Deconstructing the “America for Jesus” Manifesto

The America for Jesus rallies were held last month in Philadelphia, much to the chagrin of rational human beings everywhere. They featured several prominent religious pundits, such as the infamously homophobic Pat Robertson. The predominant idea was to make all Americans accept Jesus.

Running concurrently to the rallies was the Awakening Youth Rally, which had a goal of “compelling our generation to radically abandon itself to a lifestyle of worship.”

The manifesto on their website says our country is in a “state of emergency,” and there is only one way to “heal the land.” The video embedded on the website speaks of “one remedy.” What is it, you ask?

Surprise: the only answer is Jesus, according to the well-made piece of propaganda.

Apparently, we can no longer rely on “education, government or man’s wisdom.” Never mind that many of our greatest minds, such as Darwin, Twain, and Einstein, have had little to no belief in God. Relying on the resurrection of a man who’s been dead for millennia sounds like the only plausible solution, right?

Speaking of ancient history, I wasn’t aware that we were a nation “founded under prayer.” In fact, I was raised believing in our Constitution, which explicitly states that church and state should remain separate. And as I recall, most of our founding fathers were deist and, as such, rejected the idea that prayer could summon God to change things. But I’ve been living a lie, I suppose, if the people at AFJ are to be believed.

The quotes ripped straight from their manifesto in the paragraphs are horrific. Here we have a large group who believe gay people are sinners and who think women should have no control over their own bodies.

It seems their idea of “acceptance” is shoving their agenda down the nation’s gullet.

For most of my life, I’ve believed in an America where I can live my own way and not be afraid to voice my views. But I’ve been mistaken, according to the fine folks running AFJ, who plan to “summon together the whole body of Christ to pray for the church and our nation.”

This is not true Christianity. Jesus taught loving all different types, but these people twist his kind words into hate speech. I used to be religious and felt nothing but good will from members of my former church. AFJ is not teaching anything positive; they’re exploiting fears in people with weaker minds.

They’re preaching the act of shunning nonbelievers. According to them, our moral backbone would be significantly strengthened by adopting a unified fear of a bipolar lunatic who summons fire and brimstone at a moment’s notice. If you don’t believe in this god, you’ll go to hell, apparently. How charming.

As for me? I’ll call their bluff. I refuse to worship and praise a god who would kill over sexual orientation or personal beliefs. I will not live in perpetual fear of being punished by a big man in the sky.

Why?

Because I believe in humanity and that there are truer forms of Christianity than this grotesque circus.

I believe love and tolerance are the only ways we can truly cooperate as a society. I believe a true religion preaches acceptance, not hate. Learning from others’ perspectives will enlighten us to and inform us of differing viewpoints.

If we want a stronger America, we need to stop forcing our beliefs on others and start realizing some people might not appreciate the things we hold in such high esteem. Jesus was a great man, and anybody can learn something from his teachings. But using hate speech and degrading whole demographics is not the way people should learn of his word.

That’s the America I believe in: an America for acceptance.