Scenes from the class struggle (that’s what this is, isn’t it?) via reader J.
There’s not a reason in the world a pro-life Baptist shouldn’t be a Democrat. We offer policies that reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, all Republicans offer is legalistic shell-games and fatwas against doctors. We want to keep the government out of their place of worship, Republicans want to turn their religion into a political action committee. And I don’t need to tell you where the two parties stand on social justice, which is the actual focus of the Gospels.
If Jesus were alive, he wouldn’t be taking calls from David Koch.
Just Some Fuckhead
Is that E.D. Kain?
Oh, he’d take the call. Cause if he didn’t, the Koch Brothers would drop a few million dollars in ad campaigns and front groups to snuff him out.
A friend of mine who works for a public university in Wisconsin just forwarded an email to me from a colleague about Walker’s union-busting effort. The email contains a Paul Krugman video clip from 2007, and while the whole seven or so minutes is worth watching, the following comment the email highlights (at 6:16) really is kind of shocking: “Last year the highest paid hedge fund manager in the U.S. made an amount equal to the salaries of all 80,000 New York City school teachers for the next three years.” So yes, welcome to the defense of the middle class. Don’t know how to embed video, but you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kwA-CwFK5A&feature=player_embedded
Jesus takes phone calls all the time.
That’s a Wisconsin corrections officer. The new Governor pissed all of them off with his bullshit.
And he’s been there often with that sign. The obverse has Walker as Godzilla destroying things in Wisconsin.
Just Some Fuckhead
Not much of a Christian if he cares more about his cushy union benefits than precious little baby fetuses.
Just posted this in the past thread, but so much going on that everybody needs a kitteh!
“Last year the highest paid hedge fund manager in the U.S. made an amount equal to the salaries of all 80,000 New York City school teachers for the next three years.”
This is what I don’t think many people can comprehend — the enormity of the amount of money being made and kept by various members of the FIRE sector. They may hear the numbers but the numbers have no meaning, there’s no reference point for them.
People are OK voting against their self-interest until something happens that makes them wake up and say “Oh shit, these assholes are really out to get me.”
When the Koch Party shuts down the government there will be millions of more people who come to this realization. It seems that America needs a periodic dunk in the GOP port-a-potty to rouse us out of our amnesia.
Jesus wouldn’t be so big on the Democrats either, I’m afraid. Or anybody really.
Y’all would be calling him an irrational, unserious purist. The dirtiest of dirty fucking hippies, if you will.
If the government gets shut down, why will the GOP and the Kochs be blamed? Democrats are in charge of two branches of government, the Senate and the Presidency. Will the average person really blame the Republicans?
@beltane: Just wish the periods were a little bit longer…
I’ve got a idea, how about we pay all these elected people the same salary and benefits as the lowest paid full time state worker.
Bet they might think twice then.
he was an irrational, unserious purist.
@Opopanax: And this grossly overpaid hedge fund manager contributed far less to society than a single teacher. At some point people are going to wonder if our country is strong enough to continue laboring under the burden of so much dead weight up at the top of our social pyramid. Corporate media propaganda is very effective, but it is not effective forever. At some point it ceases to work its magic, and that’s when things get interesting.
If Jesus were alive he’d be holding the Koch Brothers by the ankles and dipping them into a lake of fire.
I can also see all the smiles of the right wing Christians if Jesus showed up. Which wouldn’t last long as he opened a hole in the ground for them.
They’d appeal and he’d say, “Did you even read the New Testament? Jesus Christ.”
Dude(ette), you really don’t want to go there.
The gospels indicate that JC wuold answer the call but then tell Koch that he’d have to sell everything he owns, give the profits to the poor, and then follow him. Hilarity ensues.
@Sockpuppet: Speak for yourself. I’m quite confident Jesus would be very fond of me.
OT: there is now an ad for scientology at the top of the page…WTF Cole, WTF?
I’ve said before that Jesus was too dirty of a hippie for me. The brother didn’t believe in private property from what I can tell and that’s a bridge too far for me.
Maybe here’s what has changed his mind:
33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
@xjmueller: I agree.
The Big J wouldn’t dip the Koch brother into a lake of fire, but try to turn the convo into a teaching ‘ah-hah’ moment.
