Throughout recorded history, religion has been responsible for the most hideous crimes against humanity. There are some positive religious benefits for people who lack compassion for fellow humans, but they hardly outweigh the negative aspects of religion. For the past year, Americans witnessed a sampling of the negative aspects of Christianity and there are few groups except the wealthy who escaped the wrath of good, god-fearing Christians. The latest expression of Christian love and compassion was a Wisconsin student’s school newspaper article opposing gay adoption; his argument featured bible verses commanding that homosexuality be punished by execution.
Conservatives and Fox News assailed the school district for reprimanding the student as a violation of his freedom of speech and religion, but their contention was meant to stir up opposition to tolerance, Liberals, and equal rights for all Americans. There is an excellent analysis by Hrafnkell Haraldsson that highlights the inhumane nature of the student’s article source and Christian hate towards the gay community. There is another aspect of the story that affects every Christian in America and if they removed their biblical blinders momentarily, it would be apparent their religion of choice is the problem; not evangelical extremists who are the embodiment of the faith.
Nearly every instance of criticism against Christian extremism engenders the automatic response from “real Christians” that fundamentalists and hate-filled evangelicals do not represent the true expression of Christ’s teachings or his message of compassion and charity. That argument may play well for like-minded, loving Christians, but it is inherently false and scripturally inaccurate. The evangelical fanatics, Dominionists, theocratic Reconstructionists, and hard-line fundamentalists are the embodiment of Christianity and there is one overriding piece of evidence no Christian or theologian can deny; the Christian bible.
Now, there are those who point out that evangelical hate stems from adhering to the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and that is certainly true. However, the entire Christian bible has, as its basis, the theme that non-compliance to its dogmata results in eternal death and everlasting damnation in a lake of fire. The evil, deadly joke from god and Jesus is that humans have free will to choose their own path, but if they choose to reject the bible’s rules and regulations, they will be cursed, possibly slaughtered by god’s servants, and burned for eternity. This simple premise begins in the Garden of Eden and continues through to the end of Revelation in the Christian bible. It is such an evil joke on humanity, that Revelation reveals that after Jesus returns and vanquishes Satan and his minions, he will resurrect every human being who ever existed and give them a thousand years to comply with god’s law. If they still reject Christianity, they will be killed again and condemned to burn forever. Keep in mind that the most evil men in history all get resurrected and given a thousand years to see the error of their ways and if they fail to change; they die again and then burn forever.
Many people contend that if Christians were serious about opposing the hateful religious extremists, they would raise their voices and decry Christian extremism typified by the high school student’s article citing the bible’s prohibition against and death sentence for homosexuality. But they cannot because of that one overriding piece of evidence; the Christian bible clutched next to their heart.
Conservatives and evangelical Christians are quick to point out that other religions’ scriptures are inherently evil, and their argument in favor of killing Muslims is the perfect example. Conservative Christians condemn Islam as intrinsically evil and violent because there are verses in the Quran that demand death for infidels (Christians) if they fail to convert to Islam. The Christian bible is rife with death and destruction for the Christian version of infidels (non-compliance) and that is the impetus for the religious right’s assault on women, gays, Democrats, Liberals, and peace-loving Americans. It is also why there is little difference between kind-hearted Christians and fundamentalist extremism that follows the precise meaning of the bible.
This is not an indictment of all Christians, but it is an indictment of Christianity as a belief system and “America’s religion.” It is unfortunate, but many Christians are oblivious to Christianity’s intolerance and destructive force and if they were sincere, they would spend time in quiet introspection reassessing their faith in a belief system that dictates intolerance, oppression of women, and death for non-compliance. If they did, they would be forced into a decision that either aligns them with evangelical extremism, Dominionists, and theocratic Reconstructionists, or ends their adherence to Christianity.
