Dr. Dawg

Xian love

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Lionizing.jpg

Christians acting more like the lions in the arena: this topic has already come up over at DAMMITJANET!, but I thought I’d have a run at it as well.

I grew up agnostic, but was packed off to church camp and Sunday school by my parents. Perhaps they thought that this was another necessary dimension of socialization for the young’uns: they certainly never engaged in Biblical chatter at home. But through means such as this I became familiar with the Bible and its stories, and the paragon called Jesus.

While that mythical character showed clearly human traits—speaking rudely to his mother (John 2:1-5), whipping the moneylenders out of the temple (Matthew 21:12), wavering in his unshakeable conviction that he was the son of God (Matthew 27:46)—he also taught the Right Path as though he was already in the Kingdom, telling people how to get there from here. The Sermon on the Mount, even for an unbeliever, makes stirring reading.

The simply gigantic cognitive dissonance involved in espousing that clear doctrine while enthusiastically supporting war, racism, misogyny, homophobia, indeed the entire range of human bigotry and hatred, never fails to amaze me. The story that prompted this post doesn’t highlight cultural freaks like the Phelpsbrood, but relatively ordinary, but not very charitable people—the sort who comment on news stories at the National Post and the Sun. For them Christianity is just another flag to wave, another tribal talisman to separate Us from Them.

The haters have found ingenious if unconvincing ways of reading the biblical narrative, requiring adroit selection, evasion and rationalization. Preachers and congregants, they are living examples of Samuel Butler’s “petulant, capricious sects/The maggots of corrupted texts.” They hang around abortion clinics, abusing desperate young women. They threaten a sixteen-year-old girl with violence for daring to speak her mind. They have too much truck with Caesar, and not enough with the God they claim to worship.

The Biblical Christ knew these people were around:

“Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

But he likely never guessed there would be so damned many—snakeoil televangelists, ranting Qur’an-burners, misogynists, homophobes, and their myriads of mindless followers.

What would Jesus do? I suspect, driven beyond endurance, he would once again pick up his whip of knotted cords and drive them all out of the temple. Meanwhile, perhaps someone would be kind enough to take on this task in his name when the yammering Xian hordes select a young woman, or anyone else who has attracted their baleful attention, to be their next sacrificial victim.

[H/t SherryBGood, via deBeauxOs]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 17, 2012 10:38 AM.

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