Friday, November 20, 2015

Fear Rules

It is a sad day when a widow with small children, fleeing near certain death in a war-torn country, must wait two to three years to gain access to freedom in “America” because some “Americans” fear that she and her children might terrorize some school or theater or shopping mall, but anyone without a previous criminal record can go to their nearest Wal-mart, purchase a gun and armloads of ammo with minimal vetting, and terrorize a school or theater or shopping mall.

It is a sad day when those elected to lead us, and those seeking to lead us, are so fearful of terrorism – or so they say – that they are willing to sacrifice the freedoms that our nation has cherished; that they are willing to shut the door to fully vetted refugees fleeing death and destruction in their homelands.

It is a sad day when religious leaders like Franklin Graham, whose father’s voice one proclaimed the good news of Jesus’ culture-crossing salvation, now leads the pack in calling for an end to the acceptance of Muslim refugees by the United States. One wonders if his Samaritan’s Purse organization only distributes its charity to Christians, turning away Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others who are not Christian.

Christian missionaries often are forbidden to openly advocate their Christian message in non-Christian nations, none more so that in most Muslim dominated lands. At last, God would seem to be bringing that mission field right into our “Christian nation” where there are no restrictions on proselytizing; where the religious “free market” is alive and well; where Christian churches are waiting on nearly every corner to welcome the unbeliever; where hundreds of Christian radio stations and scores of Christian Television outlets are daily reaching out to the non-believer; where hundreds of millions of professing Christians can surround them with the love of Christ and the message of his salvation.

Why aren’t Christian leaders ecstatic over this wonderful development? What aren’t “Christian politicians” calling for an open door policy for non-Christian refugees? Why are so many of these champions of Christianity cowering in fear? Do they doubt that the Gospel of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation for all who believe? Shame on them if they do.

Thank God for those few voices of reason that have begun to be heard: Governor Jay Inslee of the state of Washington; Christianity Today who, once closely allied to Franklin Graham’s father, Billy Graham, is now disavowing his son Franklin and speaking out bravely in article after article; and of course Jim Wallis of Sojourners who regularly features articles that challenge the phobias of our culture.

Yes and thank God for Steven Colbert who saves, until the very end of his monologue, his most deadly thrust for those who claim to represent Christ but do not.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Strangers Be Damned!

(A Haiku Quartet)
by Jim Rapp

Two thousand years past,
the Evangelicals’ Lord –
admonishing them –

declared, “Just as you
show love to the least of these
you show it to me.”*

When we turn away
the needy from our shore we
turn away our God,

Who frequently comes
in a skin that challenges
our brotherliness.
*Matthew 25:34-46

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Who Is My Neighbor?

(65% of white Evangelicals oppose the U.S. decision to allow
Middle Eastern refugees into the county: Pew Research Center
Sept. 2015)

Why do those who make the greatest claims to righteousness;
who profess to protect life and defend the “written Word”;
who trumpet their patriotic love of American exceptionalism;
cringe at the first sight of strangers whom the righteous should love,
deny the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
to widows and orphans who are fleeing their homes in distress,
forget that American exceptionalism includes exceptional
generosity to the world’s “huddled masses, longing to be free,”
callously disregard the Word they profess to love when it imposes
on them a requirement to “love their neighbor as themselves?”

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Ads Must Go On - Dateline, Nov. 13, 2015

by Jim Rapp

The French are bleeding, dying,
as the world is watching
via Dateline’s Special Edition,

The somber men and women trying
to project gravitas, catching
the importance of the situation.

But the ads must keep on flying,
sold in special batching
months before this conflagration

Priced, cued and left lying
until the largest crowd is watching;
gotta beat the competition.

Autos, burgers, French Fries frying,
bring us news of Frenchmen dying;
no horror stops the ads from flying.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fickle Fall

Jim Rapp

Golden glory, hills ablaze,
Skies of azure full amaze,
Leaves to shuffle, rake and burn,
Wieners, smores, each in their turn,
Blustery winds that rain and snow,
Stripping glory as they go,
Leaving barrenness and chill,
Writing WINTER with their quill.