I spent the morning in bed with M- on Palm Sunday so I watched The Greatest Story Ever Told, instead; I had quite a good time being reminded of the simplicity of my faith: love your neighbor as yourself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simple. In the horrific ideology of the Hutaree (and militias like them) where is Love Your Neighbor? Where is Do Unto Others? If this is the greatest commandment, then why is it so easily trumped by guns, violence and murder?
I blame Christian comics. What a world. They'd take contemporary characters (like Archie) and use them to tell Christian stories and morality. I read things like The Cross and the Switchblade or 1970s retellings of the Prodigal Son (so groovy!). But the best one? The one I remember the most and which laid the foundation for me becoming the Bible Answer Girl in my Saturday Bible class? This one.
The Revelation is like Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson dropped acid and then took Ecstasy and then maybe dropped into a huge K-hole. And I, like every fundamentalist kid in America, swallowed every psychedelic drop.
(Note: the comics about demon possession were even more awesome than the ones about the Rapture.)
And it's this version of Christianity and the 'end times' that Christian militias either want to catalyze or hope for. (Clearly, however, something was lost in translation. If the Hutaree are believers, wouldn't they be snatched up in the Rapture? So who are they training to fight against if they aren't going to be here when the battle happens?)
The point is: none of this makes sense. The story of The End Times is a fascinating story for a kid to read. It's the best comic book ever. But with adult eyes, it has no relationship to the words and precepts of Christ that I actually believe.
Because this is Holy Week, I'm supposed to contemplate the submission of Christ to His destiny, the cross. Like a good Christian, I'm to sit in the dark on Maundy Thursday and feel the weight of His death - and look forward to the final celebration of His resurrection on Easter. With the resurrection, the commandment to love one another is eternal. This is the cycle that gives Christianity its meaning.
Not the crazy last chapter.