nomination for president, are professing Christians solidly in the ultra-right fundamentalist camp. They believe that Jesus was god and also the son of god who was sacrificed on a cross in Jerusalem about 30 CE.
That sacrifice was propitiatory which means it satisfied god's blood lust. We are all "sinners" and thus it is only right and just because God is just that God kill us for our sins. But Jesus' death atoned for our sins; his death was a substitute for ours so now God, happy as a lark because his need for justice was satisfied, gives eternal life to all people who "confess" Jesus is god and are thereby "born again." Those who fail to believe or accept Jesus as the sacrificial lamb whose bloody death on Calvary was necessary to earn God's forgiveness, will burn forever in hell complements of the loving creator who made them in his image.
These fundamentalist Christians also believe that Jesus is coming back soon at which time true believers will be "raptured" into heaven and the rest of us will have hell to pay. Additionally, they are certain every word in the Bible is the word of God and absolutely true no matter what the subject matter is. If there is ever a conflict between science and the Bible, the Bible has the last word. Most of these fundys do not accept the theory of evolution as explanatory relative to life's origin and subsequent development, because they perceive evolution to be contrary to the ancient creation myths in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2.
What strikes me is the fact that in spite of their protestations of profession of faith, these Republican contenders really don't know the Bible and they have no clue what the Jesus character said and did as recorded in the Gospel story(s) about him. Or, if they do have a clue, they don't care and hate him so much they do the opposite of what he instructed his followers to do.
For example, today Michele Bachmann, perhaps the most ignorant fool of the bunch, slammed President Obama for banning the torture method of waterboarding. She said she would, if elected, make that a tool of her fight against the Islamic terrorists. She said waterboarding has successfully provided us with essential information about our enemies. The rest of the contender clowns jumped on board to agree waterboarding was a wonderful addition to our arsenal of anti-terrorist weapons.
Actually, they are dead wrong on every count. It has been shown over and over again that torture in whatever form does not work. The person being tortured will say anything, make up anything, just to get the torture to stop. The truth is, no matter what Dickie Cheney claims, torture has provided us with no important information. But whether it works or not is ultimately irrelevant! It goes against everything we stand for in this country. It is unconstitutional! And that's the most important indictment against it.
Finally, and this matters only to people who profess to follow Jesus, it goes against everything Jesus taught!
But consider, all these Republican pretenders to the throne claim to love Jesus. They do not love Jesus! They hate Jesus. They must, for Jesus said to love your enemies, to turn the other cheek, to never resort to violence. It is inconceivable that anyone who gives a damn about what Jesus said would condone waterboarding or any other form of torture.
These would-be presidents are hypocrites of the highest (or maybe lowest) order! They do not love Jesus! They hate Jesus and they refuse to follow Jesus' teachings. They publicly deny their Lord every time they open their mouths! They are, as one author called their type years ago, "A Generation of Vipers."
But there's more. The Jesus of the Gospels went out of his way to take care of the sick and the needy. The Jesus of the Gospels taught his followers to go the extra mile, to love their enemies, to turn the other cheek, and if someone wants your cloak, give him your coat, too. He also said that we should not bear false witness!
That's not the Jesus of Bachmann, et. al. These Republican vipers would destroy our country's safety nets for the needy. They fight tooth and nail every attempt to provide the poorest among us with the resources to survive in an increasingly hostile world made more so by the machinations of the richest of our brethren. They want to torture those they perceive as enemies and lock away forever those they hate. Perry even prides himself on how many people he has legally murdered as governor of Texas! These vipers want to bomb a country and a people they consider to be the enemy!
As to bearing false witness, each of them lies through their teeth at every opportunity. They lie about our president, about our Constitution, about our heritage. They lie about their background and their beliefs.
Finally, the Jesus of the Gospels said straight out that riches will void your passport to the heavenly gates. Rich people don't have a chance in hell of reaching paradise. He said it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Obviously, a camel can, under no circumstances, go through the eye of a needle!
But what do these Republican vipers do? Accumulate wealth! As I recall ol' Newt recently blew about a quarter of a million on baubles at Tiffany's. They defend to the death their rich friends in positions of corporate power. As for the least among us who need health care? Forget it! The elderly who depend upon Social Security? Take it down! Privatize it and make the Wall Street barons richer! And for those who cling to Medicare to meet their health needs? Cut their damn benefits!
But they do not, under any circumstances, ask the rich to pay their fair share. That's "socialism," say the vipers as if Jesus would care about labels! In fact the New Testament indicates that the earliest followers of the Jesus character "held all things in common," and distributed resources fairly among the group as to each person's need. Sounds like "socialism" to me.
These vipers do not believe that Bible story, either. The actually believe Jesus was a capitalist and that's why they worry so much about our national debt (well, except when George W. Bushski ran it up by several trillion fighting illegal and stupid wars! They didn't care about the national debt then!)
It should not be necessary to discuss religious beliefs held by people running for the presidency. But these contender/pretenders have brought it on themselves. They hold up themselves as paragons of virtue, or faith. They pretend a belief in Jesus such as they have is vital for a president of the United States.
I think more and more people, watching the sickening display of amorality put on by these Republican candidates, are realizing their religious beliefs are a sham. They are the Pharisees praying in the public square so that people will see them and thus hold them in greater esteem. Jesus denounced those Pharisees for the hypocrites they were, just as he denounces Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich. God, especially Gingrich. George W. Bush is probably the only one who has done more harm to our country than Gingrich!
So, if you are a Republican and you are called upon to vote for a Republican candidate for president, remember there is no religious test. Your vote should not be based upon the religious beliefs of any candidate. But, if you find that a candidate's life contradicts what that candidate professes to believe, you must, in good conscience, vote for another. Even if it's a Democrat.
One final word: All of us are hypocrites to a certain extent. That's only to say we do not always act in accordance with our beliefs. So, in an election like this, what might be most important is to choose the one who is the least hypocritical, the lesser of two evils, so to speak.
At this point I can't imagine any individual with a conscience voting for any one of the current crop of Republican candidates. Every one is a major hypocrite, a liar, and a phony and their religion is a sham!