Rather than a bull session on how to destroy the unions and grind the faces of non rich, revealing 110 percent bad faith and hypocrisy quotient.
@Violet: Yes. The people who gleefully boast about shutting down the government will be blamed for it. I remember the last GOP-caused shutdown when even my wingnut, Limbaugh loving father-in-law came away thinking Newt Gingrich was “a little too extreme”
Thanks. Been way too long.
@Doug Hill: Doug Hill, but was that his position? Not sure it was. That’s the problem with sockidiot’s assertion. S/He’s relying on four gospels that have no red text in them in the original Greek, and no verse/chapter designations. According to them, Jesus said some pretty radical things, but some things that would give progressives a heart attack.
In short, I don’t think anyone should be using JC as their leader on socio/political issues.
On balance, I found Jesus to be too radical for my tastes.
Witless Wisconsin Wingnut Wanker Walker (or W^5 for short) making Democratic converts one at a time. Not unlike the Balloon Juice effect, writ large.
well, the momentum really changed during the last time shutdown when newtie threw what looked like a temper tantrum over his seat on a plane or some stupid shit. i dunno how it would have worked out without it, but newt really threw the match. i’m assuming the current GOP thinks they can do it better, but one look at the current leadership as well as the teabag caucus makes me think otherwise.
@Doug Hill: @Doug Hill:
Understandable. But on balance, I found him to be a mirror of the politico-social ideals of whoever was reading him at the time, esp. when used for purposes of gaining power.
Recall that the figure himself never wrote a word. everything he said was filtered through at least one person. Think St. Ronnie to the nth degree. That’s why I’m careful when anyone puts JC on their team.
(spoken as a former seminarian)
The soon-to-be recalled Governor of Wisconsin is about to behold the power of Cheeseheads.
Son, you sayin’ you know better than Our Lord and Savior?
/sneers, hocks loogie on the floor
What the fuck are you even talking about?
But didn’t they control both houses of Congress at that time? Two out of three and it’s their fault. But one out of three…I just don’t know.
If fundamentalistprolifechristians are turning against the GOP, there’s hope for us all.
When are the WaPo bobble heads gonna wax off about republican over-reach (around) and how the country is center left?!?
@arguingwithsignposts: What about Supply Side Jesus?
If Jesus were alive he’d be comparing your post to that idiot at the washington post who was speaking for gifford.
This whole post was a joke.
“we offer policies that limit tha limit the number of unwanted pregnancies” We sure do and how!
I’m a pro-choice democrat but don’t need bullshit nuance to make my arguments for why I am.
@Violet: They also didn’t have effective control of the media like they do now or the ability to drop a gazillion dollars in ads to try to hang the shutdown around the Dems neck. Still, money can’t buy everything, and the Wisconsin thing has gotten out ahead of them, which will make it more difficult (and at the very least make it far more expensive to pull off).
If Jesus were alive he’d be comparing your post to that idiot at the washington post who was speaking for gifford.
This whole post was a joke.
“we offer policies that limit that limit the number of unwanted pregnancies” We sure do and how!
I’m a pro-choice democrat but don’t need bullshit nuance to make my arguments for why I am.
Evolved Deep Southerner
I think it’s funny as hell, Pooh. Not as funny as the Sarah Palin ads and such as that, but funny. To think that they’re actually giving money to THIS forum? Hi-fucking-larious.
You go, Cole. Be careful driving back and forth to the bank while laughing so hard. It’s not entirely safe.
Go consult some original greek manuscripts and get back with me, sockidiot.
Yeah, that’s true. The media can be counted on to be a lapdog for them, full of “both sides say” blandness. But you’re right. The Wisconsin thing has woken people up. I wonder if they can get away with as much when it’s obvious they’ll do anything for David Koch and nothing for the little guy.
Is there a reason you think Sockidiot is a particularly effective insult?
Suckpuppet would be far more poetic. Or perhaps something in a more profane vein? Don’t limit yourself creatively, you’re doing the lord’s work here.
Amen. This is how we had the sixties and the hippie/peace movements. That generation said ENOUGH to all kinds of bullshit. It can and will happen soon enough. I have faith the younguns are watching this bullshit and seeing what the GOP truly stands for and it’s NOT THEM.
