Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ain't Religion Grand?

Scripture doesn’t kill; people do.

That seems to be the motto of retired Naval Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt who, according to Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has been praying for Mikey’s death.

Mr. Weinstein’s organization fights Christian proselytizing in the armed forces of the United States. Since founding the organization, Mr. Weinstein has had a swastika painted on his home, and animal carcasses dumped on his doorstep. Despite the ambiguity of my grammar, these things were not done at the request of Mr. Weinstein. Nor is Mr. Weinstein blaming these things on Chaplain Klingenschmitt. Chaplain Klingenschmitt doesn’t want to bother Mr. Weinstein, but, at least according to Mr. Weinstein, he wants Jesus to kill him.

Mr. Weinstein claims that Chaplain Klingenschmitt regularly for Jesus to “plunder my fields … seize my assets, kill me and my family then wipe away our descendants for 10 generations."

In his defense Chaplain Klingenschmitt said, “I never prayed for anyone’s death. I never prayed for anyone’s violence (sic). All I did was quote the Scriptures.”

In the interest of Biblical literacy I tried to find the passages that Chaplain Klingenschmitt may have been citing, but I couldn’t find anything that resembled Mr. Weinstein’s charge. This doesn’t mean that Chaplain Klingenschmitt isn’t praying for bad things to happen to good Weinsteins, only that in doing so Chaplain Klingenschmitt isn’t really quoting scripture. But I could be wrong about this, so I invite you to search the Word yourself and share with us just what it might be that Chaplain Klingenschmitt is citing.

If in fact you do find the citations, please explain to me how Jesus can kill Mr. Weinstein and his family and then wipe away their descendants for 10 generations. If Jesus kills Mr. Weinstein and his family, how can there be any subsequent generations? And if it is possible why limit it to ten generations, or if you must limit it, how is Jesus going to restore the Weinsteins in the 11th generation?

Somehow I doubt Mr. Weinstein believes that Jesus can or would do any of this, but I would not be surprised if some follow of Jesus would take it upon himself to do them in Jesus’ name. Ain’t religion grand?


dtedac said...

Rabbi Rami,

I cannot see any quotes attributed to Jesus in any of the four gospels which come even close to the meaning of such a horrible prayer. Do you recall the Southern Baptist president who said that God does not hear the prayers of a Jew? Well, I say that God does not hear the evil prayers of malevolent people, no matter if they are "saved" or not.


Joy Samuels said...

Having worked alongside military chaplains in overseas assignments (as a family therapist) it is difficult to read of the abuse of one chaplain without wanting to come to the defense of other professional men and women who serve not only the active duty member but their family members and the local communities honorably and courageously.