[saymaListserv] RE: sayma Digest, Vol 22, Issue 20

Peggy Bonnington bonnipeg at charter.net
Mon Nov 29 02:59:34 JEST 2004

Oh dear, Free: Isn't this a dire and challenging time?

I thank God (and other deities or names thereof) for folks like you who
pay such close attention and share / attempt to educate us all. I
personally am becoming increasingly less  able to "read" these days; it
all seems so pointless.  Truth and logic (as they would seem) fall on
deaf or stupid ears - and have no impact on the actual "reality" which
unwinds before us.  Which gets back to why I can't read these days (or
accurately interact/ respond): I want to SHOUT, rend clothing, demand
reparation, do other dramatic (nonviolent?) things - all of which
(including the calm articulate voice of reason) are rendered totally
impotent in today's scenario of accepted insanity.

Needless to say, I could go on ... But probably without much more
coherence or logic (at this point) than those I accuse.

Again, thank you for continuing to pay attention and speak your voice.
Love / peace / health,

-----Original Message-----

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 08:02:52 -0500
From: free polazzo <freepolazzo at comcast.net>
Subject:  I am a Christian,too.


This article, which was posted on the Atlanta Friends Meeting list, may
helpful in understanding the sadness that many of us feel about how hard
has become to discuss issues that are important to each of us.

When a group decides it "owns" God, then trouble is sure to follow for

When facts can be called theories and when theories can be called facts,

anything goes.    The person with the loudest voice wins.
The person with the biggest guns, wins.     The person with the most

Or do they?



>I am a Christian, too
>It's time to take religion back from the haters, killers and temple
>There's a bit of schoolin' that God-fearing folks in Cobb County and 
>rest of the nation should pay heed to as they cheer the creationist
>in a federal lawsuit heard last week.
>The legal spat, over a warning plastered in Cobb schools' biology texts
>that evolution is merely a "theory" and not a "fact," has the world
>in a tizzy now that evangelicals are perceived as political 900-pound 
>gorillas (probably not a great metaphor when talking about evolution).
>Thank God (so to speak) for Cobb County, always good for when scribes 
>a bit of bizarre to substitute for news.
>Still, there is a "gol darn, I didn't know that!" lesson hidden in the
>Cobb evolution brouhaha, one that should be important to every
>It's a gem from the earlier "monkey" trial, the 1925 drama that starred

>teacher John Scopes, who challenged Tennessee's anti-evolution statute.

>The advocate for the religious side was William Jennings Bryan, one of
>great men of principle in American history.
>But, oh, heavens, Bryan was a died-in-the-wool liberal. He generally 
>described as a "populist," but in the parlance of the late 19th
>that meant liberal. Bryan volunteered in the Spanish-American War; that

>experience turned him into a fervent pacifist bitterly opposed to the 
>nascent American imperialism. As Woodrow Wilson's secretary of state,
>jawboned the 30 leading world powers to agree to a one-year cooling-off

>period before going to war -- no pre-emptive slaughter for Bryan.
>Dubbed "the Great Commoner," he castigated the capitalists as enemies 
>common folk. Among his most ardent allies in a 1896 presidential bid
>American socialist leader Eugene V. Debs.
>In short, Bryan was a man who would have earned the scorn of Karl Rove,
>Rush Limbaugh and Trent Lott. If he was reincarnated and ran today for
>U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, Saxby Chambliss would air commercials
>Bryan's mug alongside Saddam's and Osama's -- just as he did to Max
>But hold on a minute. Bryan also was a fundamentalist Christian. At the
>Scopes trial, he thundered, "I believe everything in the Bible should
>accepted as it is given there." He was born again, he was an
>The nation, especially the South, bestowed great reverence on Bryan, 
>died a few months after the Scopes trial. Country and western balladeer

>Andrew Jenkins, a Georgia boy, sang these words in tribute: "Oh, who
>go and end this fight, oh, who will be the man?/To face the learned and

>mighty foe, and for the Bible stand?"
>Let's wind forward 79 years. Bob Jones III is president of the racist 
>Jones University in Greenville, a favorite haunt of George Bush. Jones,
>storm trooper of the religious reich-wing vanguard that claims
>of Bush, sternly admonished the president after the election, "You owe
>liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."
>I get it. Bush & Co. own Christ.
>The letter also underscores the message hammered home so successfully 
>the GOP during the recent campaign: Liberals despise Christ.That's a
>The example of William Jennings Bryan -- and millions of others -- 
>clear that ultra-conservatives don't have an exclusive claim on Christ.

