Maurice Gordon of Denver has lived for 73 years, and he still doesn't know how to be a decent Christian, even though he's a Pentecostal minister.
Last Wednesday the Rev. Gordon posted the message, "Jews Killed the Lord Jesus," on his easily seen church marquee that is passed by 60,000 cars each day.
The sign was put up in the wake of the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ, which some overly sensitive critics said is anti-Semitic because it showed the Jews in that era and that place approving and cheering as Jesus was sentenced to death and nailed to the cross.
The sign clearly advanced the notion of anti-Semitism, though Gordon claimed that was not his intent. His intent, he said, was to promote discourse.
Right. Just like Nazi Germany's intent was not to send Jews to concentration camps to slave and die, but to recreation camps where they could live and work in peace and safety. At least that's what the International Red Cross was led to believe.
The good news is that Gordon removed his hateful message after the United Pentecostal Church, the Colorado Council of Churches and several Jewish organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, came down hard on him for the sign's ugly statement.
He even put up another message - "I am deeply sorry for offending the Jewish people whom I love, Brother Gordon."
But he still refused to disavow the original message which he said was backed up by Scripture. "I can't apologize for the word of God."
But neither God nor the Scriptures ever said all the Jews who ever lived or will live are to blame for Jesus' death. That's nonsense, but whenever anyone says the Jews killed Jesus, who himself was a Jew, universal Jewish guilt is what they're implying.
Rev. Gordon is infamous around Denver for his controversial signs, which he says are all scripted to produce dialogue - like the one he displayed in 1993 suggesting Pope John Paul II was the anti-Christ shortly before the pontiff visited the Mile High City.
Face it. When a 73-year-old man who's spent his adult life as a Christian clergyman sends the kind of messages "Brother Gordon" does, then he's not living the tenets of Christianity, much less teaching them.
Just as moderate Muslims must be increasingly disapproving of Islamic extremism, so Christians must not tolerate hate in their midst.
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