Love Came to Town

April 2nd, 2010

In honor of Good Friday today and in support of the mainstream Christian belief that God is love. The Westboro Baptist Church (slogan: “God Hates Fags”) is the most extreme representative of the opposite belief, but there are many others in the evangelical movement who believe that an angry and vengeful God occasionally lashes out against those he hates (particularly gays and abortion rights advocates), punishing sinful humans for our sins. Some of these “believers” even pray to that god to encourage him (the vengeful god is always a “him”) to bring his wrath down on the idolaters. In my view, this belief is the antithesis of Christianity.


“I was there when they crucified my Lord
I held the scabbard when the solider drew his sword.
I rolled the dice when they pierced his side
I seen love conquer the great divide.”
            — When Love Comes to Town by U2


Jesus died today for all of our sins,

But that’s not how Good Friday begins.


The other lesson that’s often forgotten

Is that we all crucified God’s Begotten.

Not the Roman, not the Jew:

Christ was crucified by me and you.


We all have that cruelty and intolerance inside us,

And trying to get rid of it is why we need religion to guide us.

It’s ironic that some use religion for the opposite purpose.

(Are they doing that on purpose?)


Since we’re all God’s children and Jesus was Man’s Son,

Doesn’t that technically make him God’s grandson?

Did God mellow after he became a grandparent?

(Hence the lack of vengeance in the New Testament apparent.)


Or maybe God was never really so ruthless

And the Old Testament’s attributions are truthless—

Human interpretations of things we didn’t understand,

Or stories that changed when passed hand to hand.


I think the latter view is true,

And Jesus seems to agree with that too.

He taught his disciples that God is love,

Not a vengeful bigot who looks down from above.


Either way, one point that is (or at least should be) beyond debate:

The New Testament God is one of love, not of hate.

Jesus died for our sins past, present, and future,

And our salvation from the fear of God’s wrath did procure.


So Religious Rightists, get down from your high horses,

And try to do what Jesus endorses.

When you call down God’s wrath on “sinners” with your hypocritical amen,

You crucify Jesus all over again.  

 ***

Here’s your theme music, When Love Comes to Town by U2. That’s the great B.B. King joining them for the track.

 

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