>It's time for Christians to start giving witness to that fact.
>I've warmed you up with a little literary napalm. But what I'm going to
>write next isn't easy. It's the sort of thing journalists aren't 
>comfortable acknowledging. Here it goes ...
>I testify that I am a Christian. I have been ever since I came forward 
>a Billy Graham revival when I was 8 years old. I later fell from grace
>had a lot of dark years I'll have to account for on Judgment Day. My
>did not turn around until, 14 years ago, I got down on my knees and 
>prayed. That's something I do every day now. I prefer small churches to

>the show palaces; Christ said to pray in private. I've felt called to
be a 
>minister, but figure I'd get to do less preaching than with this gig.
>I don't pay heed to the false prophets such as Pat Robertson and Tim
>LaHaye of the Left Behind books because Christ said to beware of 
>charlatans claiming to know when He is coming again.
>The "rapture" isn't in the Bible, so it's not in my theology. I find it
>hard to conceive of Jesus returning to save a few smug Pharisees such
>Jerry Falwell while brutally slaying billions of my brothers and
>The heaven I believe in has ample room for all men and women of all
>who seek God and try to live good lives.
>In the Book of Matthew, Jesus said, "Not everyone who saith 'Lord, 
>shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
>... ." He told us his Father's will was to be meek; to be peacemakers;
>take care of the weak, the poor, the afflicted; to sheathe the sword.
>I believe there is truth in every word of the Bible, but as Bryan said
>during the Scopes trial, "Some of the Bible is given illustratively." I

>also believe there is truth in other faiths' scriptures, and I study
>All Americans are invested in the debate over "values." It's time for
>Christians to take back our religion from people who have commandeered
>simply to squeeze political advantage.
>I believe the Ten Commandments have more impact if they are carved on 
>hearts than if they are hung in government buildings. I believe our 
>leaders have broken one of those commandments by bearing false witness
>concocting lies out of whole cloth that led us into war. I believe that

>"elective" war is another word for murder, and war to grab other
>oil is coveting and theft -- more broken commandments.
>War is not a Christian value. I'm a Methodist, and our literature 
>states, "We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example
>In short, George Bush hasn't earned the photographic halo that our 
>gutless daily newspaper bestowed upon him on Nov. 5's front page.
>The neutron bomb in the values debate -- the device that allegedly sunk
>John Kerry -- was gay marriage. I don't have the answers to questions 
>about gays. Jesus didn't say a word about homosexuality, but he did say

>love your neighbor. That's enough for me.
>What I do know is that gays don't threaten my marriage. The divorce 
>are much higher in anti-gay Southern states than in gay-friendly 
>Massachusetts and New York. Among Christians, the born-again variety
>the highest incidence of divorce, according to a poll by Christian 
>researcher George Barna. There are some lessons in those numbers.
>The gay issue has been used solely to create fear and division, and as
>Jesus said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to 
>desolation." Thank you, GOP legislators.
>The reason, most agree, that divorce is higher here is because of the
>impoverishment of the South, much of it the result of Bush's 
>enrich-the-already-rich economics. For a final personal belief, I think

>Jesus was on the money when he said, "It is easier for a camel to go 
>through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of

>God." Pretty simple language.
>Group Senior Editor John Sugg can be reached at 404-614-1241 or at
>john.sugg at creativeloafing.com. Quotes from the Scopes trial came from 
>Summer of the Gods by Ed Larson.

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