Pity the poor American Christian. From every side, he is persecuted, set upon by government bureaucrats, forced to do this, required to do that — denied his God-given right to pay low taxes and live as he pleases.

If he is a business owner and wishes to refuse his services to gays and lesbians, he finds it an appalling violation of his “religious freedom” to be told that the Constitution’s 14th amendment might render his actions not merely deplorable, but also illegal.

America’s Christians, mostly those on the political right, certainly are a persecuted and angry lot. As soon as some crazy liberal questions the sanity of toting guns into churches, schools or grocery stores, they’re itching to fight.

Politician preachers — like Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry — never tire of preaching to Christians about the crucifixion liberals have in mind for them. Like the political carnies they are, these charlatans treat their supporters like they’re a horde of dupes, easily persuaded they are the most disadvantaged people on earth.

Indeed, listening to the politicians as they preach, someone from another planet might conclude that Christian churches are filled with pious, intolerant, gun-toting, angry white men. You know, just like Jesus and his disciples.

Which raises the question: Why do so many religious conservative leaders — especially the political variety — speak so much about their “rights,” but so little about actual teachings of Jesus?

It turns out that Jesus spent most of this time talking about the plight of the poor and other of society’s outcasts — orphans, widows, the sick and those in prison. In fact, Jesus’ last story before his death was about how he would one day judge his followers on how they treated “the least of these.”

Busy preaching sermons of fear and grievance to their flocks, Jindal and his ilk rarely discuss the real, compassionate message of the gospels. They certainly don’t seem to know that Jesus talked, not about his rights, but about his followers’ sacred obligation to the wellbeing of others.

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.