Saturday, September 6, 2008



Riding a city bus can be a very interesting experience sometimes. You never know what type of people or situations you might encounter. Not long ago while on a bus, I had the good fortune to overhear a young mother giving some practical, everyday morality lessons to her small children, aged (I would guess) about 4 and 5. "Mommy," asked the younger of the two, a boy, "would Jesus be ashamed of me if grandma gave me some candy and I didn't share it with Kylie?" I had to chuckle at the child's wide-eyed innocence and deadpan earnestness. The young mother softly explained that Jesus wants everybody to share and be good to everybody, even to older sisters. Then older sister Kylie piped in to ask a similar question, and she, too, received a similar answer. This back and forth went on for a while until soon all three rose and got off the bus. The incident stuck with me, and I've thought about it ever since. Here were two innocent children and a young mother, and she was the provider of absolute truth, and the unassailable decider of good and evil in their eyes. As adults, we have no such human counterpart, and must rely instead upon our own moral upbringing and remember the lessons our own parents, teachers, and preachers taught us over the years. I realized that these young children had unwittingly asked a very significant and profound question of their mother. In fact, the question they asked was one it wouldn't hurt each one of US to ask ourselves every day. The children's questions, and their mother's responses, led me to think: What WOULD Jesus be ashamed of if He were physically walking among us today? It didn't take me long to come up with quite a few answers.

I believe that, today, Jesus would be ashamed:

...if He saw the distortion, misrepresentation, and outright lies being presented by the McCAIN Presidential campaign. AND by the OBAMA Presidential campaign. AND by nearly all other politicians' election or re-election campaigns. Why? Because Jesus taught all to tell the TRUTH. not to distort or to deceive others for personal gain.

...if He saw people putting THEIR perceived rights and THEIR choice before that of a helpless, innocent, unborn child, by promoting or having abortion on demand rather than accepting responsibility for one's own actions and the human life it created, or for not having practiced pregnancy prevention measures beforehand. He would be ashamed to see a human life reduced to a matter of mere personal economics or convenience, devoid of personal responsibility.

...if He saw those who slack off on the job, steal from the workplace due to a sense of entitlement, deliberately not work at all to milk the system for undeserved welfare or unemployment checks. He would be ashamed at the dishonesty, greed, and theft.

...if He saw people unfairly or fraudulently obtain huge insurance settlements or lawsuit damages. He would be ashamed at this untruthful and selfish behavior.

...if He saw company owners or corporate officers reward themselves with lavish compensation and benefits packages while denying lesser employees wage increases, reducing or eliminating their benefits packages, and/or shipping their jobs overseas to cheaper and even slave labor markets. He would be ashamed to see these executives engaging in gluttony, self interest, and the idolatry of excessive profit to the detriment of others.

...if He saw married couples (especially with children) engaging in extra-marital affairs for fun, ego, or profit. And unfortunately, this is a very common happenstance.

...if He saw political figures like Sarah Palin standing up in churches speaking in support of guns and war, or preachers like Rev. Wright saying God should damn a country for its moral or ethical failings.

...if He saw cruel, domineering, and deceitful men kidnap or sweet talk young girls into prostitution.

...if He saw the hatred and intolerance shown by some religious groups purporting to be operating in His name actively castigating others for being Jews, Muslims, Catholics, or homosexuals. He would NEVER approve of blistering verbal attacks, character assassinations, or discrimination against those not following His creed. Not once did He EVER advocate burning non-believers or moral misfits at the stake, or engaging in war, plunder, or murder against them.

...if He saw our businesspersons, press, or government officials advancing, emgaging in, or profiting from war on false pretenses for political or economic gain.

...if He saw people who loudly profess to be His followers send hate-filled and fearful lies and distorted emails around like "Barack Obama is really a Muslim" or "All Muslims want to destroy us and Israel" out of ignorance and stubborn stupidity. A very wise man once said, "The Christian Right is NEITHER." Many of them practice this kind of tactic, and that wise man was totally correct about them!

...if He saw our military engaging in torture and then our government lying about and defending it.

...if He saw people cheating on their taxes, in sports, or in business for their own profit or self-gratification.

...if He saw indiscriminate murder through drive-by shootings or car bombs. He preached life, not death.

...if He saw His priests engaging in pedophilia and His church ignoring the problem and even resorting to covering it up.

...if He saw government and judicial officials routinely approving the murder of criminals for crimes committed.

...if He saw government officials regularly giving themselves pay raises but voting down increases in the minimum wage for the poor...

Yes, honest people will realize that Jesus would indeed be very ashamed of much of today's goings-on. And I believe that honest people would, on occasion, examine their own behavior to make sure that it, as well, is nothing to be ashamed of!

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