Posts Tagged “bible”
It figures. A month ago I blogged about something Marion “Pat” Robertson said, after not having mentioned him in a long time. And now here he comes, with some more notable commentary. This time, he actually indicted himself. Right Wing Watch reports on his latest blunder (WebCite cached article):
Following a news story on the 700 Club about the Profitable Sunrise investment scam [cached], televangelist Pat Robertson told viewers to beware “scamsters in religious garb quoting the Bible, I mean run from them.”
In case you don’t believe he actually said this, here it is, via Youtube:
Hmm, I wonder who could possibly fit that description … someone who’s “dressed in religious garb” and always “quoting the Bible” … that every Christian should “run from.” Hmm. Who could that be? I wonder … !
To be clear, this is one of those (exceedingly rare) occasions when I agree with Robertson about something. He is absolutely correct when he says people need to “run from” “these scamsters in religious garb quoting the Bible.” They truly are “all over the place.” Including CBN!
Photo credit: CBN, via the Raw Story.
Hat tip: Apathetic Agnostic Church.
, marion pat robertson
, pat robertson
, profitable sunrise
, profitable sunrise investment scam
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Four years ago, the Right-wing blogosphere … led by the ever-outraged Matt Drudge … bitched and whined like little babies over the fact that President Barack Obama was re-sworn into office (which had to be done because Chief Justice John Roberts fumbled the original ceremony) without any Bible. Now that he’s being sworn in a second time, the Chicago Tribune reports Obama is taking measures to head off any such controversy (WebCite cached article):
When President Barack Obama is sworn in at the White House on Jan. 20, he will place his hand on a Bible from Chicago, one the first lady’s father gave his mother as a gift in the 1950s, inauguration officials said today. …
The official swearing-in on Jan. 20, which is a Sunday, will precede the large-scale oath-taking ceremony that will take place at the Capitol the next day, when President Obama will use two other Bibles, one stacked atop the other.
He’ll turn to the Lincoln Bible, as he did in 2009, when he became the first president to use that Bible since President Abraham Lincoln did so for his swearing-in March 4, 1861.
President Obama also will use a Bible that was the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “traveling Bible,” used to prepare sermons and speeches. The Jan. 21 swearing-in falls on the Martin Luther King federal holiday.
This is a very literal example of the proverbial “swearing on a stack of Bibles.” It’s also an example of the absurd and ridiculous things politicians are required to do, in order to pander to the immature and irrational impulses of the country’s religionistic masses.
Photo credit: Bart Stupak, via Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: barack obama
, holy bible
, oath of office
, president barack obama
, president obama
, swear on bible
, swearing in
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A little over a couple months ago I wrote my blog page about Bible passages that most Christians love to ignore. Since then I’ve gotten a lot of very nice comments — and even more personal correspondence sent to me directly rather than tacked on as comments — which I appreciate. I honestly do, so I thank you all for your kind words.
If you’re a Christian who likes what I wrote in that article, though, I’d prefer that you show it to your fellow Christians. Show them what Jesus Christ supposedly taught. Show them they’re not doing it right. Tell them to change their ways, so their words and deeds are more in line with what Christianity’s holy scripture actually says, rather than what they’d like it to have said. Tell them to be more like the Jesus Christ they claim to follow, rather than creatively reinterpreting his words and actions so as to justify whatever it is they feel like doing. Tell them their mortal souls are in peril unless they do.
And while you’re at it, you might also want to ask them why a cold-hearted, cynical, godless agnostic heathen knows their own holy book better than they do. (For the record, there’s a reason for that: I was raised Catholic, but became a Protestant fundamentalist before eventually becoming the Agnostic I am now.)
So if you like what I wrote, and feel as though you might want to do something nice for me in return, then please show it to your fellow Christians, and use it educate them. They may not thank your for it, but I do.
Photo credit: Cross Duck, via Flickr.
, bible passages
, bible verse
, bible verses
, holy bible
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I’ve just posted a new static page on my blog, describing a number of Bible verses that Christians generally don’t obey. I’m not quite sure why this would be the case, since some of them are widely quoted and are featured in Jesus’ two most famous sermons, the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain. Nevertheless, few Christians these days live by them. And Christians have been refusing to live by them, almost since the founding of their religion. So ignoring these verses is a very long and very deep Christian tradition, that will be difficult to root out.
The reason why these verses are ignored is because — to be perfectly honest — they’re inconvenient to practice. Poverty as a spiritual ideal is not all that attractive; and pacifism to the point of not defending oneself is none too appealing either.
