In a recent episode of the animated television series South Park, a character identified as Jesus Christ made an appearance. Depicted in classic beard, long hair and robe, this Jesus character at one point goes into a martial-arts pose and, using an oversized, bladed throwing star, cuts one of the "bad guys" in half.
Predictably, many so-called conservative Christian leaders hit the news and talk shows the next day, condemning this "outrage" and "blasphemy" against their Lord and Savior.
I find this incredibly ironic as these are the same religious conservatives who view military service as a high and honorable calling for professing Christian young people. Does the Jesus-loving Navy Seal hesitate to cut the "bad guy" in half when he encounters him on some street in Baghdad?
So the outlandish portrayal of Jesus as killing machine takes the pro-military Christians aback, even as they continue to insist that a good soldier can be a good disciple. It is a case of symbolism over substance in the extreme: offended by a homicidal Jesus cartoon, but not by their own calls - in the name of Jesus - to commit homicide for God and country.
Perhaps it shows that somewhere, buried deep in their deluded hearts, even these religious wolves in sheep's clothing know intrinsically that the Way of Jesus was not and will never be one of human violence. And that those who would teach (or animate) differently are, truly, godless blasphemers.
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