Some zealots have skewed view of heroism
By TONY NORMAN - PITTZBURGH POST-GAZETTE
Added: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 21:41:16 UTC
Thanks to Kim Z for the link
In Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters," Max Von Sydow's character, the gloomy misanthrope Frederick, utters a line that continues to resonate in embarrassing ways for millions of Christians: "If Jesus came back [today] and saw what was going on in his name, he would never stop throwing up."
With one profoundly insightful line, Mr. Allen demonstrated the tension between the demands of living an authentic life of faith and being the kind of religious conformist capable of prompting Jesus to continually reach for his barf bag.
You don't have to be a religious skeptic like Mr. Allen to be appalled by the gaggle of frauds, hypocrites and money grubbers constantly genuflecting at the altar of modern American Christianity.
Judas Iscariot is the patron saint of these shiny-faced scoundrels. Like Judas, they pilfer the common purse, express annoyance at the generosity of others and betray their master with a kiss mere moments after betraying him to the highest bidder.
More than anything, these mountebanks love their faith in American "exceptionalism," the violence that it breeds, the 30 pieces of silver it generates and the 15 minutes of fame the devil is only too happy to supply.
Unfortunately, their numbers are growing. Although there is a danger of feeding their outsized egos with the press coverage they desperately crave, some charlatans deserve the kind of public whipping Jesus reserved for the money changers in the temple.
Last week, Bryan Fischer, director of issues analysis for the American Family Association, a right-wing Christian nonprofit, wrote an essay on the organization's blog denouncing "the feminization of the Medal of Honor."
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