Nevertheless, these things — and more — are all explicitly mandated by Christianity’s most sacred texts, which means Christians must go along with them … or cease being Christians. It really is that simple. My guess is that most of the disobedient Christians who refuse to follow these instructions, are nevertheless going to continue refusing to follow them, and continue calling themselves Christians, even though their disobedience means they’re not.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
P.S. In case you were wondering, here’s a list of the verses covered in that page, in Biblical order:
Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18
Matthew 6:19-21, 24
Matthew 24:36, 42
1 John 1:8-10
Revelation 3:14, 17-18
If you want to know more about these verses, you’ll just have to find out for yourself!
Update: I’ve gotten some comments, and a lot of personal correspondence, about that page. I responded to that a couple days ago in another blog post.
, jesus christ
, sermon on the mount
, sermon on the plain
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Perhaps the most influential single theologian in the US is R. Albert Mohler. As the head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he’s the doctrinal custodian of the Southern Baptist Convention, and thus serves as one of the commandants of the Religious Right. I’m not sure why they thought they should do it, but CNN published his idiotic apologia for the Religious Right’s relentless war against gays (WebCite cached version):
Are conservative Christians hypocritical and selective when it comes to the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality? With all that the Bible condemns, why the focus on gay sex and same-sex marriage?
Given the heated nature of our current debates, it’s a question conservative Christians have learned to expect. “Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”
Unfortunately, despite having posed it, Al doesn’t actually answer this question. Rather, he rationalizes avoiding an answer altogether. I’ll let his dodges and swerves speak for themselves … if you can stomach reading it.
What I would like to point out, is that Al — even though he’s a strict Biblical literalist — factually lied about what the Bible says:
Some people then ask, “What about slavery and polygamy?” In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery, and it prizes freedom and human dignity.
In reality, the New Testament most assuredly does support slavery. It does so more than once, in fact. Read on:
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Eph 6:5-6).
Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. (Col 3:22)
I’m astonished that a supposed expert on the Bible such as Al Mohler would have said something as clearly and demonstrably untrue as this … but he did, nonetheless. Did he really think no one would notice his lie? Did he really think that people like myself, who have actually read the Bible (not only in English, but in other languages, including the original κοινη Greek of the New Testament), would not have been aware of this? Did he really think people are that fucking stupid? My guess is, he did think he’d get away with it — largely because he’s preaching to his own choir; other Southern Baptists would have taken him at his word and not questioned his statement. Regardless of his presumption of being able to get away with it, though, Al’s lie earns him entry into my “lying liars for Jesus” club.
It’s obvious by now that America’s Christofascists have to resort to lying about their own religion in order to support their hateful rhetoric. I’m not sure where in any of Jesus Christ’s own teachings they discovered the mandate to lie about him, but I’m sure they must have found it. Somewhere. I haven’t managed to find that chapter and verse, but Al and his cohorts must know what it is. I wonder if they’ll deign to divulge it to the rest of us “mere mortals”?
Photo credit: james.thompson.
Tags: al mohler
, albert mohler
, biblical literalism
, biblical literalist
, biblical literalists
, christian bible
, christian right
, col 3:22
, colossians 3:22
, eph 6:5-6
, ephesians 6:5-6
, liar for jesus
, liars for jesus
, lying liar for jesus
, lying liars for jesus
, r albert mohler
, religious right
, slavery in the bible
, slavery in the new testament
, southern baptist convention
, southern baptist theological seminary
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In a move that’s sure to warm the cockles of the Religious Right within the Commonwealth, WITF in Harrisburg reports that Pennsylvania’s House unamimously voted to declare 2012 “the Year of the Bible” (WebCite cached article):
With a unanimous vote last week, House members declared 2012 the “Year of the Bible.”
The resolution recognizes the book that has shaped the Commonwealth and the “national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.”
The article gratuitously adds a little of the “Christian martyr complex”:
Sponsoring Republican Rep. Rick Saccone of Allegheny County said he’s been getting a bit of critical feedback on the measure.
Oh, the poor thing! How utterly horrible to be criticized for this! Why, it’s intolerable!
Ironically, while he’s defending the importance of the Commonwealth “recognizing” the Bible’s importance, Saccone dismisses his own measure as meaningless:
Saccone said it’s like many other largely symbolic pieces of legislation recognizing Girl Scout Week, honoring Jewish chaplains, or paying tribute to military veterans.
