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View Diary: Christian Post Commenter on NY Marriage Equality: "Lock and load, Christians." (286 comments)

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  •  Because nothing says Jesus... (30+ / 0-)

    "The Prince of Peace"...

    ...like taking a gun fueled with hate and aiming at someone.

    Or something.

    They're scared. They know "their" America is changing. They know, deep down, they're going to be on the wrong side of history...again.

    Not to trivialize the very real danger of unhinged haters taking very real action against people. It's a scary scenario and we should always be vigilant regarding it.

    But they know they're on borrowed time.

    •  "I have come to bring the sword" (5+ / 0-)

      Not even Jesus could keep it straight.

      •  Yeah, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volfied, Samer, kyril, SheriffBart

        Jesus is on record as having said some pretty nasty stuff (if you consider the Bible an accurate record).
        You'll never see his promoters publicizing those quotes, though.  

        •  And then there's the (4+ / 0-)

          Infancy Gospel of Thomas, in which Jesus smites his playmates.

          We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

          by Samer on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 10:01:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          Jesus did not say ANY "nasty stuff."

          And what ignoramuses rec'ed this foolish claim?

          Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

          by The Red Pen on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 05:25:33 AM PDT

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          •  You should take that up with C.S. Lewis (0+ / 0-)

            and other Christian thinkers who note that if Jesus is not in fact divine, then what he said makes him "the devil of Hell."

            •  What? (0+ / 0-)

              I haven't read much C. S. Lewis, so I'm not really sure what this means.

              The fact is Jesus did not say any "nasty stuff."  There are a couple of places where translation artifacts produce English text that can be taken in a nasty way, but that's why it's worth studying Greek and Aramaic if you really want to know what the books say.

              There's another part in the text where Jesus tells followers that they should be willing to reject earthly relationships (e.g. parents) in favor of divine relationships.  The verb used in the original translates literally as "hate."  Thus, in the English, Jesus can be seen telling people to "hate" their parents, which seems awfully harsh to our ears.

              The third place I've seen is a line about punishing someone that is tacked on to one version of the parable of the talents.  This line is in quotes, so although Jesus says it (red letters and all), it is something a character in the parable says; nevertheless, I've seen people attribute the quote directly to Jesus to make the point that He was a raging dick.

              That's about it for nasty Jesus.  Hardly what was claimed in the comment above.

              Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

              by The Red Pen on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 09:37:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then you really need to read some Christian (0+ / 0-)

                thinkers who've come before you.

                I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – Mere Christianity, pages 40-41.

                Now, this doesn't present a problem for a believer, of course.  But if Jesus must be a "madman" or the "Devil of Hell" if he is not in fact divine, then that means his moral teachings were not actually moral absent that divine backing.  

                As for Jesus teaching immoral things, I'd say his stance on divorce was positively immoral.  That, and the notion that people who didn't believe in him or what he said were going to suffer for it.  It's also rather curious that at no point did Jesus speak out about one of the great evils of the ancient world (Slavery), and actually seems to indirectly condone it in Luke 12.

                •  I disagree with Lewis' opinion here (0+ / 0-)

                  And when you say:

                  you really need to read some Christian thinkers who've come before you.
                  I have.  I've read Origen, Augustine, Ignatious of Antioch and many others.

                  Lewis, you must understand, spent many years as an ardent atheist and his Christian writings are part of his efforts to construct a Christianity that was congruous to his 20th-century sensibilities.

                  Obviously, his theology was a bit rough around the edges.  I don't read Lewis' theology because I think it's done better by people like Shelby Spong or Marcus Borg.

                  The issue here is whether the divinity of Christ is somehow essential to His being.  That's a valid subject for debate, but Lewis' take on it here is a misfire, in my opinion.  Both earlier and later authors have tackled the same issue and come to the same basic conclusion (that Jesus was necessarily divine) in a much more elegant fashion.

                  Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

                  by The Red Pen on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:13:06 AM PDT

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                  •  Lewis' viewpoint is the only valid conclusion (0+ / 0-)

                    if one believes what's written in the New Testament is true, yes.  That's the rub: if one doesn't accept that the NT is a literal account and that everything reported as the actions/words of Jesus are facts, then it's possible for a much more nuanced position that Lewis gives.  However, that then leads to the problem of being a pick-and-choose, "cafeteria" Christian that decides what is true and was isn't based on personal feeling.  That pretty much nullifies the point of a revealed religion in the first place.

