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They Think I'm One of Them
February 17, 2004
By Rev. Marie D. Jones

Just because I'm an ordained minister doesn't mean that I am "one of them," yet almost once a week I find a vicious and hateful email in my inbox from some ultra-conservative right-wing Christian fundamentalist group urging me to "join them in their righteous, God-anointed attack on evil gays, lesbians, Muslims, Hindus, blacks, jews, wiccans" and everyone else that is not white, right and filled with God-fright.

For some reason, these whackjobs seem to think that anyone who studies religion and/or gets a title or degree in a related field must be on their side, fighting their sick brand of war against the rest of the heathen, pagan world of unwashed and unclean sinners.

I spent years studying for ministry, but my studies took me into metaphysics and New Thought, where no one religion reigns supreme, and the wisdom of all great thinkers and philosophers matters, Christianity included. I am not a Christian, although I probably know more about the origins and history of Christianity than most Christians. I am not a Christian, yet I behave more like one than most Christians, at least the ones I've been dealing with lately (and the ones running our government). The emails I've been getting prove that to me beyond a shadow of a doubt. One email implored me to join "them" in battling the evils of women who seek out abortions to save their own lives. These women, as "they" claim, were not worthy of life. Only their unborn fetuses deserved that special gift.

Then there was the email from a person my husband did some graphics work for, asking me to join their campaign against the "Muslim evil" that was threatening to spread across the great vast Christian world. My husband got the same email. We both deleted the emails, trying hard to ignore them, but I really wanted to respond and would have, had my husband not warned me that responding to them would tell them that they had my interest and would continue to harass me.

He was right. The few times I have responded, so vicious and hostile have the replies been. It makes me wonder whether any of these folks have ever picked up a Bible, let alone read the thing. In particular, I am reminded of the conservative Christian group that emailed me with a special offer on the "Left Behind" series along with membership into their club of "saved ones." I declined, therefore, I was told that I am now doomed to spend all eternity in hell.

I tell you what. I'd rather burn in hell with my kind, than spend even one second in heaven with theirs.

I am offended, and terrified, that just because I have a religious title there are people out there who automatically include me in their horrendously bigoted, mean-spirited, fearmongering hate games. Worse is, they think I am on their side, lock, stock and barrel. I wonder now just how many lists of "Christian warriors" my name appears on, all because of the Rev. before my name.

I am not one of them. I am not a Christian terrorist. I wish they would leave me alone. But maybe it's better that they don't. At least this way I know what they're up to.

Rev. Marie D. Jones is a New Thought Minister and author of Looking For God In All The Wrong Places, Paraview Press, 2003. She is a widely published writer of articles and essays for Democratic Underground, Public Opinion, Interactivist and others, an award-winning video producer, talented public speaker, and loving mom. She lives, writes and fights the right from her Southern California home.

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