Today we introduce our newest writer, Sidicious Bonesparkle, PhD. Dr. Bonesparkle currently serves as Hell’s Ambassador to the United States, and he will periodically post on issues relating to politics, religion, and culture.
I often think the only thing sillier than the average American is the person he elects to represent him.In John 18:36 Jesus Christ says to Pontius Pilate that “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” And in Matthew 22:21, he says “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”As you might expect, I’ve read the Bible, and have often wondered at those who have difficulty grasping its stance on the material world’s relation to the celestial. This world is uniformly portrayed as a den of iniquity (a contention I take some pride in), the domain of Satan, the Prince of the Power of the Air. Whatever else you might believe, the Christian book is quite clear on one key point: when push comes to shove, this life is little more than a testing ground to see who’s “worthy” of the Kingdom of Heaven. The things of this world are mundane, corrupt, second-rate, etc.
For those who haven’t read the Bible in all its (often entertaining) translations and interpretations, the Bible Gateway now affords access to versions you’ve likely never heard of before. If you read them all thoroughly I believe you’ll discover something noteworthy: in no version of the Bible, from King James to New Life to Contemporary English, do either of the above passages include Jesus following up his pronouncements with a *wink wink*.
On the contrary. I first met Jesus he was still a young man, and even then I was struck by his oppressive seriousness. Trust me when I say that he’s not given to irony, satire, or any other form of rhetorical misdirection. He doesn’t wink, he has not a sarcastic bone in his body, and unless he makes it painfully obvious up front that THIS IS A PARABLE, he’s speaking literally. Given the kinds of people who followed him around he had little choice. His was not the Kingdom of Nuance, if you take my meaning. (I don’t mean to paint him as a complete “buzzkill,” to use a colorful term favored by some of my younger colleagues. He’s a nice guy. Smart, engaging, thoughtful to a fault. When you encounter that “oh hell, who invited this downer to the party” persona, that’s usually the personality of his chief biographer, Paul, imposing itself on the narrative.) So when he speaks on matters of importance, it’s safe to take him at his word.
On this point, he was unambiguous: Jesus Christ, like the framers of the US Constitution, was a believer in the separation of church and state. Jesus and Jefferson held this view for different reasons, of course. Jesus saw mucking around in politics as the sort of activity that was properly beneath the dignity of the truly righteous man. Every moment spent tending to the petty affairs of this world was a moment lost to the only meaningful pursuit available: preparing the soul for the next life. Jefferson, on the other hand, saw religion as inherently corrosive to the conduct of government. His only flaw was that he made too many assumptions about the capacity of the average citizen to grasp the obvious. He could have used a measure more of Jesus’ painful literal-mindedness at times.
Imagine my amusement, then, when I see legions of American politicians gleefully corrupting both their religion and their government with their insistence on making the latter serve the former. Some wonderful examples can be found in this video clip profiling the Rev. John Hagee, my colleague in our Armageddon Ministry.
I have always wanted to ask one of these politicians a question. Have a look at the oath taken by all US Senators:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
In taking this oath, nearly all electees swear to their God that they will serve the Constitution. Not the church. Not Jesus. Jesus didn’t wink when he talked about his devotion to his heavenly kingdom, but apparently gentlemen like Sen. John McCain have one hand on the Bible and the fingers of their other hand crossed behind their back.
Do they believe that God won’t care when they swear, on his name, to do something they have no intention of doing? Do they think they creator of the universe (as they see it, anyway) needs to resort to chicanery to outwit a handful of mortal politicians who are members of a party they suppose God doesn’t like?
How stupid, weak, and duplicitous do they imagine their supreme ruler to be? Not that I’m complaining, mind you….
Perhaps these are bad questions, because they assume a degree of awareness on the part of these officials that doesn’t exist. (If I sound contemptuous, forgive me, but check my credentials. It’s what I do.) Still, it’s hard not to be impressed by the level of energy these “men of God” devote to serving causes that are beneath the contempt of he whom they profess to worship.
If I were a god and my worshipers gave me the amount of credit American politicians are giving their god, rest assured that there would be some smiting in the works.