I was talking about this when I posted here more regularly. I argued that we should let the right take over again and they never disappoint. Instead of jobs, they worry about the top 1% and their special interest buddies.
Be careful GOP, a whole generation is watching you. I can see 2012 shaping up to be a beautiful example of democracy winning out over corporate shills.
Buh bye GOP. Mark my words, the right will lose big in 2012.
So you’re just *trying* to make some of us defect the other way?
I firmly believe that people will see that the GOP is on Fox 24/7 and they gained more seats than anybody in the last election. We can see all this shit started happening once they took control. We don’t need media the way the 20% or so of GOP sheep do. We can find the info and make informed decisions. Many independents will see all this as more overreach by the right.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss applies. The right promised to work hard for the people and yet they do NOTHING but talk about anti-abortion bills, repealing health care without a proposal of how to fix it and more social engineering strawman bullshit yet NOTHING about creating good paying AMERICAN Jobs.
Fuck em. We win again in 2012.
Come again? I don’t understand your point.
A new troll? Is it any good?
Listen, suckidiot (better?), I’m just saying you don’t know WTF you’re talking about. If you want to dig up “scriptures,” I’m a former seminarian who read the original greek and knows more than you about how those “scriptures” came about. I’m also an atheist and former fundamentalist. So when I say “you don’t want to go down that road,” I know whereof I speak, dipshit.
Amen to this post, Doug.
Okay I think I get your point. Why would I do that. I think the comparisons are pretty clear. What is wrong with a generation that stood up against the bullshit of authoritarian leaders?
I don’t have a problem with hippies nor do I have a problem with anybody who treats others with respect and can debate the points. I have problems with authoritarians who use power to take away from us middle class folks only to hand it to the rich. Sorry…
Who here wants to discuss scriptures, in any language? What color is the sky in your little world? Do you understand where you are right now? Are you stroking out?
Nobody in this thread gives a shit about Jesus Christ, or anything he said, didn’t say, will say, won’t say, can’t say, or anything in between. That’s why we’re, you know, making fun of him and his followers. Repeatedly.
But continue on with your Serious Bible Business. In Original Greek, of course.
So much win in this post.
(Tips hat to DougJarvis Green-Ellis.)
And I quote:
If you want to pull the Jesus card, then be prepared to talk the talk, dipshit. But please continue.
ETA: “Who here wants to discuss scriptures, in any language?” If you want to discuss the big Jeebus, you have to deal with scriptures, dumbfuck. Otherwise, you’ve got *nothing* – dig?
It’s a fact that the vast majority of Republican voters pull the lever against their own best interests. So it should come as a huge surprise when one guy wakes up and realizes he’s been screwing himself?
Wait, isn’t that just what happened to John Cole?
You’re seriously offended that I made fun of Democrats and Jesus? That’s what this is about, partisanship and literary scholarship?
@Sockpuppet: No, I’m seriously offended that you don’t know WTF you’re talking about, and yet you’re playing the “both sides do it” card. Dumbass.
@Sockpuppet: Well I happen to give a shit about what Jesus said. The sentiments attributed to Jesus are surely worth knowing about. How can one understand Western civilization, good as well as bad without knowing something about christianity. Although I am an atheist, I identify with the call to help others and to think of the greater good and the worth of each individual. Maybe liberalism is just christianity without the mumbo-jumbo.
@Omnes Omnibus: No, apparently not.
Fuck. The anger in the United States unrelenting. From little corner blogs to city streets to the halls of Congress. I felt the seething anger beginning to rise when I left in ’98 and it seems it has just continued to grow and grow. Now, the country seems to be nothing more than a roiling pot of 300 million pissed off people who bicker and fight about anything, anytime, anywhere. Each summer my yearly visit reveals only more bitterness and more despair and more anger. And each summer I’m happy to see my family and friends, but even happier to know that I don’t have to find a job and try to live and work there anymore.
smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke, everybody smoke pot, smoke pot smoke pot…..
For an alleged atheist, you are shockingly agitated about the misappropriation of political sentiments of a largely fabricated (at minimum) cult leader.
Who would Mickey Mouse and the Green Arrow support in our two-party politics? Perhaps that’s the real question here.