The point is simple for Christians; it is impossible to claim compassion for all humans as long as you hold a cross in one hand while clutching a Christian bible close to your heart, and before you point out that Jesus taught love and peace, he also taught that failure to follow god’s laws results in death, resurrection, death again, and eternal torture in a lake of fire. True Christians understand and it is why they are Dominionists, evangelical extremists, and Christian fundamentalists; anything else is non-compliance and results in death now and after Jesus returns, eternal torture in fire.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
30 Replies to “Right Wing Christians Can’t Claim Compassion While Preaching Hate”
I’m not entirely convinced by your argument, but I will say this: Christianity began as a very clandestine operation, perforce given the times they were living in and no thanks to the Roman Empire.
Speaking as a Pagan, the Romans were no joke: their idea of a righteous good dinner involved vomiting on the floor. Like America today, they let their poor die in the streets, and one-upped our current society by keeping slaves. Imagine the callousness of today’s Conservatives coupled with rampant racism and sexism from the early 1800s, then throw a hundred or so rather petty and very flawed Gods and Goddesses into the mix.
The Roman Empire eventually got around to actually liking the Christians and there went the neighbourhood, in bold caps. The Christians first emerged in that hideous sociopolitical stew and they learnt the wrong lesson. Like the child who was beaten throughout his childhood, and then turns into a child- and wifebeater in adulthood, Christianity is just acting according to the way it was raised. In an abusive household.
I second that.
How are these so called Christians on any moral high ground? Th stand for hate and freed. God does not approve, or at least that’s what Jesus told us.
If you follow the bible strictly and belive that homosexuality must be punished, then you must also punish adultery…Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and other Xtians would accordingly be stoned to death….
Not to diminish from your point but Newt is a poor example. The biblical understanding of adultery is that no man can have sexual relations with someone other than his wife if the other woman was married. If he does so, he must then marry her. Funny enough Newt is quite biblical in his infidelities.
But this underscores a broader point. What we now consider the meanings of words to represent actions are not necessarily what the intent in the bible. Most thumpers should actually acquaint themselves with the scholarship surrounding the verses the quote and their meanings in the actual text. Not some translation of a translation of a translation written in the 17th century.
Rmuse, what about me? I think you should know me well enough to know that I am nothing like the dominionists and fundamentalists (or the “mainstream” Christians who have not really resisted them), yet I’ve been painted (again) with the same brush because I am Christian.
Plus, there is a deadly flaw in your argument. Not all Christians believe in hell. Look up Universalism. The Universalist church merged with the Unitarian church only a few decades ago. There are many UU Christians, and our form of Christianity is quite old (although rejected by most Christians). (To get a little idea of our viewpoint, visit http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/107992.shtml ) The idea of God punishing people for eternity is in a word laughable (although the words sad and disgusting also apply). We don’t believe in hell. It’s useful for a curse word, but that’s about it. Our vision of God accepts EVERYONE.
I agree that there is a great deal of parallels between Islam and Christianity, and they only increase from my point of view. Just as Mohammad’s verses were written down after his death and re-arranged, so it was with Jesus’ words. Both have been guilty of atrocities (along with many of the other religions) and both (all) have good things in them. If you get past all of the added verbiage meant to turn the core teachings (of Jesus and Mohammad) into a means of control and manipulation, both say similar things. These teachings are also not just limited to those two… many other prophets over time have said much the same (I hear the echo in many religions). Plus need I remind people that nobody is perfect?
Plus, religions evolve just as species do. In the case of Christianity, two species are forming – those who are like you describe (focused on suffering, death, and violence), and those that think more like I do. I can argue at least as strongly (and I think far more strongly) as to why my viewpoint/theology is more in tune with what Jesus actually taught – what little we have of Jesus’ own words (some of the words attributed to Jesus were probably later additions). I just hope our “species” doesn’t become extinct. (Personally, if dominionism became extinct, IMO it would be a good thing for the world!)
I admit I’m simplifying things again. It’s hard to get the concepts and ideas in my head out in text.
