Sunday, January 01, 2006


A New Year’s Message to America’s Christian Missionaries

American churches and mission groups send missionaries all over the world to do good and win people over to Christianity. Some of these missionaries risk their lives in dangerous places, and all missionaries face huge challenges.

But believe it or not, the greatest barrier to their work is the United States itself, along with its political and moral leadership. Yes, you read that right.

While American missionaries station themselves all over the world teaching peace, Christian love, self-sacrifice for the poor and afflicted, forgiveness, and other values deemed to be Christian, the United States of America — which we are constantly told is a “Christian nation” — goes about bombing, shooting, burning people alive, invading, torturing, rattling its saber, and otherwise afflicting the rest of the world. At home the US government coddles the rich, screws the poor, trashes education, allows horrible pollution, and generally demonstrates an appalling lack of concern for the welfare of its own citizens. The US has shockingly high crime rates and prison populations, stunningly poor energy efficiency, and a crumbling economy. Corruption reigns, elections are stolen, and government officials lie through their teeth, even to start wars. Our government and corporations callously let their fellow Americans starve and freeze (prompting other governments to step in and help!). These things are done by people who claim to be “Christian,” not least of all George W. Bush himself.

And what about prominent religious leaders? The US of A is honored to be represented to the world community by Eminent Holy Man Pat Robertson, who unabashedly advocates murder and other mayhem. Similar sentiments of universal love and forgiveness can be heard from numerous conservative commentators who likewise claim to live according to Christian principles.

A question for American missionaries is: Do you think the people of the world get their impression of “Christian values” from you, or from these prominent persons I have just discussed?

What little good you are able to do is far outweighed by the evil perpetrated by these pseudo-Christians. When the people of the world think of “Christian values” as professed, advocated, and practiced by Americans, they think of America’s leaders and government, not you. You can teach love, forgiveness, compassion, care for the poor, peace, and nonviolence until you drop, but your teachings and your actions are cancelled out a hundred times over by the US government, which does the opposite.

And so, a suggestion: If you want to perform your missionary work where it will do the most good, go home to the US and preach to our politicians, who need it desperately. If you want to minister to the poor, there are plenty of them right at home, waiting for someone to save them from freezing and starvation. You might point out their existence to rich man President Dubya and tell him that if he wants to put his Christian values into practice, he should sell all he has and give the money to destitute Americans.

As it is, all that talk from America’s leaders about “Christian values” is perceived by the world to be the empty posturing and self-serving lying that it is.

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