Let me say that I love you. I have known you in the core of your beings to be kind and generous people. This is why you remain my friends. I have known you to help your neighbors in need. I have seen you love your families and friends. I know that you have the innate capacity for deep compassion.
But when I hear you suggesting that all Muslims should die, or that politicians you disagree with don’t deserve to live, then I have to question your beliefs. I have to question your understanding of the book that you claim as your life guide. When I see how much you hate I have to question the presence of Christ in your life. When I see you using the Bible to justify war, discrimination, the death penalty, I have to question whether you have read the book at all.
Whenever I hear you spout hatred or generalizations about classes of people certain remembrances of Christian teaching from my youth come to my mind. I hear how you use the Old Testament, particularly Leviticus, to justify your political beliefs and I can’t help but think of how Jesus said that he came to replace the old law. And yes, I know there are right-wing theologians who will argue this was not his intent but it seems quite clear that he did intend to replace the old law with the new while understanding that he was fulfilling the prophesies. He did not negate the Old Testament–he fulfilled its story line and its promise and he started a new one.
When I hear you talk about retribution I cannot help but think of Jesus asking his followers to turn the other cheek and to love your enemies. Oh yes, and “judge not lest ye be judged.”
When I hear you spout hatred of Muslims or gays or African-Americans the phrase “love thy neighbor” comes to mind.
You have the right to your opinions, political or otherwise. You have the right to hate whomever you choose. But please stop doing it with the Bible as your defense. While I am not a Christian I was raised one and I have great respect for those who live authentic Christian lives–people like my mother who have always given of themselves for the betterment of their community, like friends who work to bring together nations and people instead of tearing us further apart. But I do not respect your religion. I do not believe it is Christianity and I believe that if Jesus returned today you would not be drawn up into Heaven in rapture. Instead he would wrap you in his love and try to teach you the true meaning of his lessons. My guess is that you would not listen to him. You might even crucify him again.
I am saddened by what you have become because I know the essence of goodness underlying your being. I try not to judge it, but clearly there is hatred calling you to action. There is hatred in your words. You have left the family of Christian love like a Prodigal son. My hope is that you return to that place of love where you started as an innocent child. Like the Prodigal son you will be welcomed back with open arms.