Sometimes I feel as if America has “signed on” Jesus in a contract at the White House to become their spokesman and undersigner–their “yes” man. This Jesus is Caucasian, always Conservative Republican, is allowed to have an “acceptable” beard, and goes around in sandals and a billowing white tunic, shaking hands with politicians with a Crest sponsored smile. He hands out little medals to those who oppose abortion and easily excuses marital affairs, vulgarity and any covered up sex or child trafficking. He gives flowers to women wearing Gucci who write out checks to charity to avoid taxes at tax time. He kisses white babies and applauds business owners for forming jobs and trickling down a meager sustenance to the undeserving, wretched poor.
And then, if he has enough time in his daily itinerary, he hops onto a book signing by any number of white evangelicals in the blessed world of Christian Marketing and Business. He sits proudly behind the desk and recites pitches dutifully, saying “Yep, buy this book for $29.95. Don’t bother talking with me too much or accepting pain and trials–I sure don’t have the time when there are Senate seats to be won! American Christianity is pain free, pleasure filled with blessings upon blessings–but only if you buy this book and decide you’re worth it. Say, have you seen the latest Hallmark movie? They’re all white–just like me. White, blue eyed and blonde haired, mostly…Reminds me of growing up in the Middle East…”
Is it a wonder I feel disenchanted? It’s enough to make anyone gag on their Chick-Fil-A Coke…
To be clear, that’s heavy sarcasm up above. Jesus was probably dark eyed, dark skinned with dark hair and nowhere near an Aryan Gerber baby model. He didn’t speak English (it didn’t exist and neither did–gasp–America), wasn’t terribly interested in politics and possibly had rotting teeth. Jesus’ life was full of pain and so was his mother’s and his family’s. Peter didn’t deny Jesus three times because he wanted to get back to his NetFlix marathon pronto–Peter denied Jesus because he was afraid of being killed. How does that stack up next to your Joel Osteen books of promises, good feelings and rewards?
These themes and frustrations play into my novel, M.B., currently being edited by my editor. I am expecting push back, particularly from the white evangelicals who voted for Trump. The people who like to use Bible passages and Psalms as bullets and stand firmly next to the Second Amendment while little ones are killed with automatics while sitting in their classroom desks.
As you can tell, I am fed up. This shows up in my writing. I welcome prayers for this country to get its head screwed on straight. Your patience for us (if any is left) is next to saintliness. God bless America–a saying I hate. How about God bless the world?
Comments will be closely monitored below and belligerence will not be tolerated. Happy writing trails.
Song: “Nausicaa’s Requiem: Music Box Version,” Studio Ghibli/Various Artists