Spiritual hypocrisy is alive and well in the USA when Reverends give up on one of the fundamentals of Jesus teachings: peace!  Its also alive and well in the churches which needed to put their public stand for peace in the world to a congregational vote! Can you imagine?! Both of these things happened in Sonoma, CA and I imagine are happening elsewhere.  If the sheep are leading, who needs a pastor?!

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so wisely said: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

I wonder how Jesus would feel about:

1. The sanctioning of killing of Gods creations.  (I guess instead of casting a stone, we replaced stones with mortar and land mines. War is not a John Wayne movie with actors . . . but involves real people!)

2.  Its okay to kill if you make up good enough reasons to suit your worldly agenda.

What sad times for faith in action! How tragic it is that certain churches will not use the pulpit to preach peace, and have given up on peace . . . one of Jesus fundamental teachings.  Remember, turn the other cheek, love your neighbor as yourself, etc.?

Time for a moral conscience check! . . .

1.  Peace was a fundamental message of Jesus, and still is.  To label peace as a political issue is theologically erroneous.  And, last time I checked Jesus stood for civil rights and tolerance too!

2.  Freedom and peace are not things to be won or lost, but are choices. 

3.    What we stand for in this and what we stand against in this world tells a lot about us and our true embodiment of Jesus teachings of love, acceptance, forgiveness, etc.

4.  Two wrongs never make a right.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? Would he put on a military uniform and kill . . . for whatever the justification?  I think not!  What I do presume is that Jesus would be most ashamed of what many of his so-called Reverends and spiritual organizations have done from the pulpit and to his word.  Jesus faced enemies and he chose peace instead of justifying killing.

So, while some current leaders have become Hitlers and Saddams in their own right, killing of Gods creation in many countries, it is long overdue that our spiritual organizations speak out for peace, instead of choosing coffers over coffins.  As Dante said, The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.

Peace begins long before one has a kamikaze in ones face.  It begins with the alliance between choice and responsibility.  It begins with renewed faith in and commitment to peace.

Leslie Sheridan is a freelance writer, activist and consultant living in Sonoma, CA.