Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scary Christians

I somehow managed not to watch the GOP debate last night.

Well, actually, I completely forgot it was on.  After a day at church wrapping things up for my imminent departure, I'd come home to discover some parental heavy lifting needed to be done.  Ah, teens and their impulsiveness.  Discipline and firmness are necessary things.  Sigh.

Then, I discovered that my little guy had managed to leave his Everything-He-Needs-Is-In-It binder at school.  So off to look for it.  Then home, and in a break in the post-Lee monsoon rains, walking the dog.  Then to the store for fresh veggies for dinner.  And back to the store after forgetting something.

Dinner gets prepped, and the missus gets home, and there's more sitting on the teen, followed by the announcement--at 9:00 PM--that certain school supplies must be acquired by tomorrow.

In the midst of that, watching the candidates for the Republican nomination have at one another just faded into the chaos of the evening.

Perhaps it was a passive aggressive avoidance mechanism, the kind of thing one does to get out of a social outing to the house of that guy you sort of knew in college who keeps inviting you over.  You know, the guy who spends the whole time you're with him complaining about what a blanking-blank his ex is, and how much he blanking hates the blanking blank across the street and his blanking rodent kids who keep playing on his blanking lawn.

The reportage on the event seems to have affirmed this.  Front and center in the midst of the fray were the broad shoulders and clenched fists of Rick Perry, whose aggressive and combative style seems to play well with those who interpret bullying as strength.  Facebook and the Twitterverse were a-hum with both his truculent approach to Ron Paul and his celebrating the number of people Texas executes.

Which people...applauded.

Executing people is an applause line?  Really?   I guess the folks in the audience were the sort of Christians who aren't so much into the grace/love/forgiveness thing, but who are really into the idea of someone having to die for them.

And yes, I am assuming they are self-professing Christians.  It's an odd thing for me, as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, to follow the GOP nominations process.  Odd because as I look at the candidates, the ones I find both reasonable and most aligned with the teachings of Yeshua Ben YHWH are the ones who talk about it the least.  You've got Huntsman, who is a really solid, balanced guy...and Mormon.  Then there's Romney, who is a bit too corporate for my tastes, but also Mormon and not halfway scary.  There's Ron Paul, who is a great proponent of liberty, and not as something you just say to get people to applaud while you strip them of their rights.  He understands it.  I don't think he gets the necessity of representative government as a counterbalance to profit-driven corporate power, but I respect him.

None of these guys have a chance, unfortunately.

The ones that do wear Jesus on their lapel.  The ones that do alarm me.  I used to think that Michelle Bachmann was the most frighteningly glazed-eye proto-fascist in the political spectrum.  That was before I got to know Rick Perry, who is all swagger...and really, really, really into telling people about how Christian he is.

Yet in his manner, I don't read the core teachings of Christ.  That tends to be true for most folks who wave Jesus around when running for office.

Why, why, why must the loudest shouters of Jesus be the most disturbing?