Believe me, the Religious Right will not view this declaration as “merely symbolic.” They will, instead, fallaciously use it as “evidence” of their “Christian nation” scenario … insisting that the entire country must revere the Bible exactly as they do, and must, by extension, be Christian just like them. Sorry to break it to them, but this is not a “Christian nation,” and little maneuvers like this one can never make it so.
As for the “national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures,” I question this in the strongest terms. The Bible contains a lot of “teachings” which no moral or ethical person should ever even contemplate doing, much less “apply” in their lives. Among them are the following:
- All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. (Gen 7:21-23)
- Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. (Ex 12:29)
- He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. (Ex 21:17)
- We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women and children of every city. (Dt 3:6)
- Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Dt 19:21)
- If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. (Dt 22:23-24)
- They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. (Jo 6:21)
- Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Sm 15:2-3)
- How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock. (Ps 137:9)
- And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. (Rev 9:17-18)
- And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Rev 20:9)
The above is but a minuscule sampling of the horrific teachings contained within the Bible; there are many more I could have picked from.
It’s true the Bible contains some good teachings, such as what one finds in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain, which includes sayings such as “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God,” “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” and “whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” But really, how many Bible-venerating Christians obey those particular teachings? None that I know of.
As it turns out, all the signatories to this declaration may well have expressly violated one of the Bible’s teachings:
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. (Mt 6:1)
I can’t think of any more noticeable and public a way of expressing one’s Christian faith than by voting for this measure; hence, I can’t see how this couldn’t possibly be disobeying Jesus himself!
Photo credit: Ian Britton, via FreeFoto.
Tags: 1 Samuel 15:2-3
, christian bible
, christian right
, Deuteronomy 19:21
, Deuteronomy 22:23-24
, Deuteronomy 3:6
, Exodus 12:29
, Exodus 21:17
, Genesis 7:21-23
, pennsylvania general assembly
, pennsylvania house
, pennsylvania house of representatives
, pennsylvania legislature
, Psalms 137:9
, religious right
, Revelation 20:9
, Revelation 9:17-18
, year of the bible
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I have to give the guy credit for being tenacious. Even in the face of the spectacular failure of his May 21, 2011 “Second-Coming of Jesus” prediction,
Bible scholar religionist crank Harold S. Camping remains unshaken in his claim that his “prophecy” will ultimately come to pass. His had always been a two-part prediction: That Jesus Christ would return on May 21, 2011 — ushered in by a vast globe-spanning earthquake, among other “signs” — followed 6 months later, on October 21, 2011, by an even more catastrophic “End of the World.”
Obviously the events he predicted would happen this past May never took place, but afterward Camping rationalized away his failure. WIth his promised “End of the World” coming up in just a few days, as LiveScience reports, Camping remains firmly and irrationally committed to his (already-demonstrably false) crankish scenario (WebCite cached article):
The radio preacher who predicted Judgment Day on May 21 has not backed down from his claims that the end of the world is near, despite the lack of a Rapture or world-devastating earthquakes leading up to the doomsday.
In an announcement on his Family Radio Network website, Harold Camping stands by his earlier predictions that the world will end on Friday, Oct. 21. Originally, Camping had predicted hourly earthquakes and God’s judgment on May 21, to be followed by months of torment on Earth for those individuals left behind. Using numerical codes extracted from the Bible, Camping set the date for the end of everything for Oct. 21.
The article briefly explains how — in typical crankish manner — Camping redefined both the events of this past May 21, and his own prediction about it, so as to make himself still look “correct” even though he most certainly was not:
When May 21 came and went without fanfare, Camping revised his story. The “earthquakes” he had predicted did occur, he writes on his website in a post titled “What Happened on May 21?” — only instead of shaking the Earth, God shook mankind “with fear.” Likewise, although no one was raptured, God is no longer saving souls, Camping writes.
“What really happened this past May 21st?” Camping wrote. “What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen.”
I’m really not surprised at the screaming irrationality that Camping exhibits. He’s invested a lot of his time and money into his doomsday predictions (including a prior one that failed to come true back in 1994). For him to just throw up his hands — after all these years and after all these predictions — and just ‘fess up to having been wrong, would obviate all of that … not to mention it would call into question whether he should consider returning the millions of dollars in donations he and his organization have collected over the past couple years, from his sheep who believed in his obviously-wrong predictions. Simple economics and personal pride, then, all but force him to insist that “the End of the World” will take place this coming Friday, October 21, 2011. He just can’t help himself. Even if the rest of us know better.
