Both excellent points.
Here's a snippet from the Operation Save America press release that illustrates what we're talking about perfectly:
"...They stood on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! There were three in the audience with the courage to stand and proclaim, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ "
According to this story from Reuters, the protestors used the word "abomination" repeatedly. Now, here's what gets me. All this talk about "abomination" and the "Thou shalt have no other gods" bit is all Old Testament. Angry, fire and brimstone vengeful God stuff. It kills me when self-proclaimed "Christians" repeatedly cite the most bloodthirsty, angry parts of the Old Testament, while ignoring some of the most basic tenets of Christianity. Here's a version of the Beatitudes, the opening of Jesus' sermon on the Mount:
-Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
-Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land.
-Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
-Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
-Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
-Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
-Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
-Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Get a load of that--not an abomination to be seen. Go to Matthew Chapter 7, and read the rest of it. Here's the two that really jump out at me:
Matthew 7:1. "Judge not, that you may not be judged."
Matthew 7:12. "All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets." Recognize this one? It's commonly referred to as the Golden Rule; you know, "do unto others as you'd have others do unto you?"
So what part of all this don't these Kristians get? What am I missing? How frustrating, to the point of infuriating, is it for people of faith to constantly be identified with the worst and most intolerant of their fundamentalists? How sad that the kindest, most loving and moderate voices of faith are repeatedly shouted down.
When I was reading the comments to the last post I was reminded of a couple of lines from the Yeats poem "The Second Coming." I find myself, especially in the past few years, reading and re-reading this poem. I've highlighted the phrase I was reminded of:
The Second Coming
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?