Query Letter (never sent) – Albert

XXXXX madison avenue
new york, new york

January 21, 2012

Joey C. Kantor

Dear editor,

Has love been abandoned in American Christianity? Let me explain my personal conundrum. I am a 47-year-old writer from Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1973 my mother opened a store called Alpha Omega Bibles, Books and Art. My mother became “born-again” in 1973, the same year she opened the store. When Jesus’ love walloped my mother, boy, did it hit hard. I grew up with a mother who praised Jesus all day long openly. She was a beamer, a woman who shone with the love of the rescuing power of Jesus Christ. Hence, being 8 years old at the time, I was introduced to the Christian religion. I was immediately saved, of course, and Jesus took the place of my saying my “word” which was a part of the practice of transcendental meditation that my mother had been involved with just the year before.

It became Jesus Jesus Jesus. Jesus loved everybody. I mean everybody. He loved His enemies even. When people got mad at Him for telling the truth for some reason they actually put Him on a cross, hung Him there to die, and He still asked God to forgive them. He had a lot of patience, this Jesus. There are many more examples of Jesus preaching love in a way that most people would find difficult to follow. I learned them all. Because Jesus was such a nice guy I thought nothing of being a Christian too. I prayed and took the Bible seriously. It was all good until my first bout with His followers “other side.”

When I became a teenager I went to a non-denominational church, one of those big ones. The pastor was really cool and really smart. To this day I think that, but I remember one day an associate pastor telling us something that just didn’t jibe with what I thought I knew about Jesus. He said that unless you became a Christian, you were going to go to hell. He mentioned Hindus. Gone. Buddhists. Finished. Muslims. Forget about it. Hell! Pure fire for eternity. Pretty harsh. He wasn’t the only pastor who had said this. It just took until my teenage years to finally feel uncomfortable about it. I had heard it my entire Christian life.

Think about it. You’re going along love love love when suddenly, boom, hate. Okay. Now, did Jesus say this? No. He didn’t say it. But all of the churches believed it. If it were true why didn’t Jesus Himself say it? The philosopher child grew confused. God is love, but hellfire actually hurts. Hmm. Okay. Keep going, I told myself. Jesus loves me this I know…

This started a journey of many years which eventually led me to take a Masters degree in Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. This school promised to teach me all about the beliefs of other religions, since religion for one is myth to another. I was somewhat of a renegade for going to this school or even having these sorts of thoughts. Most Christians wouldn’t look at a Buddhist text for fear of Satan himself jumping out at them from the pages. I knew I had to take the chance, but what I found was quite different. Time after time the religions that I studied did the same thing, they said the same things that Jesus said but in different ways. I saw the game clearly. There is one God but different masks, just like Joseph Campbell proclaimed in his work The Masks of God. All of the Christians in the churches were throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Jesus’ kind words were also these other religions’ kind words. I realized there was no way that they could go to the Christian hell. The loving God I had known wouldn’t be so stupid as to do that just because they spoke a different language, had a different mythic vocabulary.

I was saved. I could believe in the love of God again. I went on to become a reporter, then a writer of novels and stories. All was going well until another conundrum appeared. George W. Bush.

George W. Bush was the salvation of the evangelicals. All of the work put into the process of making Christianity a part of politics put forth by people like Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson had paid off and here was the result. Bush was a no-nonsense kind of guy who was also born-again. With him in office the country would finally become a Christian nation once again. The game had been won and the liberals could go take a hike because Jesus was coming to town. But was He?

Along came 9-11 and then Iraq. Suddenly, for the first time, I again saw that “other side” that I have mentioned. Now, as a writer, I follow the news. From day one the push to go into Iraq smelled like a dead carp. I believed that you should do anything that you can to solve a problem in at least a sane way. You can at least go out of your way to avoid doing something tragically permanent, but they pulled back Scott Ritter who wasn’t even finished searching for the nuclear weapons there. It was a mad rush to war, and who was cheering it on the most? The Christians. The good Christians of America were shouting for the death of innocent men, women and children because their Christian leader said that they must. I guess they thought it was a new form of Christianity or something to kill innocents. I don’t know. I truly don’t know and that’s what I want to find out.

Would you be interested in an article on this topic as I embark on a journey of discovery through the land of fundamentalist Christianity? I will look into how they can continue, to this day, to vehemently support notions of violence against anybody they fear. Could it be that they are so trained to fear those of other religions that it is merely a natural next step to wipe them out, a notion as richly disturbing as the Muslim notion of the infidel?

As Republicans choose their candidate and applaud such bold statements by people like Newt Gingrich that you are to kill your enemies straight out, I will seek the answer to how they square this with Jesus’ command to not kill but to love your enemy. The fundamentalist world is filled with fear that things are changing in a way that will ultimately wipe their brand of Christianity out of the picture. Homosexuality and Abortion are two of the issues that scare them. Is paranoia the driver for abandoning love altogether? Is the siege mentality of the Christian right responsible? Is it what makes them rife for being used by others who seek power by any means necessary?

I am not a pacifist. Being half Jewish on my father’s side, I recognize the need to sometimes fight physically against tyranny as proven by the necessary war called World War II, but today’s fundamentalist Christians don’t seem to mind what the cause is anymore. They will be for war no matter what, it seems, and that stance shows anything but the love of Christ. Do they even notice their brethren’s perpetually bared fangs? Has love died in the American Christian church?


Joey C. Kantor

Published in: on November 27, 2012 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://fargokantrowitz.com/2012/11/27/query-letter-never-sent-albert/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: