Yes, It’s Christmas 2006: What Would Jesus Do?
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|Published on Sunday, December 10, 2006 by NewWest.net (Montana)
Yes, It’s Christmas 2006: What Would Jesus Do?
by Todd Wilkinson
Greetings once again all celebrators of the holiday season. I've been writing this column for years, and no matter what religion or denomination we subscribe to, the time has arrived for some more annual spiritual introspection.
Let each of us seek answers to modern cultural dilemmas by pondering "What Would Jesus Do?" (I offer no presumption of opinion in the following queries; therefore, it's important that you arrive at your own conclusions).
Let's get started:
Would Jesus be impressed that Wal-Mart formally inaugurated the Christmas shopping season in early November, featuring plastic manger scenes made in China next to sale bins attempting to clear out the Halloween inventory?
Would He be honored to know that again the success of this year's X-mas in America will be measured in terms of how much money consumers spend putting gifts under the tree rather than in the amount each of us appropriates to charity?
Would Jesus have subscribed to the long-running premise of the Bush Administration, which was: "My Country, Right or Wrong!" in which the President, Vice President, former Defense Secretary and their supporters implied that anyone questioning the U.S. war effort in Iraq and marching in peace rallies was a traitor?
Would He similarly apply the maxim to religion?
Would He agree with the findings of the Iraq Study Group Report, whose authors include former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III (who served under the President's father), former Congressman Lee Hamilton, former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson and other prominent Americans?
Would He be feeling sorrier today for the disgraced Reverend Ted Haggard who admitted buying meth and enlisting the services of a gay prostitute or be embracing the thousands of gay Americans who Mr. Haggard, in the name of God, condemned for being immoral and destined to spend eternity in Hell?
Would He mind telling us where the Reverend Haggard is going?
Would He confirm that "Pastor Ted", who once served as a spiritual advisor to the current President, was indeed speaking the truth when Haggard said of Mr. Bush: "What I do know is that [the President] is an honest guy who really believes what he says."
Would Jesus size up Haggard and his Christian teachings the same way?
Would Jesus reveal what He talks about when he gathers with other Holy men like Muhammad, Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama, Abraham, and Krishna?
Would He reveal, for the record, if those chats occur in the conference rooms of Heaven or Hell?
Would He tell us why the world does not recognize more Holy Women?
Would He suggest that we are approaching the problem of Global Warming with enlightenment or ignorance?
Would He laugh out loud more at assertions by scientists that the world is billions of years old or by Creationists that it's only a couple of thousand?
Would He say that clergy who molest kids should be forgiven and admitted to Heaven if they repent as Christians or be sent off to prison and subjected to the law of the jungle in the slammer?
Would He say churches that carefully protect the names of ministers who have sexually abused children are noble for safeguarding the reputation of their faith against bad PR and lawsuits or despicable for hiding the truth?
Would Jesus submit Himself to DNA testing and would He act surprised if it showed that His genetic makeup shares a lot in common with apes?
Would He have backed Michael J. Fox in calling for more federal investment in stem cell research or have given Rush Limbaugh an "atta boy" for claiming that Fox was faking the tremors associated with his Parkinson's disease?
Would Jesus explain why if God is Love and God is Perfect then why God, as expressions of His own creation, condemns millions of innocent humans, including children, to lives of misery by giving them disease-prone genes that are no fault of their own?
Would He point out which sin is greater: Using unnatural drugs to prevent pregnancy, lower cholesterol, executive a mass murderer, or cure erectile dysfunction?
Would He argue that inventors who apply for legal patents are actually infringing upon the intellectual property rights of the Almighty?
Would He assert that the Heavenly Father is more accurately portrayed in the Old Testament as being temperamental, cruel and vindictive, or in the New Testament in which God seems mellower, more benevolent and accepting of human frailties?
Would He insist that His mother, Mary, whose own native tongue was Aramaic, speak only English in the United States and be deported back to the Middle East if she is caught not carrying a Green Card?
Would He tell us that all events in the world are carefully choreographed Acts of God?
Would He corroborate George W. Bush's assertion that God always stands behind the United States of America?
Would He explain why the U.S. military is having so much difficulty in Iraq?
Would He say that Republicans suffering defeat at the polls and losing control of both the U.S. Senate and House were Acts of God?
Would He write a letter to the editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in support of its columnist Tammy Hall who constantly reminds us that she is a Christian who is certain Republicans are always right no matter what they do?
Would He agree with the conclusions of Mrs. Hall, namely that Republicanism and being a good Christian are apparently one and the same?
Would Jesus find the political correctness constantly being espoused from the Left to be righteous or annoying?
Would He cut his long hair and trim his beard if an employer interviewing him for a job demanded that he look cleaner cut?
Would He explain that the "bumping and grinding" controversy surrounding teenage dances at Bozeman Senior High School is merely another form of innocent youthful expression—and tell concerned parents to just chill out, remembering how their fuddy duddy grandparents responded to Elvis— or would He find the midriff rodeo to be distasteful and X-rated?
Would He say it's better to win a political campaign by lying through your teeth about the character of your opponent if that opponent isn't a Christian, or lose to a non-believer because you refused to engage in slander?
Would He volunteer to be a guest actor in the now legendary "Not Once" anti-meth ads on TV?
Would He bother to file a tax return?
Would He, if asked, reveal who his favorite saint is?
Would He tell us who gets his sandals tapping more when watching "Dancing With the Stars": Emmitt Smith or Mario Lopez?
Would Jesus have his teeth whitened?
Would He bother to even brush his teeth?
Would He work out with weights to buff up his pecs and do sit ups to tighten the abs?
Would He color his hair and beard to eliminate the gray?
Would he don Polypro long johns beneath his robe while snowboarding at Rocky Mountain ski resorts or tough it out by saying hypothermia never fazed him?
Would He eat right and try to maintain perfect health or just smile and wink, saying "Ya know, it doesn't really matter!"?
Would He imply that people who wait for signs from God to guide them in making important decisions are prescient or delusional?
Would He, for the record, offer some examples of what "signs from God" might be?
Would He proclaim "Deal" or "No Deal" if the President were to ask him whether it's wise to order a full-scale pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq?
Would He join Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly in pillorying Cindy Sheehan, mother of a slain U.S. soldier, for speaking out against the war?
Would He tell us which flag flies over the Kingdom of Heaven?
Would He share what He dreams about when He sleeps?
Would He find the parents who scream profanities at their kids' athletic games, harass referees and get in the faces of coaches to be paragons of conduct worth emulating or adults who desperately need to get clued in with reality?
Would He find it exhilarating to be an audience member on the Jerry Springer Show shouting "You Go Girl!" when a jilted wife discovers that her husband has been sleeping with his transgender cousin?
Would He posit that the "free-market" is the best way to address America's affordable housing shortage and, if yes, would He then explain why the free-market hasn't come close to solving the problem?
Would He read these questions and consider them more blasphemous than the people who claim to be good Christians on Sundays but who spend the rest of the week engaged with activities for which they must seek constant forgiveness and redemption?
Would He look around this Christmas season and be impressed by the party being carried on in His name or would He decide it's better to simply rent old copies of "It's A Wonderful Life," "Frosty the Snowman" and "A Christmas Carol", finding it more rewarding to spend this birthday quietly indoors on the couch with a bowl of popcorn?
© 2006 NewWest