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My mother is a fundamentalist Christian. I would consider myself a believer in the teachings of Jesus, but I refuse to call myself a Christian. The reason I refuse to call myself a Christian is because of how many who call themselves as such have distorted what Jesus taught.  Below the fold I will explain my statement about the fundies and relay a personal experience with my own mother which I believe supportsthe title of this diary.

My mother is the quintessential fundamentalist Christian.  She, and millions like her, would benefit from policies proposed by Progressives, yet they support Republicans up and down the ticket.  

There are two issues that drive my mother and the rest of the right wing Christians. The issues are abortion and homosexuality. I know this is no surprise to anyone.  

When I was in college I became an atheist.  After a rough patch, I grabbed a Bible and read the Gospels very thoroughly.  They gave me great comfort and helped me through that period.  Reading the Gospels re-enforced my Progressive beliefs.  I found directives about helping the poor, and loving our fellow humans, no matter who they are or where they came from.  Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see a thing in the Gospels about abortion or homosexuality.

As an atheist, I wouldn't talk about religion or politics, especially abortion and homosexuality.  As a Progressive follower of the teachings of Jesus, I knew those two issues had to be off the table.  Just like in the past, these subjects would only lead to a very ugly fight.  

However, I thought there were other teachings of Jesus that we could discuss.  I know this was naive on my part.  She believes that every word of the Bible is divine inspirational.  At least that is normally what she says.  I believe in the teachings of Jesus, but I do not take every world literally, nor believe that it was "written by God" through divine inspiration.

So one day I stuck my foot into it.  She violated the rule and mentioned something about politics.  Instead of letting it go, I asked her how she could support Republicans when they supported tax cuts for the rich and were wanting to cut so many programs for the poor.  I was like, Jesus tells us to help the poor, that we can not get into heaven if we worship something else (such as money and material things), that we should give comfort to those in need and it doesn't matter what they have done or who they are.

I brought up the time that Jesus says that it is almost, if not completely impossible for a rich person to get into Heaven.  I used the one where he says that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into Heaven.

So, imagine my surprise when she came back with the argument that there had been a mistake when the Bible was translated from Greek to Latin to English.  She said that there had been a passage in the wall of Jerusalem called the "Needle" because of the narrowness of the passage and that what Jesus was saying was that it was difficult for a camel to get through it.  

First, what happened to divine inspiration?  If the Bible was originally given to us through divine inspiration, then wouldn't the translations?  But at least in this case, my mother was willing to say there was fallibility in the various versions of the Bible.  However, this fallibility was only in areas where she was willing to accept it, but not in the areas where she couldn't.  

Second, and probably more importantly to me, she was willing to ignore some of the most important teachings of Jesus!  Again, I don't remember him discussing abortion and homosexuality.  But he did talk about the poor, and not passing judgment on others, or treating others as we would want to be treated.  Jesus pretty much said that if you are rich, you are fucked, give up any thoughts of Heaven.  Maybe there would be some exceptions, but I am thinking the "needle" He was talking about was a sewing utensil and not some crack in the wall of Jerusalem.

So the gist is that my mother and millions of other fundy Christians hate something that Jesus never mentioned so much that they are willing to ignore what he taught.  And in doing so, they will support Republicans who want to give more money to the rich and screw the poor.  Jesus' teaching be damned.

Originally posted to kaminpdx on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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