Categories: Politics/Law/Government, Religion & Philosophy
I dont know where you got your Phd Dr. Bonespackle but this is an insult to all good Christians who know better than to question the bible. If only you were an authority on the Bible like I am.
Stupid enough to think that Isaiah 40:4-5 actually justifies mountain top removal coal mining.
“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.”
OMG funny…. As a former Theology Student this ranks right up there with people believing that God is benevolent and non-violent… See Isaiah and the bears…
have you seen the lolcat bible? Even the Cats have more brains than most of the politicians.
Come check us out for more fun and politicians… lol’ing ur pols
propogate the meme
Hey Ann, Can you send me the link to the particular post? S&R always puts out good stuff…I’m just happy that thinking is not illigeal…yet, (as their slogan implies) 😉
Keep in mind that as I write this comment that I have not read the article yet, but I have a fantastic sequel to the title for this one; how about this: How stupid does God believe Christian politicians are?
Then, you could quote things politicians have said instead of scripture…
Okay, now that I have read the ENTIRE article, how does one qualify to write posts for S&R? Suppose I say that I’m the ambassador of debauchery? Will I qualify? I need to see youz guyz constitution…
I have had enough. When will our elected officials stop pandering to the religious right and truly represent the constitution and the principels upon which we were founded. All of these politicians are more concerned with votes then standing up for the truth. I venture that most Americans are of the belief that we were founded as a Christian nation, what else could you think. Schools imply it, if not teach it, some Priests and Preachers would have you believe that Jesus called the roll at the Constitutional Convention. Politicians like the President and members of the House and Senate knowingly at the expense of reality invoke these untruths to get votes. Conservative talking heads like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity flat out say we were formed as a christian nation and wave it to stoke the flames of ignorance, all the while claiming that they are patriots. The old adage definitely applies, that if you tell a lie long enough it becomes true.
The Democrats and the “liberal media” are just as guilty, if not more so for not calling one another out on these issues. Why does the government keep trying to spread democracy around the world, when we can’t even discuss it out loud and admit the true principles we were founded on. If we as Americans can not get together and nail down who we really are as a people and have our government state out loud it’s fundamental principles because they fear a religious out cry, then we have grossly failed the test before us. I guarantee not one candidate would broach this subject out of fear of pissing off the zealots and not getting votes. One of the main things our enlightened Founding Fathers railed against was religion, this is a fact. Not the practice of religion, far from it, they would carefully protect every ones right to choose his or her religion what ever it might be. But of it’s place in government, to them, it had none. Today we run rough shod over the CONSTITUTION and BILL OF RIGHTS like they were an advice column or list of helpful hints. How do we expect to help other countries with democracy when we are not honest enough to truly defend and represent our own as it was originally conceived. This is the true shame of our nation.
Time for a reality check, a large number of the most famous and involved members of the Founding Fathers were anything but Christian, frankly they had a great deal of disdain for it. I will reference some of the most relevant Founding Fathers, and ironically these are the ones religious groups frequently use to illustrate their point. (WASHINGTON, ADAMS, JEFFERSON, MADISON, FRANKLIN, THOMAS PAINE ETC) What’s truly alarming is that only one of two things can be true in this case 1) that the standard bearers of the Constitution we elect and appoint to positions of authority today know the facts of history and still continue to pander to zealots and that’s scary or 2) they truly don’t know their history and actually believe we were formed as a Christian government. That is stunning.
How far we have fallen from the hopes of what the Founders created. The church and the involvement of religion in the government was exactly what they didn’t want. Now religious leaders, conservatives and liberals alike have taken it and twisted to suit they’re constituents beliefs and I wager not one of the candidates would have the integrity to discuss it publicly or defend the words of the Founding Fathers.
The bottom line is this. By ignoring and betraying the true nature and magnitude of what the Founders conceived and realized, we rob them of and hide from the world their true genius and vision and there just due. Even sadder we have robbed ourselves of the true democracy they envisioned. These great men studied the history of nations and the repression of the peoples of the world and realized the one common denominator was the involvement of the church and religion with government. It has been referenced in each of their writings on countless occasions, often with disgust.