                    •  I disagree with your opinion as well. :) (0+ / 0-)
                      However, that then leads to the problem of being a pick-and-choose, "cafeteria" Christian that decides what is true and was isn't based on personal feeling.
                      Where did you get the idea that literal truth was required for the NT to be meaningful?  The early Christians certainly didn't labor under this requirement.  Don't you think they noticed that, for example, the descriptions of Jesus' resurrection conflict with one another?  Why do you think that didn't bug them?  Answer: because they didn't require literal, factual truths; the truths they were after are revealed in the legends, not in the history.

                      For example, the nativity story is obviously not true — at least not literally.  Instead, it is trying to tell you things about the person Jesus that are important to understanding Him as the divinity he later emerges as.  Taking this clearly false account as some kind of important history misses the point entirely.

                      Myths and legends have value because they are not literally true.  The truth is in what you learn from them.

                      That pretty much nullifies the point of a revealed religion in the first place.
                      No, this pretty much is the entire point of revealed religion in the first place.

                      Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

                      by The Red Pen on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 12:03:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This doesn't make sense. (0+ / 0-)
                        Where did you get the idea that literal truth was required for the NT to be meaningful?

                        I didn't say that.  I said that if one doesn't accept the literal truth of everything Jesus is reported to have done and said, then the reason for accepting any of it has to be mere personal feeling.  There really is no way around that.

                        No, this pretty much is the entire point of revealed religion in the first place.

                        What?  That makes absolutely no sense.  The point of a "revealed" religion is that the deity has revealed "the truth" to his followers, via divinely-inspired scripture.  If that scripture is not actually divinely-inspired and the information in them is not actually true, leaving broad viable paths for differences in interpretation, then the entire point of the revelation is nullified.  This leads to people being able to disregard whatever they want in scripture should it not appeal to their personal feelings.  What's the point of that?

                •  And about that Jesus stuff... (0+ / 0-)
                  As for Jesus teaching immoral things, I'd say his stance on divorce was positively immoral.
                  Enh... OK.  I don't really have a strong counter-argument.  I'm not crazy about that either.
                  That, and the notion that people who didn't believe in him or what he said were going to suffer for it.
                  That summary of what he said on the subject misses some pretty important points.  

                  First of all, Jesus was mainly pointing out that those who are separated from God are miserable.  If we agree to blur "god" into "sense of purpose/self-value" then we might agree on that.

                  Jesus claimed that those who believed in him would have "eternal life," although it's left as an exercise to the reader to figure out what that means.  A common analogy for those who did not have eternal life was that they would be consumed like refuse in a fire.  Add an out-of-context quote from Revelation and you have the whole "burn in Hell for eternity" — a concept that was marginal (at best) until after the Protestant Reformation (thank you Martin Luther).

                  It's also rather curious that at no point did Jesus speak out about one of the great evils of the ancient world (Slavery), and actually seems to indirectly condone it in Luke 12.
                  Slavery in the ancient world, for quite a few people, is how you earned a living.  Basically, you sold yourself to someone for a period of time.  They'd keep you alive and you were their property.  If you survived, then you'd be free to go, which might mean going from having a roof over your head and meals to begging in the street.

                  Christianity was the first religion to allow slaves/indentured servants to be members and to grant that they were full-fledged human beings regardless of their status in society.

                  Slavery in Jesus' time was not like slavery in America.

                  Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

                  by The Red Pen on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:28:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not a fan of the apology for ancient slavery. (0+ / 0-)

                    First, we're not talking just Biblical slavery.  There was all sorts of slavery in the Ancient world, of which Jesus would be fully aware, wherein the treatment of slaves was quite worse than what you allege.  It's not as if Jesus didn't have the opportunity to address it--how about discussing the issue with the Roman Centurion whose slave he heals?  The Romans certainly tolerated horrific conditions for slaves (it wasn't until the Emperor Claudius that laws were enacted offering Roman slaves any sort of legal protections).

                    Even so, the picture you paint of Biblical slavery isn't really true, according to the Bible itself.  The Old Testament lays out rules for selling one's own daughter into slavery, with nary a mention of her being allowed to object.  More importantly, the OT specifies that beating a slave is perfectly OK so long as the slave does not actually die.  As long as the slave can get up and walk within 3 days, no harm, no foul!  Is that something Jesus should find acceptable?

      •  Aw Geez, not this shit again (4+ / 0-)

        This is cited so fucking often I wrote a diary about it 3 years ago just for reference:

        http://www.dailykos.com/...!

        Also:

        Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

        by The Red Pen on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 05:24:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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