@Sockpuppet: Atheism doesn’t mean you abandon all understanding of cultural norms, dumbass. Listen, if you want to go all “Jesus isn’t a democrat” on everyone, then pony up some fuckin’ scripture. I’d expect the same if you were quoting Cartman, dumbass. Fact is, JC’s “words” have enabled a lot more dumbass stuff (starting *way* before the U.S. was even formed) than MM or GA. So if you’re going to argue their ground, you’d better know the territory.
I thought there’s no actual direct evidence whatsoever that there was a historical Jesus. So what figure himself are you referring to?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you spend your whole life preaching peace and compassion and get nailed to a cross for doing so, you’d like to think people won’t spend the next 2000 years killing other people in your name. Yeah, it does bother me that people do that, even though I am an atheist/agnostic.
Heh. Just learned this today after seeing something about the Magna Carta for a few minutes on cable.
actually, i think there’s more evidence of a “historical” jesus than people want to think, but it’s all non-bible, so the church wouldn’t accept it. And he likely wasn’t anything like what he’s been made out to be.
@Doug Hill: But that’s the problem, if you accept the “scriptural” account, he didn’t preach just peace and acceptance. “I come not to bring peace, but the sword…” There’s a lot of inconsistencies, and that’s before you even delve into the letters of Paul.
@liberal: Yes, and it was all in capital letters, too.
@arguingwithsignposts:He wasn’t blond, blue-eyed, and always crowned by a halo? Go figure.
Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q)
Jesus is giving me a headache.
The more you talk, the less idea I have what your issue is.
Jesus isn’t anything. I called him a stupid hippie purist who doesn’t interface with modern society coherently. You’re right, I’m clearly wielding him as a legitimate political cudgel. For realsies.
If I said that Jesus sucked dick for coke, would you demand scriptural backing or would that be enough for you to realize I don’t treat him as seriously as you do?
I heard he was all about forgiveness and shit. What an insufferable goody two-shoes. Pilate was right.
No. Not remotely true. We need to be clear on something here; social justice is something that (presumably) all of us on this blog agree is a worthy goal, but let’s drop the nonsense about which side the Biblical Jesus was on. What’s abundantly clear from the Biblical account is that what putative Jesus (and Paul) cared most about was the next world, not this one. The truth is that the putative Jesus didn’t particularly care what happened to you on planet Earth. So let’s just stop the nonsense.
I have it on good authority that he cares deeply abut Notre Dame football, just not in the way that you would think.
@Omnes Omnibus: If FYWP would let me edit, I would fix the typo. FYWP.
@arguingwithsignposts: I am reading this in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson, and it’s fairly awesome.
This is certainly true, but people were killing each other before Jesus, just in some other name, or just for the hell of it. I don’t believe the account of him in the bible, but the red line stuff he supposedly spoke, was some pretty cool stuff to live by, by and large.
And really whose to say, that just as many people didn’t kill other people in his name, that would have otherwise for some stupid reason, or no reason at all. It is impossible to prove a negative, but I like to think the number is significant. The problem isn’t just religion, or mostly religion, it is sorry mankind, or part of them that use the bible and other religious text to justify, or organize, or whatever, to do things that usually are directly anti thetical to the teachings of Christ, or Mohammed for that matter.
There has been a lot of evil wrought in the name of religion over the millenia, but there has been a lot of good also. How it balances out no one can know.
Personally, I like the Thomas account of a new age like Jesus with a more metaphysical deist take on things. Of course, that’s gnostic and heretical. Must have been fucking wingnuts choosing which Apostle to go with.
I stood with a friend in the courtyard outside the Church of the Flagellation in the Old City of Jerusalem a few summers ago and my friend (who was raised Catholic) turned to me and asked whimsically, “How did Jesus get to Italy?”
“Alitalia” I answered.
Damn, the edit is down, that should be who has, instead of whose. hillbilly grammar, what you gonna do.
James E Powell
I am not sanguine about this. Eight years in the Bush/Cheney port-a-potty apparently did not convince anyone that voting Republican only helps the rich.
@Shoemaker-Levy 9: I agree.
@arguingwithsignposts, @Sockpuppet, y’all seem to agree with each other more than I think you realize; you’re just talking past each other.
Resolved: No one can claim to be Team Jesus!
