Charles Mercieca, Ph.D. President, International Association of Educators for World Peace Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

The United States has been described by former US President John F. Kennedy as a “conglomeration of nations.” Needless to say, it may also be viewed as a “conglomeration of religions.” In fact, there is hardly a nation and religion which could not be found in this country. Quite a few millions still speak their native language of origin at their homes.

Nation of Great Diversity

Some of the leading languages most Americans speak to each other are Spanish, Chinese, German, Italian, Korean, Arabic, Russian, French and a variety of Indian languages, in addition to English which is the predominant language of the government and schools in general. Although the dominant religion seems to be Christianity, some of the leading ones may be viewed as Islam, Judaism, Hindu and Buddhist, besides a few others. Christianity is generally divided into Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox.

Americans who demonstrate a sense of equilibrium prove to be very beneficial to society. They usually bring social harmony everywhere. They are generally characterized by love and respect for others and by their readiness to be beneficial to all people. A mere glance to every religion in the world reveals that the fundamentalists have emerged to become noticeably dangerous. In fact, they may easily be classified as fanatics. They are ready to do anything, even brutal, for what they view as “the right cause” whatever that may be.

They distort the teaching of their major source of knowledge without hesitation through interpretations they device to promote their agenda, no matter how disastrous it may be. In the world at large, three of the major sources of religious knowledge which are expected to be viewed as effective guidelines are the New Testament, mostly used by Christians, the Old Testament, also known as the Bible, and the Koran, the sacred book of Moslems. For all practical purposes, in this presentation we will concentrate on Christianity. In particular, we will focus on fundamentalist Christians whose tendency is to make mockery of Christianity presumably in good faith.

The tragedy of this lies in the fact that fundamentalists are either unaware of their actions or, if they happen to be aware they demonstrate determination to pursue their intent. All fundamentalist Christians accept Jesus of Nazareth as their Lord and Savior and even show readiness at times to suffer and die for him. At the same time, they all share one same chief characteristic. They censure Christ’s teaching by ignoring categorically everything Jesus taught that is not in line with their social agenda.

Disregard of Christ’s Teaching

To turn an insult into injury, Christian fundamentalists tend quite often to do the opposite of what Christ advocated. We need to keep in mind that fundamentalist Christians are found not only among the laity but also among the clergy. All of these tend to make a mockery of Christianity. Let us illustrate what has been stated by a few examples taken merely at random. Let us bring to our attention some of the teachings of Christ that Christian fundamentalists in American censure and ignore, and even dare to oppose at the same time.

Jesus warned the Pharisees saying: “The God you preach is not the God I know. You preach a God who advocates the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth. The God I know advocates love and mercy. He is a God that when you strike him on the face, he would rather turn the other cheek to let you strike him again than to retaliate and take revenge.” When the terrorists attacked New York on September 11, 2001, the Christian fundamentalists in the US government advocated retaliation. As a result, while the terrorists destroyed a couple of buildings and killed some 3,000 innocent people Americans, Christian fundamentalist in particular, proceeded to attack first Afghanistan and then Iraq killing and maiming in the process well over one million innocent people over a period of four years that followed. Besides, they destroyed the infrastructure of several cities leaving countless thousands without houses, schools and hospitals.

In other words, Christ’s teaching against the “eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth” was thoroughly disregarded mostly by Christian fundamentalists with great pride. They simply chose to make a mockery of Christ’s teaching while they viewed themselves as patriotic! Moreover, Jesus said to his disciple Peter: “Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword.” Christian fundamentalists in particular put their so called “future security” not on the elimination of the sword but on the continued manufacture and sales of weapons of destruction which they furnish to all nations that are ready to give the rights price, friends and foes alike, as it was witnessed in the well known Iran/Contra affair. Again this statement Jesus made to Peter has been censured and thus fully ignored by Christian fundamentalists like it never existed.

In quite a few sermons that Christ gave, we find his insistence for us “to feed the hungry, to provide shelter for the homeless and to take care of the helpless and the sick.” In other words, such actions should take priority in our lives by all means. Christian fundamentalists in America continue to put top priority on the promotion of struggles and wars. They do this under the guise of bringing “democracy and freedom” to people everywhere, when in practice they are bringing them terror and death. While they feel sorry for fellow Americans who suffer injustice, they feel no remorse whatsoever each time they take the initiative to inflict endless pain on innocent people elsewhere.

Censure of Christ’s Teaching

The traditional saying, which stated that “the way to hell is paved with good intentions” seems to be perfectly applicable to Christian fundamentalists in America. Their determination to seek for the promotion of struggles and wars as a means of solving social problems proves that they are literally making a mockery of Christianity in America, as it has been clearly demonstrated. What is really ironic may be observed here. Christian fundamentalists claim to be genuine followers of Jesus when they acknowledge him in the open as their Master Teacher. At the same time, they defy and reject openly anything he says that is not agreeable to their social agenda!

Over the past two thousand years, Christians in general worked hard to help infidels embrace Christianity. The time has arrived when we should feel the sacrosanct obligation to help Christian fundamentalists replace their faked Christianity with genuine Christianity. They need to start viewing God the way Christ preached him, namely, a God of love and mercy and not a God of hatred and revenge. After all Jesus made it clear when he said: “Not those who call God ‘Father’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of God.” This would require to replace hatred with love as well as to replace revenge with compassion. St. Augustine used to tell the people that if we develop the habit of loving genuinely many problems would be solved.

In view of what has been stated, it is obvious that it is the duty of every American citizen, regardless of one’s culture and religion, to stop abruptly, the sooner the better, the further mockery of Christianity in America. As already stated, such a mockery is observed not only in the laity but also in a substantial number of the clergy from virtually every Christian denomination. We need to get to the rescue of Christianity in America, which for the past two thousand years has taught that all people are children of God whom he loves dearly. This would be in the best interest of everyone involved and concerned since this way everyone would end up being a winner and no one a loser.