I'm watching Jesus Camp.
There's a kid preparing for a sermon and he tells the filmmakers that he doesn't write the sermon. He says God guides his hand as he holds the pen over the page.
And it reminded me of a very specific moment in my life. I don't recall exactly how old I was -- probably six or seven, first or second grade. But I remember where I was and who was there. I remember what was said.
In the basement of the church on Center Street a woman stood before us. We were seated "Indian Style" on the carpet. This was part way through a week of summer bible camp or bible school, whatever you want to call it. You know -- macaroni pictures and God's Eyes and all of whatever can be made with white glue and Popsicle sticks.
This woman was telling us about God. I think she was the grandmother of one of the other kids there. Anyhow, she told us that we could easily picture the way God works if we imagined that we were puppets. And she had little puppets like little animals and you stuck your hand inside and made the mouth go like you do with puppets.
This woman told us that we were just like these puppets and God had his hand up the back of us guiding everything we did. And in that moment, as a first- or second-grader, I lost my religion.
And nothing in my life has done a single thing to make me rethink that decision.
I do, however, believe with all my heart that I am more of Christian - as it's laid out in the book - than any of these so-called Evangelicals. Maybe they'd do some good if they took some time out of trying to convert the masses and sat down and actually read the words in the book. And if they're Christians why do they hold on so tightly to the Jewish half of the book? They tell you Creationism is the only answer that makes sense and then in the next breath tell you it's going to take a war to make America a Christian nation.
Jesus Christ. The lamb of God. The prince of peace. And they think he needs an army.
I've got some news for them (tho it's not really news.) America IS a Christian nation. We've never had a single president who didn't attend a Christian church. Jimmy Carter (God Forbid - a Democrat!) was ten-times the religious figure that their so-called St. George W. Bush could ever hope to be.
Carter builds houses for the poor. Bush hands more money to the rich. What the fuck is Christian about that?
But above all, I feel sorry for the kids. I had a solid foundation around me when I was growing up which allowed me to realize - without fully comprehending all of the ramifications - that religion can be good but following it blindly is dangerous. No matter what name you put on it.