Oh Hell Yea!!
I always think the whole “there was no such historical person as Jesus!” argument is probably the weakest one in the atheist arsenal. If that’s your criterion, then Islam, Buddhism and Scientology must all be true because we know for sure that an actual historical person is behind each of them.
There’s pretty good evidence that the figure of Jesus in the Bible can be traced to an actual historical person (one of the many itinerant rabbis roaming Judea around that time). But even if he existed, that still doesn’t prove he was the son of God.
Suck It Up!
nah, actually the purists would be calling Jesus a pussy because he’s always forgiving and breaking bread with his foes. Then they’d call him stupid and naive for thinking his enemies can change.
I may have this wrong, but isn’t the son of God stuff the part that is supposed to be a matter of faith?
@Suck It Up!:
Except that’s not what they do. They – I’m lookin’ at you James Fuckin’ Dobson – wrap themselves in his cloak and claim he’s saying something else. Team Jesus ain’t none of us. We don’t *know* him, we don’t walk in his fuckin’ shoes. The closest we’ve got is “Life of Brian.” And anyone who can claim to speak for his ass can jump off the pier.
There, I said it. I’m goin to bed.
Why am i awaiting moderation? FYWP!
Fuck and yes.
There are only two sides to this fight; if the result is for gentlemen like the one in the picture to vote for their socioeconomic interests, it’s a massive win.
Well, yeah, but that’s not the point I was making. The point I was making is that quite a few atheists seem to build their disbelief on the claim that there was no historical person as Jesus. That seems like a pretty shaky foundation since by definition you’d have to change your mind and become a believer if some kind of definitive proof that he existed turned up. It would also seem to imply that their only barrier to believing is not thinking that Jesus was a real person, which makes me wonder why they’re not Scientologists if that’s their criterion.
Jesus loves me, he just doesn’t want me for a sunbeam.
@mnemosyne – where on earth do you get the idea that atheists build their disbelief on the existence or non existence of Jesus?
You may want to sit down for this bit, as this may come as a bit of a shock. Christianity is not the only religion / God atheists don’t believe in. There’s a whole WORLD full of religions, Gods and Prophets we don’t believe in. In my case, probably because I wasn’t raised in a religious family. I’m perfectly willing to accept that jesus was a real person, I just don’t believe he was the Son of God, brought into this world through the Immaculate Conception. he was just another crazy prophet, one of many,
And personally, I’ve never had a Road To Damascus Moment. God has never spoken to me in some blinding flash of light. All I see is a whole bunch of religions, each claiming to worship the One True God, running around starting wars, telling everyone else how they should run their lives as if they have some exclusive claim on morality and decency, and generally making life fairly intolerable for the rest of us.
I’m still perfectly open minded, and quite willing to believe if I ever come across anything that makes me believe … but I suspect my neural patterning has solidified over time, and I’m no longer susceptible to the tranmissable meme of religion.
Jesus is on the Main Line.
Well, he was a little off but it’s still pretty shocking:
@Zuzu’s Petals: Thanks for the correction, ZP, and yes, the income disparity is still pretty breathtaking.
Paul in KY
@arguingwithsignposts: I think Jesus can be used to great effect against the fundies. Jesus has all sorts of quotes in the Gospels about helping the poor, being meek, against hypocricy, etc.
Whether or not YOU believe in JC, they claim to believe in him & thus you can hit them with various bible quotes that are the antitheses of modern Republican thought.
At the least, it’s fun to make them sputter & rage.
Paul in KY
@magurakurin: Right on, brother. 4/20 every day.
Could you please quote the part in the Gospels where Jesus said that what happens in this world is of no relevance whatsoever? I seem to remember a number of places where the importance of proper behavior in this world was discussed, and a number of places where behavior matching modern criteria for social justice was specifically advocated. I can remember places where Jesus said or implied that this world itself wasn’t important, but I can’t remember reading any place where Jesus said that how we act in this world was of no importance. Where was that?
Paul in KY
@Smurfhole: I agree, would Jesus have said ‘render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s’ if this world was of no concern?
There would be no point because that wasn’t what was being discussed. Doug said that social justice was the “focus” of the Gospels, and that is not remotely true.
