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Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Quick memo to the good ol’ folks that drive straight from church to the pro-war rally in their starred and striped S.U.V.’s:

You are total idiots.

Oh, I am sorry. I doubt even you would have an easy time trying to picture Christ as your supporter in the demolition of the Middle East. Christ on a tank, waving an American flag, drool coming down his chin. Christ with a machine gun. Christ with a terrified, naked man on a leash.

Lately, I’ve been having entertaining on-line conversations with an upstanding young man who lectures me on how bikinis are the invention of the devil, among other things, whilst the words “GEORGE W. BUSH” with a big check-mark next to them glare at me from his buddy icon.

“And for our President,” he writes in a tone one usually reserves for pets and pre-schoolers, “I have such a great defense lined up, missy, that most folks can only scratch their heads!”

My knees began to knock to the beat of “Hail to the Chief,” I tell you.

The thing is, I’m not a good Christian either. I’m not a good anything, really, unless you count whining and procrastination as skills. But giving a thumbs-up to the suffering of other people with one hand, while holding a Communion cup in the other, is in poor taste – even by my standards.

Conservative Christians love to bitch about how the world’s heathens continue to “misunderstand” the message of Christ, without stopping once to think about whether this misunderstanding may originate in their own behavior. There are many “meanies” in this world (such as the killers of Daniel Pearl, for example), but calling yourself Christian does not automatically place you on some sort of moral high-horse either.

An article Jerry Falwell spewed out this past winter reads something like this: “God is pro-war…Throughout the book of Judges, God calls the Israelites to go to war against the Midianites and Philistines. Why? Because these nations were trying to conquer Israel, and God’s people were called to defend themselves…President Bush declared war on Iraq to defend innocent people…”

First of all, we are obviously not worshipping the same God.

Second of all, trying to defend the war on Iraq with quotes about “God’s chosen people” is crap, because it has nothing to do with America. NOTHING. America is not the center of the universe. Trust me, I’ve been here for almost a decade, I ought to know. BUSH IS NOT THE SPOKESPERSON FOR “THE CHOSEN PEOPLE.” The Old Testament, last time I checked, wasn’t part of the American constitution – and neither are its laws enforced by our churches.

Third of all, the phrase that attempts to justify that Bush has opened this Pandora’s Box in an attempt to save the innocents is crossing the line from Christianity into politics.

Please, Jerry, don’t be coy. You want President Bush around for the next four years so that your bloated ministry can net the donations of more Americans that are bored with spending their money on scented candles and Oprah’s book club with promises of cookies in heaven for uniting against a common enemy, the heathen towel-heads. Meanwhile, every government in every chapter of every major event in this sorry planet’s history has had only one thing to say regarding all of this, and that is: “Fuck the innocents.” Whatever makes Bush any different is a mystery.

The only thing that’s “holy” about this war is the amount of times I am prompted to say “holy crap” as I read another sanctimonious diatribe about how “them camel jockeys ought to be grateful to us for even botherin’ with them.” Even Christopher Hitchens, proud atheist extraordinaire, is beginning to sound like an uneducated Bible-thumper from Bumsville, USA, as he attempts to justify Iraq.

People try to absolve all of this by pointing their fingers across the Pond and yelling, “but they’re extremist too!” That’s right, let’s sink to the level of terrorism, only with bigger guns. Marvelous. We have come so far after September 11th, 2001. I am positively tingling with excitement for what lies ahead.

The truth is, I have little sympathy for people who pick up guns in the name of Islam. I don’t care how resentful they are, murdering civilians for 72 cherries in a bordello-like heaven is disgusting. Having said that, I don’t understand how is it that so many people came to view Islam as the one-and-only source of the tragedies that plague our existence today.

I remember some hack that went on national television during the 9/11 and said, “Well of course they attack us! Look at how free our society is! Look at how liberated our women are!”

It’s funny to me now, because I have come to realize that there are a lot of Muslim women who are just as “liberated” as any American woman. They are educated, they work hard, and they respect themselves.
Yes, there are honor killings, there are forced marriages, there is abuse, there are places like Saudi Arabia (where women can’t bloody drive), but the issue is not black and white, it’s not “American women = happy” vs. “Middle Eastern women = unhappy.” Give me a break. I mean, there are plenty of Christian freaks who treat women badly. There is my good pal, the enemy of bikinis everywhere, who treats a short skirt like a battle-cry from the devil. And, I believe, if he had a chance to do what the Saudis do, i.e. have the wearer of said short skirt arrested if not beaten, I somehow doubt he’d pass it up.

If pro-war Christians somehow think that they are a step up from their Muslim counterparts, they are utter hypocrites.

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Natalia Antonova

Natalia is a writer and journalist. She’s the associate editor of openDemocracy Russia and the co-founder of the Anti-Nihilist Institute.