A word to our some of our putatively Christian fellow Americans

The Gospels are clear. So are reactionary intentions.

If you think Muslims and the Koran are scary, you should check out the Old Testament sometime. It wouldn’t make someone else’s religion less scary, but it might put things in perspective. Western Judeo-Christian tradition is far older with a much bloodier history.

Kill people who aren’t like us: check.
Kill our own for what looks like small errors: check.
Child marriage: check.
Marital rape: check.
Women as chattel: check.

I’m not bashing the Old Testament. There’s lots of good to be found in it. Hope when all seems lost. Loyalty. Courage. But one can’t just see those good points and just stick their fingers in their ears and pretend the rest isn’t there.

Worse, while we have opinion shapers in this country trying their damndest (see what I did there) to inspire fear and hate of people who aren’t “like us,” they absolutely do not want you to remember that in the New Testament, the Christian god made flesh, Jesus, not his human successor Peter, not the apostle Paul, Jesus expressly said to love your enemies.

So who are you going to pay more attention to? Some jerk on the Internet or the TV, or one of the most important parts of the New Testament?

And if you can get past the discomfort of wrestling with this, stop and think…if someone is absolutely and expressly trying to get you to personally act contrary to your professed faith (not just issue certificates or sell cakes and pizza to people you don’t like, but actually get gay married yourself, for instance, that’s what I mean by personally acting contrary), if someone is trying to get you to do anything other than love, who is inspiring them?

5 replies »

  1. Frank, in the graf beginning “Worse …,” I can’t grasp the intended meaning of the second half of that sentence. I’m not sure what they don’t want us to remember. That string of names and commas confuses me as to what you’re trying to say.

    • I seem to have gone a bit too deeply into parenthetical territory there. Good catch. What “they” don’t want us to remember is that we were instructed to love our enemies. We were instructed by Jesus, who, according to most Christian traditions is God, and was man, ergo “God made flesh.” So when he says to love our enemies, it’s not just a man talking. The instruction comes from on high. It wasn’t his successor Peter, a mere man, inspired or otherwise, who gave us that instruction. It wasn’t Paul. That instruction came from the top.

      Mind you, for non-believers I understand that this matters not one whit. I just remain troubled at the number of people who believe themselves to be believers but who have what I feel is a poor understanding of the basics coupled with precious little ability to spot when one of their own (supposedly) tells them to do exactly the opposite. Don’t love our Muslim “enemies.” Other them. Demonize them. Blaspheme their god as though Allah is not the god of Abraham. And, having othered the daylights out of that enemy, bomb them back into the Stone Age. Deport the ones we have here. Deny them their Constitutional liberties.

      And when they look for justifications and rationalizes, when they even bother, inevitably they turn to “just men” over and over and over again, whether at a modern day pulpit or from works written after Jesus left some pretty clear instructions about love.

  2. In the words of my Philosophy professor: if the religion is pointing you in a direction towards anything but love, or promising you everything but love, then RUN

    • I would have to agree, regardless of the religion, but especially when the religion has conflicting dictates. If there’s a judgment to face, I’d rather face it having erred on the side of love than on the side of hate. I figure any god that would punish one for that was going to do it anyway and never merited worship in the first place.