…is another issue. What we’re discussing is whether social justice is the “focus” of the text, which it is not.
Again irrelevant, since I’m not saying any such thing.
Read the Beatitudes, which as much as say that the worse it is for you on Earth the better it will be in Heaven. Also note that the divinity of Jesus is asserted from the very beginning, so that he could have waved his magic wand and created universal social justice at any time if he’d cared to. It’s true he performed a few random healings and resurrected Lazarus, but considering the massive injustice and cruelty of the reigning authorities it seems like the least you could expect of a deity, and in fact these episodes are included more to demonstrate his divinity than anything else. And of course, it’s all culminated by the Passion and Crucifixion, the whole point of which is to say that no matter how crappy it is on Earth at least you’ve got Heaven to look forward to.
That’s not to say that you can’t pick out passages that suggest social justice here on Earth. If there’s anything the Bible has shown us over the centuries it’s that you can claim just about anything as a doctrine if you do enough cherry-picking. But to say that social justice is the “focus” of the story is simply not true.
@Paul in KY:
Er, read the whole passage. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” In context he’s saying that the taxes you pay to the cruel and unjust authorities aren’t very important, what’s important is that you are right with God.
You really haven’t met your burden, then. I did enjoy the judo effort to say that people who cite discussions of social justice are “cherry-picking,” though. I asked where Jesus said that this world didn’t matter. You’ve got nothing other than the sections that say Jesus was divine, which you then use to argue that Jesus could’ve created total social justice with the wave of a magic wand (although I’d be interested in hearing how this was supposed to happen without destroying free will, or how that wasn’t part of the point of the whole Second Coming).
I don’t think anyone here was arguing that Jesus was some kind of ancient atheist Communist militant who only cared about social justice and didn’t have any mystical aspect whatsoever. But it’s very clear that social justice was a factor. I’m still waiting for you to come up with some evidence that Jesus “didn’t care what happened to you on planet Earth.” You can call it “cherry-picking” because it contradicts you, if you want; but clearly, there’s a great deal of evidence that this was something Jesus cared about.
Or, hey, let’s look at those Beatitudes: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.” And on it goes.
Oy. Serious question: have you read the Gospels? I mean, the whole things? There are no “sections that say Jesus was divine,” that thesis is presumed throughout. One more time: that is the organizing thesis. Hence…
There’s no argument needed, Jesus explicitly states that he can do anything if he chooses to.
Whoa, now we’re discussing free will? Leaving aside your implication that free will and a just society are somehow incompatible, let’s please try to stay focused on the original question.
Yes, as I’ve been saying from the start, Jesus was focused on the next world, not this one. Jesus promises that perfect justice will exist after he makes it all happen for us at some unspecified future date. After all, “ye have the poor always with you.” Hence, the focus is not on this world but on making oneself right with God and getting into the next one.
Doug’s original statement was that social justice was the “focus of the Gospels,” which you may recall is the statement I’ve been arguing against throughout.
What’s very clear is that getting oneself into the next world by following certain steps is a “factor”. As an example, Jesus tells the rich young man in Matthew 19 to give his wealth to the poor. The reason is not to create a more just society — why would it be, when just a few chapters later Jesus says that society will collapse in the near future — the reason is to get the rich young man into Heavenby eliminating that which stands between him and God.
The actual quote is “particularly care”. And in truth the text is somewhat contradictory on this point. There are instances where he takes pity on people and performs miracles for them, other instances where he seems indifferent to present suffering (the anointment at Bethany, for instance). You’ll have to ask devout Christians how the reconcile these things, what’s clear to a more objective observer is that “social justice” is not the “focus” of the text. And please don’t forget, that last is what we’re talking about.
Because that’s exactly what it is. You can posit that Jesus was for redistribution of wealth if you pick out the right verses. You can also posit that he was bent on starting wars and breaking up families. You could posit that he considered his feet more important than widows and orphans. You can posit lots of things about Jesus if you cherry-pick, but there are only a few consistent organizing principles. Namely, that Jesus was a divine figure who conquered death, offering a way to a better world. Frankly, the “actual focus of the Gospels” is Jesus himself and his wonderful next world, our human problems are a distant second.
