Sarah Palin in Savannah, Georgia, Dec 1, 2008 campaigning for the re-election of Saxy Chambliss.It’s not exactly news to hear an example of a Christian who refuses to obey the directives they claim Jesus Christ himself gave. Historically, very few Christians have ever truly lived up to what Jesus told them to do. But here’s a recent example of a prominent Christian very publicly saying something quite the opposite of what Jesus wants his followers to do. ABC News reports on Sarah Palin’s comments about President Obama’s new agreement with Russia concerning nuclear weapons:

“It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable,” said Palin on Wednesday evening while appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. “No administration in America’s history would, I think, ever have considered such a step that we just found out President Obama is supporting today. It’s kinda like getting out there on a playground, a bunch of kids, getting ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, ‘Go ahead, punch me in the face and I’m not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me.’

Palin’s opposition to what she characterizes as a pacifist stance is strange, coming from such an avowed and fervent Christian, because Jesus ordered his followers to do the following:

You have heard that it was said, “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. (Matthew 5:38-42)

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. (Matthew 26:52)

Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. (Luke 6:29-30)

More generally, Jesus orders his followers not to hate their enemies, but instead love and embrace them:

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44-45)

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27-28)

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. (Luke 6:35)

I guess Ms Palin thinks Christians should also forget this declaration made by the founder of her own religion:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

It appears Ms Palin doesn’t want to be “a daughter of God.” Hmm.

Isn’t it strange how President Obama seems to wring anti-Christian behavior and rhetoric out of fierce, loud, Bible-thumping Christians? The Religious Right’s reflexive opposition to anything and everything about the current president seems to force them to contradict themselves — and the basic tenets of their own declared religion — in virtually-uncountable ways. (Actually, here’s a comprehensive list of such occasions.) This makes them brazen, obvious hypocrites … even though all forms of hypocrisy have also been expressly and unambiguously forbidden them, too, by Jesus himself.

P.S. Isn’t it curious that I — a wicked, cynical, heartless, skeptical, godless agnostic heathen — know more about what Jesus taught, and what the Bible says, than an actual professed Christian does? I wonder about it all the time … yet even after all these years, have no good explanation for it. Sigh.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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