Finally, for the record, I’d like to point out something that is also demonstrable, and that is that all Biblical prophecy is bullshit. A putrid, steaming load scooped right out of the back of the barn. All “Biblical prophecies” are false! Every stinking last one of them. Every time. All the time. And it will always and forever be so, because the very words of the Bible prove it, beyond the shadow of any possible doubt. It’s not up for debate or interpretation or number-crunching or anything else — it simply is. Period.
Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker.
, bible prophecy
, biblical prophecy
, end of the world
, end times
, failed prediction
, failed predictions
, failed prophecy
, failed prophet
, failed prophets
, family radio
, family radio network
, harold camping
, harold s camping
, jesus christ
, oct 21 2011
, october 21 2011
, return of jesus
, second coming
, second coming of jesus
1 Comment »
With Christofascist Michele Bachmann leaping to the fore of the pack of Religious Rightists who are climbing all over each other to become the Republican candidate for president next year, and she being a rigid fundamentalist Christian, I suppose it was inevitable that the scriptural role of women in Christianity (especially in Bachmann’s version of it) would come up. She appeared on all the Sunday shows — since she won the more or less useless Iowa Straw Poll — and addressed this on Face the Nation, as CBS News reports (WebCite cached article):
Appearing on “Face the Nation” Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann stood by her comment in Thursday’s Republican debate that when she said that wives should be submissive to their husbands, she meant that married couples should have mutual respect.
In 2006, Bachmann said her husband had told her to get a post-doctorate degree in tax law. “Tax law? I hate taxes,” she continued. “Why should I go into something like that? But the lord says, be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
Naturally, therefore, this dutiful scriptural Christian wife did precisely as her husband had told her to do. In other words, she was obedient. However, when questioned on this, Bachmann said something very different:
“I respect my husband, he respects me,” she said. “We have been married 33 years, we have a great marriage…and respecting each other, listening to each other is what that means.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t see how “obedience” can be “mutual,” a word which implies “equality.” Continued questions only caused Bachmann to fall into even more ridiculous semantic claims:
“Do you think submissive means subservient?” O’Donnell asked.
“Not to us,” Bachmann said. “To us it means respect. We respect each other, we listen to each other, we love each other and that is what it means.”
Unfortunately, neither “submissive” nor “subservient” even comes close to implying the kind of equanimity that Bachmann outlines in that last sentence.
Those not familiar with fundamentalist Christianity may not understand what this is all about. It comes from two Bible verses, nearly identical, found in two different deutero-Pauline epistles — Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18. These are translated into English variously:
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (New American Standard Bible)
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (King James Version)
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. (New American Bible)
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (NASB)
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (KJV)
Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. (NAB)
In the original Greek, these verses are as follows (courtesy of Unbound Bible):
αι γυναικες τοις ιδιοις ανδρασιν υποτασσεσθε ως τω κυριω (Ephesians 5:22)
αι γυναικες υποτασσεσθε τοις ιδιοις ανδρασιν ως ανηκεν εν κυριω (Colossians 3:18)
The Greek word in question, then, is υποτασσεσθε, a form of the verb υποτασσω which can mean any of the following: “to submit to,” “place under,” “be subordinate to,” “to obey,” “be under the authority of,” etc. but which is assuredly related to υποτιμω, which means “to abase.” Not one of these possible meanings of υποτασσω comes anywhere near to expressing the kind of equanimity or mutuality that Bachmann suggests it means. In fact, the context of the verse — both in Greek and in English translation — only further confirms that it means anything but equality, and that is in the mention of “lordship” (e.g. “as unto the Lord” or τω κυριω). The concept being conveyed in both verses is that the husband-&-wife relationship is the equivalent of the Jesus-Christ-to-his-Church relationship, in which the latter is decidedly subject to (or subordinate to, or under the authority of, however you want to say it) the former. There is absolutely no equality, either stated or implied, in either of these verses. Not one iota of it. (Pun intended.)
The bottom line of both these verses is that wives — and by extension, all women — constitute a second-class within Christianity. No other interpretation of these verses makes any sense, because the exact words here cannot be construed to mean anything else — if one assumes (as Bachmann and her fellow fundamentalists supposedly do) that the Bible can only be read strictly and literally. If on the other hand one assumes these epistles were written by mere human beings, and specifically by male authors trying to propound their authority over women … well … that’s something else.
Really, this whole idiotic episode is just Bachmann’s way of veering out of the way of the strict scriptural directive that women are to be subordinate to men, so that she can then justify running for president, an office in which she would have authority over men (if she were elected). There’s no way around it.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr.
, biblical literalism
, biblical literalist
, christian right
, colossians 3:18
, ephesians 5:22
, michele bachmann
, religious right
, subject to
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