Sunday, December 20, 2015
It's easier to observe holidays than commandments
'How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments'.
So said Benjamin Franklin.
Simple translation: It's easier to observe holidays than commandments.
No better is this demonstrated than in the recurrent claims by some Christians that there is a war on Christmas or on Easter or other Christian events. The complaints surface over things such as carol singing (even though many of the carols are about Santa or reindeers or holly, anything but Christ), easter eggs (again nothing to do with Christianity) or greetings (such as complaining about people saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas).
Yet, where are the complaints about human rights abuses by politicians who claim to be Christian. Some people are quick to accuse Muslims of not condemning terrorism but fail to condemn Christians who imprison and torture innocent people as Australia is doing to asylum seekers fleeing brutality, persecution and war. In fact, these particular human rights abuses are popular with the electorate and many conservative Christians.
Where are the complaints against politicians, pastors and others who propagate racism and Islamophobia, who call to ban Islam, who misrepresent Koranic scripture in order to fuel hatred and fear of Muslims. Christians are called to preach the gospel, not to twist the scripture of other religions.
Where are the complaints against Christian politicians who kill millions of innocent Muslims in order to further the Christian idols of democracy and capitalism.
Where are the complaints against Christian leaders who fund terrorism, whether it be Islamic, Israeli or Western.
Take for instance the funding of the Mujahideen and Jihadists in Afghanistan which gave rise to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the funding of Israel as it commits genocide and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, the funding of Saddam Hussein, the funding and support of the Ku Klux Klan and the Lebanese Phalangists, or the various death squads in South America, the funding of despots such as Saddam Hussein, Indonesia's President Suharto, Chile's General Pinochet and the list goes on. Millions displaced, injured or killed by the actions of Christians in pursuit of their idols.
Christians should remove the log from their own eye before picking on the speck in others.
There is the perennial campaigning against abortion clinics and against the welfare needed to support young mothers and families. The greatest driver of abortion is poverty, so those who oppose welfare are furthering abortion. They have no right to claim the high moral ground in their opposition to abortion if they aren't going to provide the support necessary to prevent abortion.
The parable of the Sheep and the Goats tells Christians to feed and cloth the destitute, to visit the prisoner. The Sermon on the Mount tells Christians to wage peace not war, to show mercy, to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Christ himself tells Christians to 'love your neighbour' and 'love your enemy', to pray for those who persecute you. When asked about who is our neighbour, Jesus responded with the Parable of the Good Samaritan, showing that our neighbour isn't just those of the same nationality or religion. Muslims are our neighbours, not our enemies.
It is much easier for Christians to attack Islam instead of loving Muslims, to torture and imprison the persecuted instead of visiting them or welcoming them with open arms, to wage war instead of bringing peace.
As Benjamin Franklin so eloquently stated, it is easier to observe holidays than commandments. The behaviour of Christians is anything but Christian if they simply carry on about the right to say Merry Christmas while failing to love their neighbour, to visit the prisoner, to defend and help the refugee, to love their Muslim neighbours or to provide welfare to the poor and the widow.
Forget the War on Christmas and stop the War on the Poor and the Persecuted.