I met a representative of Jesus the other day. That's what he told me.
He didn't seem a lot like the real Jesus, the one who was reportedly nailed to a cross over two millennia ago, then buried in a cave, then, if you believe in the legend, was raised from the dead to become the savior of Christian souls. No, this guy told me he was a retired tire vulcanizer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He carried a flag with a cross on it which had the words * 'Time to Reload' written on it. I found him at a Tea Party rally wearing a pair of camouflage pants and a baseball cap with the words, “NRA” boldly emblazoned in gold on the front.
I approached him for an interview. This guy was white, had a fair sized pot belly and was seriously going bald, both of which he tried to hide. He unsuccessfully tried to suck in his gut when I approached and his baldness wasn't evident until his flag accidentally brushed his cap off his head. He assured me he was 'standing up for Jesus' and was doing Jesus' work on Earth. He said was one of the faithful working to save our nation. I believed him.
“And, I'm taking my country back!” he informed me defiantly.
“From where and whom?” I wondered, puzzled.
“From the communists, and illegal immigrants and queers and liberals of course!” he said. “Them and their puppet Obama have just about destroyed the country. Just look at how deep in debt they have us now!”
“They have?” I asked.
“Damned right! And now, they're gonna raise taxes on everybody!” he replied.
“They are?” I asked. “I thought they were going to just let the tax cut for the rich expire. And, I thought the economy went sour while Bush was still in charge.”
“They are going to raise taxes on everybody making over $250,000 a year!” He spurted. “And everybody knows the Democrats ran the economy in the ditch the last year of Bush's term!”
“So, how will this affect you?” I asked. “Will your taxes go up because you make over $250,000 a year?”
“It's not me I'm talking about!” he protested. “If you tax the rich, then they won't have money to invest! That's the core principle of trickle down economics. Rush Limbaugh is always talking about that.”
“Well, it's not actually a tax increase.” I explained. “It's just letting Bush's tax cut expire. The tax rate will simply go back to where it was under Clinton – when we didn't have anything trickling down and things were booming right along nicely. We also had a big budget surplus back then too, or didn't you notice?”
“Nope. I was too busy making a living, and waiting for the shoe to drop.” he said.
“What shoe?” I asked.
“The economic shoe, dummy! What just happened!”
“But the economy went south two years ago under George W. Bush.” I pointed out mildly.
He snorted, “Are you nuts? It was Clinton's policies and the liberal Democrats in Congress who ambushed Bush and deliberately trashed the economy just to make him look bad. Rush Limbaugh has explained it on his radio show many, many times. Everybody knows that . . ”
“Hell yeah! Where you been, sleeping under a rock or something?” he retorted. “You must be part of that drive by media Rush is always talking about.”
There was no real answer to that so I just let it go.
“So, you think Jesus wants you to take our country back with guns?” I asked to change the subject.
“Damned right!” he retorted. “Just like we took it back from the British in the first place! It's about time to water the tree of liberty with blood, and * it's time to get liberals in the cross hairs!”
I said, “That doesn't sound much like the Jesus I learned about in Sunday School. That Jesus was supposed to be a man of peace and always tried to promote peace the way I remember it.”
He snorted, “Yeah, well if Jesus was on Earth today, he'd be out here with me. He doesn't intend for us to put us with communists and socialists or queers which are an abomination to his name. Jesus would have his guns loaded and locked, ready to defend our country against them like all patriots. I know that for a fact!”
“You do? I asked. “How?”
“Yep! All good Christians know that.”
“I take it you consider yourself a good Christian then.” I said. “Which church do you go to?”
“I'm a Jehovah's Witness.” he answered. “We're perfected Christians and my pastor says Jesus is real upset the way things are going and it's past time for Christians to set things straight. That's why I'm here today. If we can't straighten things out by electing the right people, we might need to take direct action.”
I asked, “Do you mean take up arms?”
“Hell, yeah!” he responded. “A lot of us Christians are locked and loaded and ready to go.”
“You do know armed insurrection against the government is illegal don't you?” I asked. “That if you take up guns to in defiance of law you could go to jail?”
“We don't pay attention to any laws that ain't the law of God.' he retorted. “God and Jesus guide us every step of the way, and I'm here to bear witness to that!”
I though it impolitic and would not serve any real purpose to point out that was exactly the way the Taliban justifies their terrorism. The only difference being nomenclature – Allah instead of Jesus.
I came away from the interview thinking if things keep going along the same way, this guy would probably need to enter the Jehovah Witness Protection Program someday.
* actual quotes by Sarah Palin