If Jesus ran the zoo

Imagine. You can tell your grandkids you were there when the United States shifted from a republic with “liberty and justice for all” into a much finer, Jesus-fearing nation.

We get closer every day.

Politically conservative Protestants hold “Justice Sunday” April 24, broadcasting political programming to megachurches nationwide. The Family Research Council simulcast seeks the aid of Christians in a crusade to stack the U.S. Supreme Court with right-wingers. New justices will launch a swell agenda—bans on stem-cell research, abortion, science, gay marriage, independent thought, the public school system.

You know, stuff that Jesus would do if he ran the zoo. The issues that kept our Lord awake at night.

Courts are the last bastion for icky Lord-loathing liberals, FRC president Tony Perkins told the New York Times.

“For years, activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the ACLU, have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms,” Perkins said.

These so-called Biblical literalists, a.k.a. “dominionists,” who hope to pull off a government coup, are well-financed. The FRC is an offshoot of the Colorado-based Focus on the Family ministry, a busy nonprofit that pumps out books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and broadcast content. Funding comes through large checks from Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, and smaller tax-deductible contributions from homophobes across the nation.

Other dominionist groups are similarly rolling in dough, backed by $5 million from Amway mogul Rich DeVos and $8 million from the wife of former AOL chief Steve Case, reports Bob Moser in this week’s Rolling Stone. Moser quotes D. James Kennedy, founder of the $37 million Coral Ridge Ministries.

“Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost,” Kennedy said. “As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors—in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”

Sound like something from the Sermon on the Mount? Think again.

Feeling a bit depressed as I read the above stories, I opened my Bible to the actual words of Jesus—handily marked in red. I felt better. A real Christian nation wouldn’t be half bad, I concluded, reading the Book of Matthew.

I might back a Supreme Court nominee, for example, who supported an anger ban.

“Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty … whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”

Hard to enforce, but hey. And what about getting rid of no-fault divorce statutes that make it easy for horny middle-aged guys to dump the wives of their youth for lithe young hotties?

“Everyone who divorces his wife … makes her commit adultery.”

Well then, maybe not. But you’ve gotta love another possible litmus test for Christian judges—a deep abiding desire to transform the U.S. military into a battalion of do-gooding diplomats.

Jesus was pretty clear when it came to nonviolence.

“Do not resist him who is evil but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Oddly enough, the prophet bent this rule at least once. Furious at capitalists ripping off faithful Jewish worshippers with the tacit approval of temple leaders, Jesus made a whip. Assault, battery and property damage ensued as the son of God chased greedmongers out of God’s house.

Wait a sec, greedy profiteering at the expense of the trusting public pissed the Savior off?

Anyway. I read the whole thing. Can’t find the part where Jesus dubs followers the “vice regents of God.”