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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Kristoff on Point

Great editorial in today's NY Times.

"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again."

These are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.

If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of "Glorious Appearing" and publish it in Saudi Arabia, jubilantly describing a massacre of millions of non-Muslims by God, we would have a fit. We have quite properly linked the fundamentalist religious tracts of Islam with the intolerance they nurture, and it's time to remove the motes from our own eyes.

In "Glorious Appearing," Jesus merely speaks and the bodies of the enemy are ripped open. Christians have to drive carefully to avoid "hitting splayed and filleted bodies of men and women and horses."

"The riders not thrown," the novel continues, "leaped from their horses and tried to control them with the reins, but even as they struggled, their own flesh dissolved, their eyes melted and their tongues disintegrated. . . . Seconds later the same plague afflicted the horses, their flesh and eyes and tongues melting away, leaving grotesque skeletons standing, before they, too, rattled to the pavement."

One might have thought that Jesus would be more of an animal lover.

The consequences of true theocracy are chilling and deadly dangerous. In these United States, where such a goal is openly sought after by so many, I think it behooves us all to think of both best and worst case scenarios, and to fight like mad to retain the ever-important (maybe more now than ever) separation of Church and State. Regardless of what the Texas GOP might have to say on the matter.

1 comments: to “ Kristoff on Point

  • Anonymous
    July 17, 2004 5:56 PM  

    I am French and a Roman Catholic.

    You are right to say that one must "fight" for separation of Church and State which is important more now than ever.

    May I say,that seen from Europe,some recent aspects of religious life in the USA appear very strange to us.
    We just do not understand such things as "Christian Zionism" or "Christian Fundamentalism".

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