What would have happened on 9-12-01 if the President had said that the United States of America isn’t going to do anything about the terrorists? We will never find out what actually might have happened but this new book from Tom Lombardo called “The Christian President, What Jesus Would Have Done.”

The books premise goes like this: since the beginning of Christianity over 2000 years ago Christians have fallen into two categories. Either they have believed in the Christ that leads an army against evil or the Christ that was an amazing teacher that lead Civilization beyond barbaric violence. A Christians politics usually arise from the kind of Jesus he goes after. In the 2000 election President George W. Bush and millions of Evangelicals and fans of the Left Behind series crowded into the Army of Christ camp and they believed that there was a real battle between Good and Evil lead by Jesus and Satan respectively. In this battle of wills a very physical war was required. Under this logic the wars we are now intrenched in were started under the belief that they were prophesied in the Bible.

But here is where the book gets interesting. What if the President had been a subscriber of the other Jesus, the spiritual teacher Jesus? What if the President had believed more in the Sermon on the Mount giving the world to those who were less than the Book of Revelation and its End of the World mongering? In this book President Craftsman leads the world away from War and shows how human problems can be solved without firing a single shot.

This book is 92 pages long and I originally sat down at about 11:30 at night to read the first bit of it and I stayed up until 5:00 AM reading it. This books takes the reader in and puts you in the plot and doesn’t let you go until the book is done spilling its story out to you. I am privileged to have reviewed this book.

I also had an opportunity to speak to the author about the book and here is our personal interview:

What was your inspiration for this book?

The “West Wing” television show and John Stewart’s “Daily News”.  I wanted to re-tell a story that everyone already knew to show that it could have come out completely different, and to show how parts of actual reality are totally absurd. I especially wanted to show that the teachings of Christianity, taken directly from scripture, could lead to a completely different politics than what we’ve had from the Christian Right and the Bush Administration.

Who is your audience?

I wrote this book to be read by the person I was during the Reagan Administration. I take spiritual truth very seriously, and there are legions of people living in Christian Right, Evangelical communities who also take spiritual truth very seriously.  I know for a fact that some of these people are facing a spiritual crisis right now because they have seen the highest ideals of Christianity twisted into weird, doomsday-driven justifications for war and torture.  A lot of these people  thought they were doing the right, moral thing by supporting Bush and the Evangelicals, and they are now realizing that something went horribly wrong.  This is especially true of young people.   My book will help them understand the political situation, but more importantly it will help them spiritually, hopefully even helping some avoid a crisis by clarifying what went wrong and showing what we ought to expect from our next “Christian President”.

Why should it be read?

My story gives you everything you need to know to argue successfully with anyone who thinks that the Bush administration’s wars are justified because of Biblical prophecy.  A huge percentage of the Christians in this country think the world is going to end soon.  They think we are already in the “End Times” and that the wars in the Middle East were all prophecied in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelations.  Tim LaHaye, the author of the Left Behind series, was a major leader of the Moral Majority starting in the Reagan years.  He has sold over sixty million books in a country of three hundred million people.  That is amazing, and that is the root cause of our current situation.  He has convinced legions of Christians that doomsday is real.  I call him on the carpet and show that his “scholarship” is ludicrous and that the politics that arise from his “ministry” are exactly the opposite of what Jesus himself actually taught.

What is the foremost important idea in the book?

That the politics of the Bush Administration have absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus.  Jesus spoke very clearly and he spoke to common people.  He summarized all of the “law and the prophets” with the Golden Rule:  do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  He explained his politics completely in the Sermon on the Mount; he gave his opinion of war by teaching his followers to turn the other cheek.  The President in my story takes all of these teachings as the word of God, and he acts accordingly.  What he does is exactly the opposite of what Bush has done.  I imagine that the results of global leadership arising from the actual teachings of Christ would have been much, much better for America and for the world.  One of my main characters, based on General Boykin, goes through a spiritual transformation over the course of the book, coming to understand that the grace of God does not enter the world through warfare and hatrid but rather through leadership and moral authority.

Why is Christianity unique?

Islam, Judaism and Christianity all share Zoroastrian theological roots.  Zoroaster was the Persian philosopher who suggested that the Earth is a battlefield between the forces of good and the forces of evil.  All three of these religions take that as an essential fact about reality.  The Left Behind series takes it as a literal story line, giving meaning and form to all scripture.  But that is not what Christ did with it.  Christ switched the theater of this war between good and evil.  He said that the battlefield was not in the open air.  He said the battlefield is in the souls of people.  This battle between good and evil happens inside each of us. Consciousness itself is the theater of this battle.  The Christian Right marched Christian soldiers into Baghdad because they thoguht they were fighting Satan.  They thoguht the Iraq war was prophecied in Revelations (as explained by Tim LaHaye).  And of course they think they think they are justified in hating and killing Muslims because the radical Islamic terrorists are the minions of Satan.  If this sounds over the top, let me forward some of Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind Prophecy Club” emails to you.  Islamic people as a group are demonized in these emails, which LaHaye’s doomsday industry sends out weekly.  They clearly suggest that the Antichrist is going to be an Islamic terrorist, and that he probably already exists.  This is a complete perversion of the teachings of Christ, which were actually revolutionary precisely because they refuted this “us versus them” mentality.  Jesus turned people inward to work on evil in their own souls.  Fighting evil in a Christ-like sense means leading others by example.  It means being a “light unto the world”, a moral authority that others can clearly understand and admire — a moral authority so clear that they must admire it.  If yo u read only what Jesus himself said, this message comes through loud and clear.

How does Christianity measure up to other spiritualities?

Christianity provides people with all they need for a fully satisfying spiritual life.  Within the Christian tradition there is plenty of the “Christian Soldier versus Minion of Satan” stuff that the Bush Administration has brought to life.  But there is also a great deal of “real” spirituality — read Augustine (who Tim LaHaye can’t stand); read Meister Eckhart; read Matthew Fox; read William James; read about Saint Francis.  Read the new book about Mother Teresa — that’s especially poignant because she continued to follow the teachings of Jesus even when she no longer felt any spiritual presence in her heart.  There’s a real hero for you — not some poser in a pilot’s outift claiming that his Christian “Mission is Accomplished”.  Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of Jesus’ actual teachings.  Even if you include the Gnostic scriptures, which were rejected by the editors of the early church’s “new testament”, you can read everything Jesus h imself said in a couple hours.  When you start tearing it apart philosophically, you wish that more of his teachings had survived.  But what he said was profound enough to influence the greatest minds in the Western world for two thousand years. And no matter what anyone tries to tell you — no matter how powerful they are, or how many books they’ve sold — Jesus was an anti-war activist through and through. Even a little Sunday school kid can prove it to you with her big-print, illustrated children’s Bible.  Forget Tim LaHaye’s “scholarship”.  We need a Christian President who can read Jesus’ own words and understand them.  That’s what my main character does.

 

“The Christian President, What Jesus Would Have Done” can be obtained at every major book store and on Amazon at this link, http://www.amazon.com/Christian-President-What-Jesus-Would/dp/1419670476/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195805242&sr=8-8

for the low price of $10.99! The  book is published by  Book Surge

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