Friday, August 26, 2005
Christian Terrorists and Haagen Daz
They say it’s called depression, this feeling that the world is a bad, scary place, where everything is insanely upside down, where what’s called good is really bad and what’s called bad is really good.
Now we have a very public figure who calls himself a follower of Christ, and he’s asking for the assassination of a good man, a democratically elected president who cares about the poor of his country. As far as I can figure out, Pat Robertson wants Hugo Chavez assassinated because Venezuela has a lot of oil and we don’t like the economic system that they’re moving toward. I have no doubt that Robertson--like our president and other leaders of this country--believes in what he says and believes that he is a good man. In fact, I have little doubt that Robertson believes--like our president and other leaders of this country—that, simply by virtue of being a white male Christian, he is better than most other people of the world. It’s of great note that neither the White House nor other prominent Christian fundamentalists soundly decried what Robertson said.
The other day at the grocery store, I saw a mother in line with two kids who was buying only a 6-pack of pop and a couple pints of Haagen Daz. There was temporarily a problem with the card she was using to pay, and the man directly behind her got a look of disgust on his face and said, apparently to no one in particular, though it was intentionally loud enough for the mother to hear, “What a waste of money!” As he spat his anger, he turned abruptly away from the mom and kids to face me, who stood behind him. I was confused until I noticed that the card the cashier was handing back to the mother was an EBT card, a “welfare” card. The man was distressed at what he deemed a bad use of ‘his’ money. The mom turned away in shame at the man’s censure.
His remark especially made me take notice because I had just earlier that day seen a bumper sticker I’d never seen before: “Work hard to pay your taxes so they can go to some welfare mom.” I was on welfare when, with two young kids, I divorced an abusive man and returned to college for a degree, something that’s not allowed anymore since “welfare reform.” Today, I would be forced to work a menial job 35 hours a week instead of going to school. That approach is not something ultimately for the good of this country, which has to import highly skilled workers in various technological fields, but I guess it does do something for the egos of those with more power.
I caught up with that mother in the parking lot and told her that man was a dick, to please not pay any attention to him. She began silently crying and told me it was her birthday, that she was depressed and was “supposed to” do something nice for herself.
We are spending four billion dollars a month for an illegal, unethical war that still kills many innocents every day while refusing to acknowledge them. The federal energy bill passed recently gives billions in subsidies to energy companies, which are currently already doing better financially than they ever have, thank-you. I’ve heard Christians support such screwy, skewed initiatives as though they follow some God-ordained, natural law by citing Biblical scripture: “To them that have, more shall be given; from that have not, even that which they have shall be taken away.” It never even occurs to these people that the saying just might refer to non-material things. Just as it probably never occurred to that man in the grocery store that by saying it was a “waste” to provide food to the needy, he was basically telling that woman and her children to go off and die.
It probably never occurs to such happily oblivious people that some others just might read their goodness as evil. Did you know that studies show that people who are somewhat depressed are actually more in touch with reality? Perhaps some of these “good Christians” might do better with an occasional touch of depression, praise the lord.