Double-Sided Sword of Religion

If you are at all familiar with Christian Zionism and manifest destiny, than you know how messed up these concepts are. I'm not one for religion to begin with, but these two ideas are essentially a response to radical Islam. They are crazy and quick to judge. These concepts are also believed by millions of people in the United States.

Here is a bit of a description of these folks' theology, from Bill Moyer's website:
"Increasingly, some American evangelical Christians have emerged to form an alliance with Israel. Citing Biblical prophecy, this group of evangelicals call for all of the West Bank to remain in Israeli hands, and they oppose any two-state solution. Sometimes called Christian Zionists, they believe that a Christian Messiah will return to earth in Jerusalem. They have joined with conservative Israeli politicians to oppose any division of the city."

Pretty scary, huh? When I learned about these kind of folks back in college, I thought that it was too absurd to be true. After taking my politics and religion course, I realized that there were plenty of souls that thought this way - that wait eagerly for the Messiah and Armageddon and all that jazz.

While these people provide me plenty of concern and frustration, there is always the other side of religion that makes me realize that it is good for some people. I understand that religion is good to raise children with, a relatively easy way to instill values into them.

Yet, what really gripped me about religion was the wonderful message of forgiveness. Of course, not all religion practices what they preach, but the Amish do.

While working out one morning (and listening to Bill Moyers), I heard the story of Amish forgiveness. On Oct. 2, 2006, a local milk man went into a school house and murdered five little girls, while injuring 5 others. He then turned the gun on himself.

Normal Americans were outraged, but the Amish took it in stride. They went to the killer's funeral. They comforted the killer's family. They stuck together as a community and healed as a community. Instances like these make me wish that I had something that strong to hold onto. I wish that there were more communities that were that close, that strong. Instead, I feel the opposite is true.

I truly recommend that everyone check out all the stories from that week of Bill Moyers, who is an excellent journalist. You can read about the Amish HERE. You can read about Christian Zionism HERE and HERE. I HIGHLY recommend that you watch the video and here some of the Christian Zionists talk. You can't make stuff like this up.

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