The dark side of Austin

I listen to NPR on my drive to and from work--KUT-FM, with studios on the UT campus. Mornings, I listen to "Eklektikos," hosted by the marvelous John Aielli. As he read a few announcements this morning, he paused, then spoke as if he was having difficulty controlling both his emotions and his words.

"The Austin Interfaith Ministry Thanksgiving dinner and gathering this Sunday announces a change in venue."


"Originally scheduled at the (a prominent, central Austin Baptist church)... pause...the dinner has been relocated to (a central synagogue)."

Longer pause.

"The reason given for the venue change...was that the (HPBC) learned...that there would be non-Christians attending."

Even longer pause.

The silence stretched.

"Here's a song by (xxx), called 'Jesus Loves Me.'"

There followed a C&W song distantly resembling the Sunday School version, with significantly different lines such as, "Jesus loves me, but he hates you."

Longest pause of all.


Straight to pre-recorded piece. No further comment from Aielli. Good man.

I am not bound by the restraints of maintaining a sense of decorum in a conservative public forum. There is no way I can refrain from commenting, especially since my father was a well-educated, responsible Christian minister. This is not the Christianity he believed in and preached.

Fer Chrissakes, even the puritan Pilgrims invited non-Christians to the first Thanksgiving.
Is not the tradition we honor based on charity and an open heart and mind? The event in question wasn't even scheduled in the church proper, but in another building. If what my father taught me is true, I hardly think Jesus would have turned anyone away from an expression of good faith and brotherhood. Maybe my daddy knew a different Jesus. Jesus Jones, or Jesus Garcia maybe, certainly not the Jesus that was born and lived his whole life in (gasp!) the Middle East, which is where Nazareth and Bethlehem and Jerusalem and all those towns are, according to the last atlas I consulted...

This decidedly un-Christian, hypocritical, inhuman, fear-based, appalling way of thinking is not only misinformed, it mirrors the same attitudes these so-called Christians so vehemently oppose. The scariest part is that this is the attitude that (dis)informs the current White House resident.

Verily, who(m) would Jesus bomb? Thus endeth the lesson.


sharryb said...

Sad. So sad.

kokopelliwoman said...

Sharry, I agree. I don't profess to be a Christian, but I do respect the moral and ethical teachings of Christ as well as avatars from every religion. They exemplify evolved consciousness.

joared said...

This sort of behavior says little for Christianity and organized religion. I sometimes wonder if the people who create these sort of situations aren't really trying to sabotoge what they profess to practice. Good for the NPR guy.

kokopelliwoman said...

joared, precisely the reason I left the church in the first place. It made no sense that people could say Jesus loves everyone out of one side of their mouth but that he hates everyone but white Protestants out of the other. Organized religion abounds in cognitive dissonance...

Bob said...

One of life's many mysteries to me is how people who call themselves Christians and without a second thought talk about supporting war, torture, excessive military spending etc. I've observed many people who have left the 'church' but thankfully did not leave the teachings of Jesus.

kokopelliwoman said...

You certainly get an "Amen" for that, brother! Thanks for commenting--good to know there are reasonable people in this world.