The vision and insight possesed by these great free thinkers is as evident now as it ever was. Imagine if we had carried that enlightened standard of reason, intellect, cause and effect forward and truly nurtured it and carried to it’s deserved place, there just might have been a lot less death and destruction in the world in the name of God. If we followed and respected that helpful hint list I mentioned earlier, things might be going a little smoother now. Had we actually let each other live and let live regardless of religious belief and stopped trying to convince each other that we each had the best invisible guy we would definitely be better off.
Before you react angrily and lash out with some inane emotional argument, count to ten and read a history book. Then find some documented facts and present a cogent and factual argument. If the gist of your argument is that I’m going to burn in hell or something along those lines, save it. I said fact based and cogent.
Let me stress that I am not anti-religion because that is the first argument i will get. I am however anti-lie. America is my country and I truly love it. I am angry because we are not defending what it stands for, we are cowering from the very thing they despised and risked there lives to defeat, intolerance, ignorance and repression. Here are some quotes to illustrate my point, say Amen, when somebody sounds like a christian .
God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.– John Adams, “this awful blashpemy” that he refers to is the myth of the Incarnation of Christ
The Treaty of TripoliSigned by John Adams
“As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] … it is declared … that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries…. “The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation.” — Treaty of Tripoli (1797), carried unanimously by the Senate and signed into law by John Adams
The Church of Rome has made it an article of faith that no man can be saved out of their church, and all other religious sects approach this dreadful opinion in proportion to their ignorance, and the influence of ignorant or wicked priests.– John Adams, Diary and Autobiography
The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning…. And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes.– John Adams, letter to John Taylor
The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?– John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 20, 1815
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!– John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson
Government being, among other purposes, instituted to protect the consciences of men from oppression, it certainly is the duty of Rulers, not only to abstain from it themselves, but according to their stations, to prevent it in others.– George Washington, letter to the Religious Society called the Quakers, September 28,1789
“I have diligently perused every line that Washington ever gave to the public, and I do not find one expression in which he pledges, himself as a believer in Christianity. I think anyone who will candidly do as I have done, will come to the conclusion that he was a Deist and nothing more.”– The Reverend Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.– Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82
The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.– James Madison, 1819
Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any Manner contrary to their conscience.– James Madison, explaining to Congress during the House Debate what the First Amendment means to him
Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents.– John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, December 3, 1813
Posted by Bob Leddy at 8:12 AM
Great point that needed to be said. For an administration that is as concerned with supposed hitorical precedents as this, a reality check is in order.
October 11, 2007 9:39 PM
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I can’t answer for all Christians about how stupid they think God is, but I can spot the obvious stupidity in your reasoning. You are a house divided among yourself. You quote the scripture where Jesus talks to Pontius Pilate about the truth. Who is Pontius Pilate? Well, he’s a part of the Roman Government! And how about the dream Pilate’s wife had about Jesus. Hmmmm, wonder where that came from? And the quote in your blog about giving to Ceaser what belongs to him, Jesus was answering a question about paying taxes. Paul, John the Baptist (both New Testament), and numerous prophets in the Old Testament spoke to Kings and Government leaders about the God’s truth. They were the movers and the shakers. The Pharisee’s and government leaders wanted them out of the way so they could continue on in corruption.
Officials were not elected at that time. And if they had been, do you really think folks would vote for someone that didn’t share their core values? That doesn’t take a lot of thought now, really.
King David, a man after God’s own heart, well, he was the government. So much for separation of church and state! David praised God openly and publicly. His son, Solomon, wisely ruled after David. Do you think his faith had no bearing on his decisions? What about Moses, another leader?
There are numerous leaders in the Bible that both were and were not a part of government. God was often involved in their lives and their actions. The list is endless. You would be wise to attack the specific issue you are concerned about, instead of the same stale criticism of the church. You are the status quo, and apparently able to gain the support of many who believe the little snippets of the Bible you throw out and then twist out of context to meet your own agenda. Do the research!
The author of this piece is intimately familiar with the Bible – both as it is presented and routinely misunderstood by contemporary Christians and in its more proper historical context. He is further aware that the Jews did not sweep Pilate into office in a thumping democratic landslide.
But mostly, he’s aware that you’re having a very hard time distinguishing between religious leaders and government leaders. Your inability to understand the author’s point – which was stated as simply as he could possibly make it – is almost knee-buckling.