This is your life
2005-02-10 14:19:28 (UTC)

Ambition is a tricky thing.....

-The deer in your headlight - MG

Here is a transcript of a speech, given by a MINISTER to
students at Oklahoma University last November. It offers a
nice rebuttal to those who champion Bush for his "moral
values." Maybe Bush should stop killing in the name of God

Whose values?

Dr. Robin Meyers' Speech to students at OK University

As some of you know, I am minister of Mayflower
Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, an Open and
Affirming, Peace and Justice church in northwest
Oklahoma City, and professor of Rhetoric at Oklahoma City
University. But you would most likely have encountered me on
the pages of the Oklahoma Gazette, where I have been a
columnist for six years, and hold the record for the most
number of angry letters to the editor.

Tonight, I join ranks of those who are angry, because I have
watched as the faith I love has been taken over by
fundamentalists who claim to speak for Jesus, but whose
actions are anything but Christian. We've heard a lot
lately about so-called "moral values" as having swung the
election to President Bush. Well, I'm a great believer in
moral values, but we need to have a discussion, all over
this country, about exactly what constitutes a moral value
-- I mean what are we talking about? Because we don't get to
make them up as we go along, especially not if we are people
of faith. We have an inherited tradition of what is right
and wrong, and moral is as moral does.

Let me give you just a few of the reasons why I take issue
with those in power who claim moral values are on their side:

a. When you start a war on false pretenses, and then act as
if your deceptions are justified because you are doing God's
will, and that your critics are either unpatriotic or
lacking in faith, there are some of us who have given our
lives to teaching and preaching the faith who believe that
this is not only not moral, but immoral.

b. When you live in a country that has established
international rules for waging a just war, build the United
Nations on your own soil to enforce them, and then
arrogantly break the very rules you set down for the rest of
the world, you are doing something immoral.

c. When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and
yet fail to acknowledge that your policies ignore his
essential teaching, or turn them on their head (you know,
Sermon on the Mount stuff like that we must never return
violence for violence and that those who live by the sword
will die by the sword), you are doing something immoral.

d. When you act as if the lives of Iraqi civilians are not
as important as the lives of American soldiers, and refuse
to even count them, you are doing something immoral.

e. When you find a way to avoid combat in Vietnam, and then
question the patriotism of someone who volunteered to fight,
and came home a hero, you are doing something immoral.

f. When you ignore the fundamental teachings of the gospel,
which says that the way the strong treat the weak is the
ultimate ethical test, by giving
tax breaks to the wealthiest among us so the strong will get
stronger and the weak will get weaker, you are doing
something immoral.

g. When you wink at the torture of prisoners, and deprive
so-called "enemy combatants" of the rules of the Geneva
Convention, which your own country helped to establish and
insists that other countries follow, you are doing something

h. When you claim that the world can be divided up into the
good guys and the evil doers, slice up your own nation into
those who are with you, or with the terrorists -- and then
launch a war which enriches your own friends and seizes
control of the oil to which we are addicted, instead of
helpin us to kick the habit, you are doing something immoral.

i. When you fail to veto a single spending bill, but ask us
to pay for a war with no exit strategy and no end in sight,
creating an enormous deficit that hangs like a great
millstone round the necks of our children, you are doing
something immoral.

j. When you cause most of the rest of the world to hate a
country that was once the most loved country in the world,
and act like it doesn't matter what others think of us, only
what God thinks of you, you have done something immoral.

k. When you use hatred of homosexuals as a wedge issue to
turn out record numbers of evangelical voters, and use the
Constitution as a tool of discrimination, you are doing
something immoral.

l. When you favor the death penalty, and yet claim to be a
follower of Jesus, who said an eye for an eye was the old
way, not the way of the kingdom, you are doing something

m. When you dismantle countless environmental laws designed
to protect the earth which is God's gift to us all, so that
the corporations that bought you and paid for your favors
will make higher profits while our children breathe dirty
air and live in a toxic world, you have done something
immoral. The earth belongs to the Lord, not Halliburton.

n. When you claim that our God is bigger than their God, and
that our killing is righteous, while theirs is evil, we have
begun to resemble the enemy we claim to be fighting, and
that is immoral. We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.

o. When you tell people that you intend to run and govern as
a "compassionate conservative," using the word which is the
essence of all religious faith-compassion, and then show no
compassion for anyone who disagrees with you, and no
patience with those who cry to you for help, you are doing
something immoral.

p. When you talk about Jesus constantly, who was a healer of
the sick, but do nothing to make sure that anyone who is sick
can go to see a doctor, even if she doesn't have a penny in
her pocket, you are doing something immoral.

q. When you put judges on the bench who are racist, and will
set women back a hundred years, and when you surround
yourself with preachers who say gays ought to be killed, you
are doing something immoral.

I'm tired of people thinking that because I'm a Christian, I
must be a supporter of President Bush, or that because I
favor civil rights and gay rights I must not be a person of
faith. I'm tired of people saying that I can't support the
troops but oppose the war. I heard that when I was your
age--when the Vietnam War was raging. We knew that that war
was wrong, and you know that this war is wrong--the only
question is how many people are going to die before these
make-believe Christians are removed from power?

This country is bankrupt. The war is morally bankrupt. The
claim of this administration to be Christian is bankrupt.
And the only people who can turn things around are people
like you--young people who are just beginning to wake up to
what is happening to them. It's your country to take back.
It's your faith to take back. It's your future to take back.

Don't be afraid to speak out. Don't back down when your
friends begin to tell you that the cause is righteous and
that the flag should be wrapped around the cross, while the
rest of us keep our mouths shut. Real Christians take
chances for peace. So do real Jews, and real Muslims, and
real Hindus, and real Buddhists--so do all the faith
traditions of the world at their heart believe one thing:
life is
precious. Every human being is precious. Arrogance is the
opposite of faith. Greed is the opposite of charity. And
believing that one has never made a mistake is the mark of a
deluded man, not a man of faith.

And war -- war is the greatest failure of the human race --
and thus the greatest failure of faith. There's an old rock
and roll song, whose lyrics say it all: War, what is it good
for? Absolutely nothing.

And what is the dream of the prophets? That we should study
war no more, that we should beat our swords into plowshares
and our spears into pruning hooks. Who would Jesus bomb,
indeed? How many wars does it take to know that too many
people have died? What if they gave a war and nobody came?
Maybe one day we will find out.

Please inform yourself and inform others.



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