Just in time for the holidays! A Deep Dive into Christian Evangelicalism and the Russian Orthodox Church with two former adherents to these faiths, who now champion LGBTQ+ rights and humanity, along with the true character and message of the figure, Jesus Christ.
But first: More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, and roughly 275 more in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with several Israelis, post-Oct. 7. Hospitals, churches, libraries, schools and universities have all been targets for the Israeli military, with the use of unguided “dumb bombs” and statements from Israel officials and possible Jewish settlers in Gaza belying claims of attempts to limit civilians deaths or to “ethnically cleanse” Gaza strip. After a recent attack and sniper fire on a Catholic church in Gaza, Pope Francis declared the attack an act of “terrorism.”
After the horrifying incursion of Oct. 7 of this year by Hamas on Southern Israel, killing roughly 1,200 Israelis and the taking of hundreds of civilians hostages—many of whom are still in Gaza—Israel is striking back with an intensity that makes this one of the most deadly “wars” in the 21st century, with roughly 40 percent of those dying children.
Christian Arabs in Bethlehem have declared they are not celebrating Christmas this year, and one church there set up a nativity scene with the Baby Jesus swaddled in a pile of concrete rubble.
The Santa Cruz, CA City Council has been under local pressure to adopt a ceasefire resolution modeled after the similar Oakland resolution that recently passed. “Moment of Truth” was at this Council meeting and reports on developments here. We then dived deeply into a central figure to emerge from the “Holy Land,” Jesus Christ with author and former Russian Orthodox Minister Father Nathan Monk and Mike Maeshiro—both of whom promote deconstruction from the mythologies of Christianity and have spent much of their recent lives exploring the force of “Love” and “God” and how they relate or do not to their former religions. Included in this episode:
- The Russian Orthodox Church, Putin and religious designs on U.S. human rights and support for Donald Trump
- What it’s like to leave a fundamentalist church for gay rights
- The struggle to understand Jesus and his message of love and forgiveness
- Was Jesus angry and confrontational in the face of injustice? Is God “human”?
- Does Jesus instruct us to “love the oppressor” as we do the oppressed?
- What do Evangelical Christians think will happen to Jews during the “Rapture?”
All this and more on this Moment of Truth!
Show Notes and Resources:
On the Oakland, CA ceasefire resolution: https://oaklandside.org/2023/11/28/oakland-city-council-gaza-ceasefire-resolution/
Live Tracker: Deaths and damage in Israel and Gaza: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/longform/2023/10/9/israel-hamas-war-in-maps-and-charts-live-tracker
Father Nathan Monk on Substack: https://fathernathan.substack.com/
Father Nathan Monk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fathernathan
Mike Maeshiro Numa website: https://www.mikemaeshiro.com/
Mike Maeshiro on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikemaeshiro/