To the editor:
I was disturbed at Lisa Monet Zarza’s comment in the April 9 article about Northfield revoking Alibi at Froggy Bottom’s liquor license. She said during a public hearing: “I am a Christian, and I believe our country is under attack.” While her two points could be unrelated, readers might conclude that Zarza was citing her religious faith to justify breaking the law. I say, “That’s not my Christianity.”
During Jesus Christ’s mortal life, Roman yoke and oppression was greatly hated by the Jews. Yet, when Christ was asked “Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar?” he “perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
In our day, “Caesar’s things” apply to all citizens regardless of faith or creed, and are speed limits, sales tax percentages and how businesses can operate. “God’s things,” include honesty, integrity and repenting. Repenting involves acknowledging error, seeking forgiveness and repairing the harm one’s mistakes have done to others.
The Bible is full of stories of otherwise notable Christians whose weakness caused them to fail in the moment. Saul, David, Adam and Eve, and Peter — and then the cock crowed.
Zarza claimed to be acting in defense of her employees, who wanted to return to their jobs. But what about business owners and employees who followed the law? Did her opening help her neighbor’s employees, or just her bottom line?
No, the greatest commandments in Christianity are to love God and love one’s neighbor. When Zarza made that comment, she may have been focused on the third part of that injunction (showing love to self) and thus casting about for personal justification, having been called to task, legally. Fair enough — people try that argument all the time — but for anyone to believe that Christianity condones lawlessness is a great misrepresentation of Christ and what he taught.