by Inlander Readers

Defining God's Will

The election is over, and it is now clear that there is a major divide between political parties. What isn't so clear is that the same divide exists between Christians. Yes, there are Democratic Christians. You just rarely hear them because Republican Christians have been more militant about their faith. Is it any surprise that they would back a militant President? Non-militant Christians, seeing the violence in Bush, were more naturally drawn to John Kerry, who seemed more compassionate. Of course, we'll never know if Kerry, who is also a Christian, would have been any better, but I see a stark contrast between the Jesus of John Kerry and the Jesus of George W. Bush. The Republican Christian seems to believe more in a punitive God, the Old Testament kick-them-in-the-ass God. Democratic Christians believe in a gentler God, better characterized in the New Testament.

I won't pretend to be unbiased. I believe that Jesus Christ, being the Prince of Peace, would advocate nonviolent solutions to world problems. He would never support the use of a gun, let alone tanks, bombs and missiles. Yet President Bush's war was apparently the deciding factor in the election, which means the war has widespread support among Christians.

I am stunned that so many Christians could vote for an obviously violent man. Christ was not a violent man, and Christians, as mandated by Christ, should follow his example. Instead, many of them would rather vent their anger and do what they want to do, then manufacture support for it from the Bible.

Two thousand years later, here we are still slaughtering, and still finding it somehow OK with God. As if He would condone our killing his creations. Would any parent think that murder among his children was justifiable?

This loud, arrogant and violent Christianity is repugnant to me, and not at all Christ-like. When we find justification for war in the Bible we are simply making God in our image. It is a narcissistic approach to faith and contradicts the main commandment of Jesus. No wonder so many people are turned off by those who profess to follow Christ.

It is time for all people, especially Christians, to be courageous enough to find ways around war. It's time we started to better emulate Christ and what he really stood for, as hard as that may be. George W. Bush may think he is following Christ, but I think he took a wrong turn down a long and ugly road, and he's taking a lot of people with him. It seems many would rather follow him than Christ.

No thanks, George, enjoy your walk. I'll follow a better God, thank you very much.

Carl David Leeth

Spokane, Wash.

Sick Jokes

Recently a group from my office got together and went to the Brickwall Comedy Club at the Budget Inn.

When I go to an adults-only comedy club, I expect to hear adult humor (including off-color jokes, which are half the fun) but did not expect to come out completely irate. The night started with the owner, Chris Warren, getting up and telling a few jokes. His jokes consisted of not one multiple jokes about rape. One of them started out by him asking if anyone had heard about the woman who married her rapist. His "punch line"? "At what point during the rape did she think, 'Hey, this isn't so bad?'" When the room was silent, he made a comment that maybe his joke was too dark for the crowd. It was not that his humor was too dark but that violent crimes against women are just not funny. Later he made a comment that Hillary Clinton should be raped and assassinated. When again the room was silent, he said that "OK, maybe we should assassinate her first then rape her." This is supposed to be funny?? I don't care what your political persuasion is, wishing any person to be raped and put to death is just wrong. Maybe Warren should look at his material and figure out that there are certain subject matters that are never funny no matter how you tell the joke.

I know that some people will think I am overreacting, but I take care of women in my practice who have been victims of violence and rape, and I can guarantee they're not laughing about it. Neither am I.

Heather Armstrong, M.D.

Spokane, Wash.

Publication date: 11/25/04

Spokane's Juneteenth Celebration @ East Central Community Center

June 18-20
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