Citizenship for Jesus

Anne Martens

Why? Well, if the believers are to be believed, the second coming is nigh, and it seems clear that had the good old U.S. of A. been in existence at the time of our Lord, he surely would have wanted to be a part of this land of milk and honey. Or land of Wal-Mart and Krispy Kreme. Land of Coors and Splenda? Anyway, it goes without question that Jesus, like everybody else in the world, wants to be an American. But since 9/11, we don't let just anybody in.

First, there are the security issues. While Jesus is coming for us, he ain't walking all the way across the Atlantic. If we're going to reconcile tight border security with access for a religious recruiter from the Middle East, we really need to make sure he's got an American passport. Otherwise he's going to end up in Gitmo without a lawyer.

Then there are the identity issues. How the hell are we supposed to believe that Jesus is Jesus without a photo I.D.? And not just some driver's license or utility bill that any college student with a Powerbook can fake in five minutes (duh, Jesus can totally manifest a hologram), no, we need something authenticated by the Feds.

And most importantly, there are the political issues. You see, only as a citizen will Jesus be able to vote. And, as we all know, Jesus can be quite a motivator at the polls, but his legitimacy is lost if he himself isn't qualified to cast a ballot. Are you going to let some foreigner tell you how to run your country? Hell no! No, if Jesus is to maintain his political sway, he'll need a haircut, some of that skin lightening stuff that Michael Jackson uses, and proof of citizenship.

So call Senator Gordon Smith right now (you're calling him anyway) and ask him to sponsor a bill to grant Jesus American citizenship. Democracy depends on it.

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    If Jesus were to arrive suddenly, I'd suggest he read about How to Survive the Crash and Save the Earth and I'd buy him an I-Pod so he could catch up on all the great music that's happening.

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    You have to sign in for it (free), but Andrew Sullivan has a great article on this topic in the New Republic.

    Sample paragraph:

    "Fundamentalism, by its very nature, eschews compromise. It is not an inferential philosophy, drawing on experience or history to come to a conclusion about the appropriate way to act or legislate on any given issue. It derives its purpose from fixed texts: the Bible or the Koran. In its Catholic form, it vests unalterable authority in the Pope rather than in the more heterodox laity or even broader clergy, and it brooks no internal dissent or debate. Because the tenets of fundamentalism are inviolable and its standards are mandatory, fundamentalists are inevitably uneasy in the modern West. The culture affronts them in every way--and the affront demands a response. Women in combat? Against God's will. Same-sex marriage? An oxymoron. Abortion? Always and everywhere to be forbidden by law. Stem-cell research on embryos? Doctor Mengele reborn."

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    Well, if you're wondering what's on Jesus' iPod, just click here.

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    Seen on a bumper sticker today on the Banfield:

    "When the rapture comes, can I have your car?"

  • Chuck Sheketoff (unverified)

    Ha! I needed this!

  • Chris Woo (unverified)

    Hmm, I guess I always figured Jesus would head for Canada or New Zealand. That said, I'm curious if people in a Blue Oregon are wary of fundamentalists because the perceived fundamentalist agenda differs from their own on an ideological level, or because there is less flexibility in the discourse and formation of such stances?

    Certainly, the hierarchical nature of a denomination like the Catholic Church (at least globally), lends itself toward being fundamentalist in structure, and its anti-abortion, anti-stem cell research stance has found it in bed with the US Christian-right on an ideological level. What I find ironic though, is that for Catholicism, as well as other denominations and religions, a fundamentalist structure for discourse has led to very progressive, dare I say liberal stances, on such issues as universal healthcare, international debt-relief, access to education and the promotion of human rights. Is religious fundamentalism a concern because of its views or its because it's more difficult to sway the opinions of its practicioners?

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    This is great - should be on the editorial page of the Oregonian, now!

  • Erika (unverified)

    Chris Woo wrote: "Is religious fundamentalism a concern because of its views or its because it's more difficult to sway the opinions of its practicioners?"

    My problem with fundamentalism is the "intolerance of other views" part of it. I figure you can believe whatever you want to believe, just don't hassle me simply because I believe something else.

