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Eating Cake and Playing Tag; A Farewell Address
"You can't have your cake and eat it too", but that is the futile pursuit of most "christians" in America. In October of 2004 the first editorial I ever wrote was published on Common Dreams. The number of responses were astounding and to this day continue to arrive in my inbox. Numerous opportunities came about as a result of No Longer a Christian. It was published many other places on the web along with some of my other articles such as America's Moral Decline and the Rise of False Christianity, Left Behind and Right Ahead and Divine Mushroom Cloud: a Call to Worship.
I spoke in churches, on the radio, on television and faithfully wrote a weekly meditation on www.ecapc.org for over a year and a half. It has been an all consuming passion. I did this because I wanted to wake up sleeping Christians and hold others accountable for using the name of Christ for violent purposes. Some critics have asserted that I write "whatever I am paid to write" but I have never been paid for the words or ideas my words expressed. That was never a motive or an issue to me.
I wrote because I wanted to confront Christians who support war with the truth of what Jesus taught. On April 16 I wrote my farewell message Tag Your it to the Every Church a Peace Church audience. For now, I've said all there is to say about Christians who support war and peaceful Christians who remain silent.
Only weeks after I said my farewell, Cindy Sheehan also said her good byes. She and I both tumbled into public awareness at about the same time and perhaps with the same hope filled naivetÃƒ©. Her exposure was on a much larger scale than mine but I believe we share the same honest voice and are motivated by sorrow at the complicity and complacency of the larger public.
I have said all I have to say with words and I'm tired. Like Cindy, I thought that by now things would be drastically different than they were in 2004. I did not place my hopes in a political party but I placed my hopes in the goodness of Americans and especially Americans who profess to be followers of Jesus and his teachings. I had visions that many Christians would recognize and repent from the violence of war and religious hubris and hold their leaders accountable. I believed they would reject the violent church/state religion and again show the face of love to the world. It seems many/most Christians agree with what I write but deep inside are unwilling to make waves, stand up, or take a risk. People want to be accepted and loved by their family members, church members, community members and in cynic with superficial patriotism. For the most part Christians are enjoying this new church /state religion where they can have their cake and eat it too. No matter how well the words are arranged nor how truthful they are, the desire for cake overrides it all. True Christian faith assures us we will be unpopular, rejected, hated and scorned during times of widespread injustice. Like Christ, it is the taste of bitter hyssop which is ours when violence and death are present and not fluffy frosting.
I was glad to speak up at a time when the voices were silent and I continue to be open to ways to impact the world for good. Perhaps mine was the voice of the prophet and like other prophets I made a proclamation, delivered a message, and now am moving on.
We are well past the time for leaders to show us the way. We know the way! We just need to be committed to it. In light of the horrible escalation of violence and war, it is outrageous that every church is not a "peace church." I have been preaching to the choir but the choir is more interested in pageantry and pretty cakes than in authentic service.
I am returning to the life which was interrupted in October of 2004 when my words tumbled into the public. I will be expressing myself again without words, sculpting my prayers in stone. As the Hopi teach, We are the ones we've been waiting for. I leave you now with a startling reality and shocking truth- Tag your it!