Who are these evangelicals? First off, their true ancestors are the Pharisees of the New Testament, whom Jesus describes as being obsessed with legalistic questions but neglecting “the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness.” This is the primary group that had Jesus killed. Much like the Pharisees, today’s American evangelicals do not represent the faith in any genuine way. They have done more damage to the name of Christianity than any group I can think of. Their misuse of the Christian faith as a political weapon against anyone they see as an enemy is driven primarily by greed and a thirst for power.
For several years, I have felt under attack from the Christian right. Granted, they don’t intend to attack me personally, just every idea, every belief, every principle I hold dear. I was raised to respect others’ opinions, to allow others their beliefs regardless of how silly or superstitious I perceived them to be. Throughout my life I have deferred to the sensibilities and sensitivities of those around me. I was raised, in short, to be tolerant, to be as accepting as possible of those people with whom I share a planet. In a culturally Jewish, practically atheist household, I realize now with some sense of irony, I was raised to behave in a manner very similar to that suggested by the character of Jesus in the second half of the old, magical fantasy novel the Bible.