    Not all evangelicals are intolerant. Some of my ex-in-laws moved from a Euro-American pentecostal church to a Native pentecostal church, where I attended Easter services last month. I've been to a few pentecostal services in my day (including Easter services), but this time, no one told me what to do, or threatened me with eternal damnation. Instead we sang songs about praising Jesus and being washed in the blood (acoustic guitar, no iPods), did a little Easter 101, and (hours later) ate some ham, potato salad, and pie. We were free to come and go as needed, kids moved freely between the church service and the play area, and at mealtime, elders were served first.

    I may not believe all the same things they believe, but I sure have no problem respecting and even participating. It's intolerance and oppression -- when one person imposes his/her will upon another thru use of force, manipulation, violence -- that becomes problematic, and arguably, evil.

  • K. Sudbeck (unverified)

    When you all are done bashing the Fundamentalist Christians who are ruining your "liberal fun", you all may want to come back to reality. I would recommend you may want to look over your shoulder every now and then for that Islamic Fundamentalist, illegally immigrating through our leaky borders, who wants to kill you. I think over 3000 Americans died the last time that happened. So when you get a chance, since you are all calling anyway, call Senator Wyden and tell him you want improved border security and legal immigration. I am sure you all know his numbers. If you have some free time, go hang out with the Minutemen, to help keep the bad guys out. But hey, is this something we should lose our heads over?

  • Amanda (unverified)

    I agree. We should lose our heads, since apparently terrorism is our fault. Since apparently not holding an entire culture at fault for the actions of a few extremists is endorsing terrorism. If we hold the entire culture at fault, then what is to be said about Middle America? Tim McVeigh was just as crazy as any Islamic terrorist. We can't judge all people on a few. And I will call Sen. Wyden. And congratulate him on doing his job of serving ALL Oregonians, not just the white ones.

  • K. Sudbeck (unverified)

    So, Using that logic, "can't judge all people by a few", it is wrong to judge the military or government on torture, due to the abuses of few prisoners in Iraq by few wayward enlisted personnel.

    But, back to the original discussion. Immigration, wouldn't it be better if we as a people, removed our immigration quotas, relaxed the bureaucratic immigration laws and made legal immigration more accessible. Wouldn't that allow these immigrants to enter the country legally, hereby allowing them to participate more fully. They would not only be afforded the protections under the law, but also provide the means(pay taxes) to participate. They could get adequate medical care, driver's licenses, buy a house or send their children to schools. That is how immigration should be working.

    Instead, we have a system which preys upon the weak and ensures they live in fear. And, although you provide satire on the situation, you also support our current situation. Just go to the supermarket, the produce is usually picked by illegal immigrant migrant workers. Also, I can tell you factually that most prepackaged meals, that you buy in Albertson's and Fred's, were made in Oregon by illegal immigrant labor. So you are participating in this system of preying on the weak and forcing them to live in fear.

    Now, just granting the current illegal immigrants in country some type of clemency, doesn't solve the problem. The businessmen will exploit a new group of illegal immigrants for their labors and the new group will live in fear and be preyed upon. They will not being able to obtain adequate shelter, healthcare nor education.

    Once immigration reform is in place, we can secure our borders to keep the real bad guys out. Because of illegal immigration, there is a market for social security cards and driver's licenses which can be used by the bad guys commit acts of terrorism. By allowing illegal aliens sanctuary, under the current immigration system, has an unintended consequence of harboring fugitives and possible terrorists.

    Now, if Timothy McVeigh was a fundamentalist Christian, your arguement might have some validity. But, it doesn't appear that he was. Mr McVeigh also made poor choices in life and suffered for it. Now, the 911 Hijackers were Islamic fundamentalists. That doesn't mean all Muslims are anti-Christian nor anti-American, but the Islamic Fundamentalists that openly strive to destroy our country. Well, they too will have to live with the consequences of their choices. But, if you want to assume responsibility for their poor choices, have fun. I would rather prevent them from entering our country and doing harm on our citizens. Finally, if Sen Wyden was really doing his job, he would recognize that Immigration Reform coupled with Border Security would protect all citizens. But, he isn't and it appears just the white ones are benefitting from the labors of the illegal immigrants, especially in Oregon.

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