To Hell with Family Values 1

First, a disclaimer. I have three kids and one grandson and am devoted to them all.

But when Christian values are considered as synonymous with family values, I cringe. If you wonder why, read on, the answer will appear sooner or later.

The idea for this essay, or rant, or book, or whatever it turns out to be, came to me a few years ago. I have long put off writing on the subject because I know too well that about half the readers of a given work may well misinterpret, and one of the last things I would want to do is harm anyone’s family.

But lately, while read about a murderer killing ten people in a college writing class in Oregon, I decided it was time to quit holding my peace.

The subject and the incendiary title surfaced a couple years ago during a week that began with an incident at church. The pastor, whom I’ll call Al, was giving a series of messages entitled God at the Movies. Every year he picks several recent films and points out and clarifies the Biblical themes. On the evening in question, his subject was Traitor, starring Don Cheadle.

The story goes something like this: a boy in Sudan sees his father, an Imam, murdered by thugs from a rival sect. He grows up, lands in the U.S., becomes a CIA op, goes undercover, posing as a radical militant, and connects with a Muslim terrorist cell.

In Pastor Al’s interpretation, God’s message gets insinuated into the movie through the characters. Some of the Americans are good guys, some not so good. A couple are “Christian” and a couple aren’t. The best ones aren’t necessarily the most “Christian.” Some of the terrorist cell members, misguided though they may be, are essentially good guys, while some are quite evil.

Pastor Al was going on about all of us humans being God’s children when, apparently from out in left field, he paused a beat then threw a bomb. He said, “Look, anybody that thinks the Bible preaches ‘My country right or wrong’ is way off.”

I couldn’t shout amen. I was speechless.

To be continued.

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