© 2010 Leighann Lord
You've seen the headlines: "Nine members of an anti-government militia group were charged with conspiring to kill a law enforcement officer to start a 'war' against the U.S. Government" and probably thought, “What, again?” It seems like every few years an armed domestic religious group finds itself by chance or choice in conflict with the authorities. In spite of 10 years of Catholic School I must have missed the part of the Bible where Jesus exhorted his followers to engage in armed insurrection.
Did Jesus spend his missing formative years in an Al-Qaeda training camp? Is that where he met the apostles? Were they really fishermen or just unemployed, impressionable losers waiting to be manipulated by a charismatic leader? It sounds like the missing books of the bible may end up reading like an action packed John Grisham novel.
So, The Numbskull Nine are at war with the U.S. Government. Naturally, you only go to war with your enemies and it's human nature to demonize them. So, do these folks reckon that The U.S. Government is in league with the devil? Well, if you've had any unpleasant dealings with The Internal Revenue Service that characterization may seem eerily accurate. But that’s a nifty bit of reverse psychology, the devil recruiting from the respectable ranks of society. In a way it makes sense, since Jesus is an overwhelming prison favorite. If only more people took the trouble to find him before their incarceration, but maybe that’s one of the benefits of having a captive audience.
I'm always perplexed when Christians think God needs their military assistance. Old Testament religions have more of a legitimate claim here, as the OT is a veritable orgy of war, smiting and vengeance killing. But didn't Jesus advocate a kinder, gentler approach? A better question for The Numbskull Nine: If Jesus is omnipotent, why does he need you?
In the grand scheme of things, governments come and go. As unfathomable as it may seem now, the United States will eventually go the way of the Roman Empire, which went the way of vinyl records: oft referenced but no longer relevant. Isn't patience a virtue?
Acquiring weapons? Year-long military training exercises? Plotting murder? Again I ask The Numbskull Nine: Did any of you actually read The New Testament? Anybody? Do you think the Garden of Gethsemane would have gone down differently if Jesus had been strapped? If you could go back in time who would be on your Biblical hit list? Judas, Pontius Pilot, and Barabas for good measure? Do religious fanatics seek to bring about the end of the world because laboring for peace and prosperity in this one sounds too much like work?
Not that it needs any help, but this is the kind of thing that makes Christianity look bad. Why do these groups never organize and do something constructive like playground beautification or post natural disaster clean up?
I'm all for aiming high, but the Government is a rather large target. How about starting small, say, by taking on organized crime? How about shutting down crack houses, meth labs, and strip clubs? How about disrupting the chain of human trafficking, liberating women and children from modern day slavery? How about standing guard to protect struggling home owners from systematic foreclosure and eviction? Better yet, let's keep it really simple and start with a neighborhood watch program. There's so much good that could be done, but perhaps that runs the risk of being too Christ like.
If The Numbskull Nine were just slightly more organized or better financed, they could have air lifted themselves to Afghanistan to help U.S. troops in the fight against the Taliban. Oh wait. They don't like the U.S. government either. So whose side would The Nine be on? Only God knows.
Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian. April 9 & 10, 2010 she'll be performing at The Brokerage Comedy Club in Long Island, NY. Check out her other upcoming shows @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com. Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.