The Week of Louie Gohmert
Louie Gohmert, a Congressman from Texas, has made some noise recently in the news. Last Thursday, Representative Gohmert attempted to clarify his belief that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the United States government by promising that he does not accuse anyone solely on the basis of their Muslim faith. The following day, Friday, he argued that the Colorado shootings at the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” might be linked to “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs.” In the same breathe, he criticized why no one in the audience fought back with their own fire-arms.
Readers and myself alike might be wondering why I have decided to take the time to address Louie Gohmert. For those of you who do not know Rep. Gohmert is a Southern Baptist and member of Green Acres Baptist Church where he has served as a deacon and a Sunday School teacher.
For someone who places such heavy stock in his religious beliefs, I have a hard time seeing Christ in his words this past week. While much of what Rep. Gohmert said last week deeply saddens and angers me, I have tried to engage him with Christian love and charity, for without this my words are perhaps as empty and hollow as I believe his to be.
On Thursday, while defending his accusations that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the United States Government, Gohmert responded that he was not singling out Muslims, merely members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He said this:
“You follow me around the world, you see me hugging Muslims around the world, because the ones I hug are our friends”
I should be excited that Rep. Gohmert possesses the willingness hug even friendly Muslims. After all Ramadan began Thursday night. Muslims everywhere during the day will be fasting and may perhaps need a friendly gesture during lunchtime. Certainly, we should all strive to be more friendly to these so called “friendly” Muslims in our midst.
But I cannot help but think, do not even the pagans do that? (Matthew 5:47) Christ never commanded us to hug our friends because it is instinctual for us to cling to those with whom we are friends. Christ commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44)
Rep. Gohmert’s comments beg the question: are we willing to hug the “unfriendly” Muslims in our midst? Are we willing to be inviting to the “unfriendly” Muslims in our midst? Are we willing to take up our cross for the “unfriendly” Muslims in our midst?
The next day, Rep. Gohmert, merely hours after the Aurora Theater shooting in Colorado, suggested the shooting may be linked to the deterioration of Judeo-Christian beliefs in America.
I have a difficult time understanding this infatuation with America’s relationship to “Judeo-Chrisitian Values.” This grand, looming idea (that is never fully defined or explained) appears to merely be a rhetorical jest when decisions and policies do not reflect a particular ideological position.
Perhaps one might say that the Ten Commandments are the pinnacle of these “Judeo-Chrisitian Values,” but how does this relate to the shooting in Colorado? I do not believe that America is planning on openly condoning murder anytime soon. I truly hope that Rep. Gohmer is not using this horrific occurrence for political purposes. The quickness of Rep. Gohmert’s response causes me to pause and think upon the Beatitudes
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Sometimes I feel that it is better to sit in silence at the tragedies of this life than offer rash explanations or solutions to the problem. Just as Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zopher recognized when they saw their friend Job, sometimes words – no matter how full of wisdom – do not ease a person’s suffering. (Job 2:13)
Rep. Gohmert did not stop after offering his explanation, but instead he continued to offer his solution. If only members of the audience at the Aurora Theater had also been armed. If only the audience had returned fire thus killing and subduing James Holmes. If only we could remove this psychopathic maniac from the equation, then…then we could return to watching our movie.
This story, thanks to Rep. Gohmert, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others, has rekindled the debate over gun regulations, yet for Christians like myself and Rep. Gohmert, I find that these debates often eclipse the words of Christ, again from the Beatitudes.
Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Matthew 5:19
I might dare say that Jesus does not care about our right to bear arms. The issue, for Christians, is not whether or not it is right and Christlike to possess a weapon, the issue is whether or not Christians are testifying to the peace that we hold as a result of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I might dare say that striking down Mr. Holmes does not show him that peace. I might dare say that subduing violence in a Christlike manner requires more creative methods that vengeance and retaliation.
Update 7/23/12 11:03 AM – Although much of the damage has been done, Rep. Gohmert issued an apology regarding his statements on the Colorado Shooting.
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