The thing is, the Christianity I accept is based upon God’s acceptance of people where and how they are, and that God relates to people in the way they best understand (while always trying to widen their viewpoint and get them to be more Godlike – kind, caring, healing, accepting). It’s not a perfect vision, but in reality nothing ever is perfect – it’s like trying to approach infinity. In that light, the description of Christianity as you’ve laid out doesn’t apply. However, at the same time, I do think I understand where you’re coming from (probably as best as anyone can) and agree that Christianity must change, and come to grips with history. The things done in Jesus’ name are horrific (same as done in Mohammad’s name and in Moses’ name and in…). As you know, I’ve experienced some of them first-hand.
You may also from this glean a bit of understanding on how I feel about dominionism and fundamentalism… they are the inverse of everything I stand for.
I think of Christians like I think of cops. If the good ones don’t ‘police’ the bad ones and keep them in check or corrected, then all are doomed to be tarred with the same brush.
After years of watching the cruelest people I’ve met always be the ones to tout their Christianity, it is only my innate politeness that prevents me from physically recoiling when someone tells me they are a Christian.
I’m not an atheist and I believe there is a Divine source. I also believe that Jesus was a historical being with a great deal to teach us.
But, give me a skinhead who practices his/her hatred openly and without disguise over the sanctimonious hatred of Christians who feel they are following a Divine law.
@A Walkaway – logic and kindness may say that you are right, but your brothers and sisters in Christ have tarnished the name and their actions have spoken so loudly that I can hear nothing else.
Just sign me as one who is ‘still bleeding’ from my encounters with Christians.
I am a (former) Christian minister. My contentions have as their basis the bible. I understand the evolution perfectly, but strictly speaking, any variation is considered heresy. I am no longer a preacher because the faith is too nasty for me as dictated by Scripture. I know you’ve had nearly as much trouble with extremists as I have, but they do have scriptural basis for their behavior; unfortunately. I do, however, appreciate Universalist’s teachings. I have no argument with Jesus’ teachings, but in the bible’s final analysis, it is comply or die.
I daresay that the majority of thumpers don’t even know the word “scholarship”, and it seems they desperately do NOT want their offspring to have anything to do with scholarship either. Forget about learning anything outside of their church or their religious school or — even worse — the crap that passes as home schooling material. They are only prepared to listen to their pastor. Sheeple, every last one of them…..
(Laugh) I only get that from the things researchers are pretty certain were added or changed – or written to justify bad behavior or to justify the existence of the Jewish people (for the OT). In my reading and study on the Bible, I see glimmers of truth (words of Jesus for instance) buried in mounds of rubble and dirt. It takes real excavation to get to them.
I think I stand in good company as far as heresy. The things I read make Arian look more and more correct in his understanding (which I believe most of the documents regarding him are biased). I even thing Jesus himself was a heretic. I certainly reject most of the orthodox teachings – substitutionary atonement, importance of sacrificial love (to a degree… IMO Jesus did NOT sacrifice himself – he was murdered for resisting the status quo), obedience theology… to me they are all crap.
I find that I can argue against most of the scriptural basis for dominionist behavior. For instance, their hatred of LGBT people. I’ve known quite a few scholars and would someday like to be considered one myself. A couple whose specialty is translation of old Biblical texts have said that the words in the “clobber” scriptures were at best poorly translated… that the actual meaning was probably to not sexually “use” young male ritual prostitutes (because it was demeaning to them in multiple ways). I’ve learned that even some scriptures that seem clear really were not – for instance, the saying about “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out” really was a proverb meaning “stop a problem when it’s small and easy to deal with, rather than let it grow into something that is difficult to solve”.
The fact that there used to be a book that was just a listing of all of the sayings of Jesus, and that the early RC church declared the book to be heretical and ordered that any Christian who finds the book was to destroy it… that strongly suggests to me that much of what became the Bible was written to support the status quo. That’s the rubble and overburden I was talking about. Plus I’ve read the history of how the final form of the Bible took shape, and it’s pure nasty politics. (I need to add that the banned book is considered to predate the Gospel of Judas, and that that early book probably drew on the first record.)
In fact, IMO, Jesus own teachings violate the spirit and sometimes the text of the Bible! It’s amazing how many people I’ve met who admire his teachings and example, but dislike everything else. Maybe that’s an “inner voice” telling us all to get past the overburden?
