Showing posts from June, 2016

Gays and the New Jerusalem

Disgustingly, some Christian pastors publicly celebrated the massacre at the Orlando gay nightclub in their sermons, on Youtube, and on their blogs. I will not provide links. Other conservative evangelical pastors were actually shaken enough to reconsider their approach to the Bible and the LGBTQ community.

The disgusting pastors love this verse. (Image from here.) So their understanding of god is good with  the slaughter of gay people and their friends who were not gay, because their god is totally offended with these versions of his creation. Even though their holy book says their god made humanity in his image, they think verses like these contradict other verses that say their god's creation of humanity was "very good." There is another verse in Leviticus that says God considers men having gay sex an abomination. Hence the follow up death penalty. The previous verse only said these guys needed to be kicked out of their community but two chapters later god doubles down…

Healthcare needs more than Jesus

In the last month, a Canadian family who let their son die of diabetes because they believed Jesus was enough to cure him were condemned in court for murder. Children's death by believers in the christian tradition of faith healing happen every year in the United States and Canada. It is obvious to those outside of their sects that they have read the Bible too literally.Yes, in the gospels Jesus does heal many people of illnesses. In the Acts of the Apostles, his disciples heal some people as well. There are indeed promises that some afflictions just need more prayer and that anything good asked of God will be granted. But experience has proven to be a regulator on how literally some promises should be taken. (Evidence photo found here.) Jesus is not always enough to keep people alive. Sometimes insulin is needed as well.

Most devout christians do not follow Paul's advice to Timothy when they have an upset stomach and drink a little wine to treat it. We understand Paul's a…

a life of charity

Bible translation is not simply replacing a hebrew, aramaic, or greek word for an equivalent in the receiver language.

Take for example the greek New Testament word, "agape". In modern English translations it is translated to the word "love." In Jacobian England, the translators of the King James Bible chose "charity." I think we Americans might need to go back to the KJV word. As many evangelicals know, ancient Greek has at least 4 words  that could be translated into "love". Agape is the word given special emphasis by the New Testament writers. But when we Americans think "love" we water it down. But when we hear "charity" we are forced to think about personal expense, compassion for one in need, generosity, withheld judgment, as well as love. Charity can also remind us of being lied to, of turning the other cheek when slapped, of blessing those who are our enemies, and of taking risks that sometimes turn out poorly. The thi…

America needs more than Jesus

In the wake of another mass shooting in the United States of America, some of us declare our country's need for Jesus. Yet, as this picture shows, Jesus is not enough.

Because people can be faithful born again church goers who are also racists or misogynists or rapists or murderers. Certainly Jesus can work on those issues in our hearts, but in the meantime, laws are useful in diminishing those abusive tendencies in all of us. In 1918 a law was proposed to oppose lynching. This law was passed because Jesus was not enough for the most Christian nation in the world. (A federal anti-lynching law has never been passed though.) The Supreme Court had to affirm the right of an inter-racial couple to be married contrary to state laws forbidding it, because Jesus was not enough. The Supreme Court told states that separate but equal was always separate but never equal and thus unconstitutional because Jesus' teaching on loving our neighbors and the least of these was not enough. The co…

History is not hate speech

As the Guardian reports,
Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Berlin after German MPs approved a motion describing the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a century ago as genocide – a decision that the Turkish president said would “seriously affect” relations between the two countries.  Those whose families were traumatized by Turkey's actions are grateful for the acknowledgment of their suffering. Turkey's offense over this acknowledgment is so notorious there are even several wiki articles about it. Here is one.

Armenian embassy members hold posters reading ‘Recognition now – thank you’ during the meeting in Berlin. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AP
It's not like Germany doesn't know anything about committing and apologizing for genocide.

Atrocities are not unknown in the United States either. I have 87 posts here on the treatment of native Americans by the white government. The ongoing treatment of African Americans is no longer as bad as slavery but the current pe…