Clearly, Tea Party Nation's Judson Phillips has his own ideas about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I didn't realize that when the teabaggers held up signs saying "We want our country back", they meant back to 1790. Explain to me why African-Americans want to be part of this group? It's not like that era worked out well for them.
But now that the tea party groups have made inroads into Congress and have the Republican Party kowtowing to them, Phillips has a new target for the Tea Party Nation. In this time when we remember the birth of Christ, Phillips is going after the Methodist Church for their "socialistic" leanings. No, I'm not kidding.
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips has a dream: "No more Methodist Church."
A blog post on his Tea Party Nation page says that on Friday he walked by the United Methodist Building in Washington D.C., which had a sign that said, "Pass the DREAM Act." Phillips wrote: " I have a DREAM. That is, no more United Methodist Church."
Phillips explains that he was formerly a member of the church, but he left because it's "the first Church of Karl Marx," and "little more than the "religious" arm of socialism."
"The Methodist church is pro-illegal immigration," he continues. "They have been in the bag for socialist health care, going as far as sending out emails to their membership "debunking" the myths of Obamacare. Say, where are the liberal complaints on the separation of church and state?"
"In short, if you hate America, you have a great future in the Methodist church," he says.
Lord, protect us from your idiot followers. To say that he's obviously unfamiliar with the Constitution to subvert the First Amendment in that way would be kind. But he's also very, very unfamiliar with the teachings of Christ himself to find the teachings of the Methodist Church to be religious socialism. Seriously, dude?
In one of the proofs of His divinity, Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes to feed everyone, spreading his wealth to all, without regard to their ability to pay. He healed the sick (our first universal health care plan!) and railed against the money changers and advised the wealthy that their material status in this world gave them no guaranteed access to the next.
Jesus spoke remarkably often about wealth and poverty. To the poor he said, "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God," (Luke's version). To the rich he said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth," and "go, sell what you have, and give to the poor." When the rich turned away from him because they couldn't follow his command he observed, "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
For Jesus, helping the poor and the outcast is not optional: it is the essence of what it means to love God. In the parable of the last judgement he welcomes the righteous into heaven saying, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." When the righteous answered that they didn't recall doing any of these things, he said, "as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."
We are to "forgive our debtors" and "give to every one who begs from you." But don't handouts contribute to moral decay? Jesus was more concerned about the moral decay in those who are so attached to their wealth that they would hoard it for themselves. In our better moments most of us recognize that giving does not corrupt. We sacrifice to give good things to our children and do our best to provide them with years of carefree existence as they grow up. We do this to give them a sense of security and a foundation for growth. People who have been devastated by misfortune, or for whatever reason are down and out, may need even more help because they may not have what it takes to recover on their own. Many of us will help a friend in hard times, even though we know we will never be repaid. It is when dealing distantly with people in the abstract that we fall back on the "moral decay" argument.
Frankly, I think the Methodist Church is probably better off with Judson Phillips out of their flock. His understanding of Christianity is sadly wanting.