So in a way, we do agree… the Bible has serious problems and flaws. Just like most books. Therefore, if people form their religion around the Bible without really looking at and admitting the flaws and shortcomings and distortions of Jesus’ (and the prophets’) message… well, that’s the genetic “mutation” that separates me from the other “species” of Christianity.
I too bleed from the encounters. Sometimes physically. Unless I’m in a situation where I’m trapped – when someone starts talking religion I turn my back and walk away (doing that actually led to one of my physical injuries).
I do think I rather understand where you’re coming from. I really don’t consider them to be my “Brothers and Sisters in Christ”… they’re almost another species IMO (especially the militant/preachy ones). I don’t recognize the Jesus they preach.
Let’s just say that it’s OK to be angry, to rage, to even feel hate towards those who preach and harm (that’s often something a Walkaway has to learn… to allow him or herself to feel the negative emotions that were bottled up for so long). Just try to remember that there are people who don’t think remotely like them.
(I am far more comfortable around pagans, atheists, Jews, LGBT people – minorities in general, especially compared to being around “Good Christians”.)
Most of the major religions define their adherents as special in the eyes of God, which means that ‘others’ are ‘less than’. This basic premise sets up conflict as members of one group try to assert their superiority over members of another. IMO, all religion boils down to an attempt to control, thus garnering power and resources for the privileged few–usually the hierarchy. And nothing controls better than setting people up to attempt to curry favor. To expect love and compassion from such sources is unrealistic. Maybe Jesus could do it, but what does Christianity have to do with Jesus?
The only thing these hypocrites have compassion for is cheating on your wife with male prostitutes.
“…Christianity is just acting according to the way it was raised…”
It’s called multi-generational trauma-drama; I’ve added the word “drama” to the term because their initial “antics” are mostly their “acting out” on the world;what follows is the trauma they inflict upon others as well as themselves( perhaps, the root of most personality disorders).
I has always seemed bizarre, a strange aberration, that somewhere along the line, Christians “borrowed” mixed in the Eastern religions’ concept of “karmic rebirth” (a human will come back and do it over if one were really evil, which actually means, EVERYBODY because according to their doctrine, all humans are born in sin).
Isn’t this concept actually contradictory (circular?) to their other doctrine that re-birth isn’t possible because human “A” didn’t become/be a Christian “do-bee” when walking the earth? And, that all other religious belief systems are “wrong”, especially those of the “occult”, as in, people who practiced other forms of worship before Christianity? When did this aspect of Bodhisattva philosophy become part of their doctrine? Which Testament? OT or NT?
My heart goes out to you because of the contortions you go through in order to cling to such a connsumately failed hypothesis. My own scholarship has uncovered all too easily subterfuge, averice, hypocrisy and blatant megalomania too central and intrinsic to the entire narrative for any of The Word to stand as any manner of truth or virtue. Not only are your scholarly friends correct about the clobber verses — the first in Chapter 18 is about temple prostitutes (both male and female) and the second in Chapter 20 concerns the sanctity of a woman’s bed from violation other than for procreation, and never is there any reference in the original Talmud text about capital punishment for what was considered a social faux pas rather than an abomination. Thank you, James II, ca. 1601. Not the least revelation of study is how Saul of Tarsus was a predatory charlatan and usurper who not only never heard or saw Jesus, but found it more advantageous, or at least more to his liking, to control for his own advantage the “Jesus Movement” followers than to persecute them, and used his clout as a Roman citizen to gain advantage as he deposed James, Jesus’s brother, and the Apostles who actually lived and worked with Jesus. Saul, cum Saint Paul, was the original televangelist snake oil salesman and collected its relative riches. And, the list goes on until three centuries later and the advent of Constantine and Eusebius’s fabrication of the New Testament, their suppresion of inconvenient contradictions, not to mention subsequent political and ideological alterations to the text through the sixteenth century as well as the cafeteria style, pick-and-choose (as you so readily demonstrate) relativistic interpretations of what’s applicable, relevant, true, alegorical, metaphorical or not worth the time of day. And, none of it provable? I’m sorry, but there’s only so much self deception and delusion over which I’m willing to indulge. While I’m still working out the effects of a childhood’s worth of the Word’s institutionalized codependence and self loathing, I’m much freer as I’m no longer obligated to wrestle with all those Abrahamic daemons. And, deamons they are, one and all, exactly on par with every wickedness, spiritual usurper, devil and devil’s consort to spring for the mind of the erstwhile faithful. Huh-uh. No, thanks.
