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Over at the friendly atheist, the question is asked; 'was Jesus worth following?'

my response is, 'possibly, but maybe so are you.'

“If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what people are doing in his name, he wouldn’t stop throwing up”.-From Hannah and Her Sisters

There’s a popular idea that gets passed around that goes like this: 'Jesus was such a great moral teacher. It's too bad so many of his followers are total dicks.'

I’m tired of this idea, and it’s not one that I adhere to. Let’s flip it on it’s head:

There are some really great christians out there, too bad they have so little to work with in Jesus Christ.

A piece over at friendly atheist deals with the inadequacy of Jesus as a moral teacher in a good and convincing way. Take a look.

Jesus has been used as a symbol for some really great things. Kurt Vonnegut used him to maximum effect. He has been turned into a symbol of forgiveness, grace, and justice for many social movements and in many people's private lives. I know wonderful christians in my own life who aspire to be like Jesus, although they think they will never be as good as he was. They don’t know that they are already as good as he was, and sometimes they are better.

Maybe Jesus was a pretty decent person; I’m all for adopting role models.

I just wish christians would stop underestimating themselves.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jonathan Hoag

    Well? Shall we go? At least that man is gone.

    by whenwego on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:36:29 PM PDT

  •  People need to stop telling other people... (6+ / 0-)

    ...what they need to do.

    If the complaint of most Atheists is that they are (right;ly) sick and tired of being told what they need to think and .or believe - it ought not be lost on most why this diary is so obnoxious.

    I've never been evangelicized by a Christian on Dkos.  Wish I could say the same about Atheists.  

    Complaining on the internet is not dissent.

    by snout on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:37:35 PM PDT

    •  Quite So!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, stunster

      Live and let live, sez I (a committed Catholic)!

      To arrive at what now you do not enjoy, you must go where you do not enjoy. To reach what you do not know, you must go where you do not know. To come into possession of what you do not have, you must go where now you have nothing." SJOtC

      by LHB on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:48:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell that to Pope Ratzy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, whenwego

        Who just can't help but stick his nose in other peoples' business.
        Or Timothy Dolan.
        Or Raymond Burke.
        Or Bill O'Donahue.
        Need I go on?

        Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: I do the twit thing too @Smokin'JoeWGNU

        by Da Rat Bastid on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 04:28:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Amen, from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "The biggest cafeteria Christian on this site..." as I was slurred the other day.

      I will be canvassing for marriage equality in Maine. Will you?

      by commonmass on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 11:13:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's not my complaint about christianity. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Da Rat Bastid

      If someone thinks they have a better way than I do (including you), please tell me (which you have).

      I'm all about evangelizing for what you believe in.

      •  Okay. I believe in science. I believe in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prof Haley

        what can be proven, and when we find new evidence, I believe in changing what I believe. I don't believe in living my life according to writings of dead guys, especially not the writings or epileptics who had a fit while walking on the road to Damascus.

        I believe I won't be giving my hard earned money to preachers on TV who wear suits that cost more than I make in 4 months. I believe that "churches" who fight against my rights politically as in LGBT rights should be taxed. Actually, I believe that churches should be taxed as any business should be taxed, with the only deduction being what they actually spend on charity, not politics.

        And I believe that anyone who watches TV, listens to talk radio, reads a "Christian" magazine, or listens to any of the Republican primary candidates, knows that Christians in no way "underestimate themselves."

  •  Maybe Jesus was a pretty decent person (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LHB, commonmass

    He always played it safe too.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:41:58 PM PDT

  •  I Could Do Worse, You Know, Like I Always Have... (0+ / 0-)

    when it comes to emulating Jesus Christ Himself.

    To arrive at what now you do not enjoy, you must go where you do not enjoy. To reach what you do not know, you must go where you do not know. To come into possession of what you do not have, you must go where now you have nothing." SJOtC

    by LHB on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:50:57 PM PDT

  •  Here's another idea: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Da Rat Bastid, Prof Haley, whenwego

    suppose the whole Jesus mythology was created in a similar political climate to what is going on in the USA today, namely an oligarchy taking over a functioning government for their own ends, said government spending massive amounts of money on a social program that we'll call, for the sake of argument, 'grain relief'.  Suppose some people used some other, shall we say, gullible people, to advance their agenda for them, and convince everyone that the world would be a better place if 'grain relief' were stopped (since it's such a damn drain on the treasury what with those pesky deficits and all), and the poor would be much better off relying on the 'charity' of the Church.  After all, all these 'Church Fathers' were all looking after tens of thousands of widows and orphans each, personally (somewhere else of course.... let's say, in Africa).  So let's turn the whole thing over to Jesus, and if there isn't enough bread to go around he'll just conjure a bunch of it out of thin air to boot!  I mean, how bad could things possibly get, if we just stop giving food stamps, er, bread, to poor people?  It's not like the Church won't look after those who deserve help.

    •  Not too far off Kingsmeg (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Put the founding of xianity into context. It was formed when the first emperors of Rome came to power and the Empire controlled the global economy. Monotheism is nothing more than an extension of the exploitative worldview as a means to justify its' dominance.
      Ask an anthropologist. It's a sound theory.

      Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: I do the twit thing too @Smokin'JoeWGNU

      by Da Rat Bastid on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 03:49:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Breitbart's video (0+ / 0-)

    is a poor example for your thesis.  My faith in Christ is hardly shaken by the fact that he 'failed' to inform us about antibiotics.  And the attempt to connect the golden rule to the holocaust was frankly repugnant.

    I found this video rather silly.  It's unintentionally humorous and the stilted British accent and cut-out animation was eerily reminiscent of Monty Python.

    An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. -Benjamin Franklin

    by martinjedlicka on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 01:22:00 AM PDT

  •  Good questions (0+ / 0-)
    Should you always love your neighbor?

    Can someone truly forgive you for your sins?

    Is it right to preach about the afterlife when there’s no evidence it exists?

    Vicarious redemption is a puzzling idea, and of course rejected in society, but not in some churches.

    I'm finding a lot of things funny lately. But I don't think they are. -- Ripley

    by tytalus on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:49:01 AM PDT

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