Have you read about the latest findings toward proving the nexus between the energetic states of heat and matter? String theory, the Higgs boson. Things are proving to be connected in ways the Bible, purported to have all the answers, never could have envisioned. And, nobody has to die to prove it’s true!
I’m in the same boat as A Walkaway and many others who consider themselves followers of Jesus, but understand the scholarship and history surrounding the Bible and where the “texts of hate” come from. What Christianity has made of the teachings of Jesus is complete crap. Most of fundamentalism is based on the gospel of John and Revelation, both of which were written 70 to 100 years after Jesus death and were not accepted as scripture for a long time. When they were accepted it was by Greek or Egyptian church leaders that never met Jesus (it was over 100 years after his death)and who hated Jews. The bigots also choose selectively from the Jewish laws in Leviticus, particularly for anti-gay rhetoric, while conveniently ignoring the rest.
The point is, the aspects of Christianity claimed by the bigots are post-Jesus inventions and based on unsupportable Bible literalism and authority. There is a much more authentic Christianity based on scholarship and the “Sermon on the Mount” type of teachings that better reflect what he actually said. Don’t blame Jesus or rational Christians for the vicious talk and actions of those who have ignorantly or maliciously stolen his name. Many of us speak up, as I’m doing now, against the bigotry and hatred. Our enemy is not Christianity, it’s ignorant fundamentalism and Fox News.
I would disagree that the Bible is rife with death and destruction, unless that’s your focus. The central message of the Gospels (and all the other NT writings for that matter) is that Jesus commanded us to love our God with all of our strength and love our neighbor as ourselves. He further teaches that you must love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you. Additionally, He calls us to forgive those who wrong us every time they ask, not matter how many times they wrong us.
Where in this message is there room for hate? Where is the death and destruction? Love others and you will have life. That’s a pretty simple message.
I remember when the last thread of religious belief left me. I was when I was reading how the bible came to be. How the particular books were chosen and how some were rejected. I remember thinking that all of it was just manmade and there was nothing spiritual about it. It’s also interesting to hear all of the thousands of versions of christian belief. And every group thinks that they are right and everyone else is wrong
It actually was an Essenic concept, and it’s possible that the historical Jesus spent his teens and Twenties on the Subcontinent. But belief in it was officially declared anathema at the council of Nicea, and the more obvious references purged from the New Testament. It actually re-entered Christian belief only in the Twentieth Century, and that under the table. It is not received doctrine in any denomination that I know of.
I haven’t been following the recent physics research beyond reading an article now and then, but you need to think about this – the Bible doesn’t say anything about a great many topics… like DNA, or Emergence Theory, or Fractals, or elemental analysis or planetary orbits, or quantum mechanics, or quantum intertwining (I could go on and on).
It’s not a science book and never was. It’s about people – relationships, errors, failures, trying to defend one’s right to exist (purpose of a lot of the “history” in the OT), and so on.
It’s also wrong to take a “have to accept the whole thing or reject the whole thing” stance. I hear the same from the Dominionists and the arguments are exactly the same, but coming from different directions. I find your charge of “cafeteria style” to be rather disgusting and ignorant, by the way. You’ve shown some knowledge (and strong bias) regarding the history of the Bible… well, I know a bit too. Enough so that I know that the “all or nothing” hypothesis (as a colleague of mine puts it) is just as wrong when someone opposed to Christianity uses it as when a Bible-pounder uses it. Let’s put it this way… archaeology has supported parts of the Bible even as it’s disproved others. Does that mean that since parts of the Bible are shown to be valid, the rest must be also? Of course not. The inverse also is not valid… since science has disproved parts of the Bible, therefore the Bible is completely wrong? That just cannot be defended.
I also don’t understand your saying that people must die to prove something is true. If you think I’m advocating death for someone, you need to go back and look at what I’ve written. If you think I support religious murder, well, think again. Don’t put words in my mouth or “beliefs” in my faith.
Indeed, your “scholarship” needs to take in a far broader range of sources and you need to withhold judgment until you’ve done so. Have you examined the archaeology behind the Bible? The linguistic aspects (including the problems inherent in translating two completely different languages into a third without loosing most of the actual meaning)? The problems with cultural translation? The historic sources that reveal the political and economic situation of the time and place? What about a little psychology and sociology… trying to understand the motivations of the people and how things would have affected them?
If you did so, you’d demonstrate a far more nuanced view than your diatribe demonstrates.
Even though they are giving us a message about the Burning Times, maybe this British band might just be talking about today’s extreme churches as well.
Now that rocks out for sure
“The evangelical fanatics, Dominionists, theocratic Reconstructionists, and hard-line fundamentalists are the embodiment of Christianity and there is one overriding piece of evidence no Christian or theologian can deny; the Christian bible.”
This article is just as bad as the bilge the right-wing christians pump out. The rubbish that the conservatives say is not representative of the Bible, and certainly not of Christ. This article is misleading and pure ideology.
If you want to make your argument, you will need to produce evidence – references from the Bible that you claim are awful, and other evidence.
Man has created mayhem without the help of religion; the examples of Hitler and Stalin overwhelmingly contradict you.
If you want a debate, have one; just don’t make such silly statements.
First, you’re assuming that the Bible is inerrant… which it isn’t.
Next, where does it say everyone gets resurrected after the Tribulation and made to live by God’s will? There have been only two resurrections up to this point and only involving the dead who were saved, those who were alive at the rapture and saved and those who died in the Tribulation after saying no to becoming cyborgs by having microchip implants in their brains so they can connect to the internet – the only place to buy or sell from the Beast – the world corporation that controls all food and drinking water in the end… That “mark” of the Beast… those are WiFi receptors!!
Being a fundamentalist Atheist is just as bad as being a fundamentalist Christian. You both worship your religion which is idolatry and worship of the Devil in any form. It is obvious you took the literal interpretation of the Bible for your Christian bashing. Nice try but I’m not impressed.
Jesus said for one to be saved one must become born again. This is a state of mind, not the act of being immersed in water. That is just symbolic. To become born again is to accept that all instilled teachings and traditions are a LIE.. this goes for Organized Religion. It’s all a lie! Jesus said I am the way and the life, the alpha and the omega, the first and the last. The only way to come to God is by ME. BY ME!! Not by the bible! Not by the cross! Not by one’s religion! By Christ!
Oops, my reply was to the main author… Sorry about that!
Right! The bible is not the word of God, Christ is.
the Mark of the beast was around when they started printing coins, that it was paper money, that it was your checkbook that was the mark of the beast, then credit cards became the Mark of the beast, and now when Hillary Clinton besides that you’re going to get an implant that is the Mark of the beast. and now you’re telling us that it’s Wi-Fi receptors.
I am an atheist. I do not worship any idols nor do I worship the devil. Thankfully I am free from having to worship anything.
There is no rapture. It’s not in the Bible.
Hitler is not a good example. His biggest supporters were the churches, and he himself talked religion in his sermons (speeches). The present Republican candidates do remind me of him in some ways.
Otherwise, I’m not sure you’d accept it even IF people pointed out all the flaws and errors and so on in the Bible. There are many, and if someone else has the time to debate them with you… maybe they’ll speak up.
Wi-Fi receptors. OMG!!!
Thanks for the laugh!!! I needed one.
Wi-Fi receptors indeed. I thought the dominionists had learned their lesson with their bar codes bullshit of the 70s and early 80s.
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