But look at the stories we keep telling ourselves about that time. “That generation said ENOUGH…” and then lost heart or got distracted or lost their souls or whatever. We don’t acknowledge the distance that was traveled. Why would anyone take after them when our own side (well, not me, of course) keeps dumping on them?
Why, yes. Several times, in various English translations. Once in the koine Greek, but that was back in college.
It’s only explicitly stated in certain portions of the text. In the Gospel of Mark, it’s treated almost like a whodunit that only the non-Jews in the story get. Even Peter fucks it up.
I found your use of imagery unnecessarily derogatory if we’re going on the premise that Jesus is, in fact, God. Not the Tooth Fairy. You know, the premise that you just argued we should go on for purposes of analysis of the Gospels.
No, because you changed the question by denigrating Christ’s apparent inability to wave a magic wand and create a just society. I’m saying to you that such a society would break down very quickly. It would break down because of free will, because it’s inherently impossible to have a fully just society in a world full of selfish, self-centered monkeys. I didn’t think one needed to agree with Jesus about much else to see this. The only people who’d disagree are utopians, and none of their visions have brought forth much of value when we’ve tried to enact their societies.
I realize it’s a tangent, but your tendencies of simultaneously belittle the text while demanding that we rigorously adhere to the text AND while, yourself, essentially quoting none of the text, is extremely annoying.
The second coming is this world. It’s Jesus coming back to this planet. It’s supposed to happen any day now, in fact. Could be tomorrow, could be 2012, could be 3012. But it’s coming soon, according to Jesus.
It was, in terms of how we’re actually supposed to behave. Or you can read the Epistles, where the Apostles- those guys who hung out with Jesus, and told us about Jesus, and 11 out of 12 of whom were executed by the Romans for talking about Jesus- said the same thing.
Sure, that’s one way of looking at it. But another way of looking at it is to say that the fixation on onesself and the disregard of one’s fellow-sufferers is the greatest obstacle to salvation. In other words, the failure to focus on social justice. Doug’s take on it is just as valid as yours, which is why I disagreed with you in the first place. You have yet to prove him wrong.
In the Gospel of John, it’s pointed out that Judas was whining about the anointment because he was embezzling from the poor-box.
I have a feeling that there are about as many devout Christian ways to take the Bible as there are non-Christian ways to take the Bible. Or anything else, for that matter.
For example, some might say that Jesus cares deeply about social justice, but that humanity falls short of enacting it. (“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”) And that because of this failure even when exposed to Christ, death and resurrection become necessary. One might argue that Christ’s mission of social justice was thwarted by the ingratitude and selfishness of humanity itself, thus making the Passion necessary despite Christ’s human efforts to avert it.
One might also argue that Christ thought faith would save us, but that faith needed to be demonstrated by social works which are tantamount to social justice. That faith, without works, is dead.
One might even look at Matthew 22:36-40 and say that Christ is arguing that the way we treat one another is exactly as important as believing in God, if not functionally identical:
Those are only a few of many, many possible ways of reconciling the texts and arguing that social justice is the main focus of Christ’s teachings to humanity. I’m not advocating for them specifically, merely mentioning that for hundreds of years, some of the people who’ve devoted their lives to reading the Bible have advocated for them.
And ultimately, what we’re talking about is why you think that (among others) Doug, the entire Liberation Theology movement of the Catholic Church, and St. James are all completely wrong. I think their interpretation is just as valid as yours.
I’d have a hard time finding verses that showed otherwise, frankly. As pointed out above, the passage about the poor always being with us could be interpreted as a rebuke to the embezzlement of Judas (admittedly, that’s not in the synoptic Gospels, but for purposes of textual analysis all 4 texts are viewed as equally valid so a factoid omitted from the synoptics but mentioned by John is of equal validity).
Sure, if you’re an idiot. The passage in question is clearly referring to the disputes that arise among people when the subject of Christianity comes up. It’s not advocacy, merely an extremely accurate prediction of the subsequent history of Christianity. In the context of Matthew 10, the quote is clearly a reference to the fact that the Apostles will witness and experience persecution advocating for Jesus. If we need to break the entire chapter down line by line, we can do this. Hell, if I have time tomorrow or this weekend I’ll try to find it in the Greek and see how much of that I can remember. I care about this, because I think it’s one of the stupidest, laziest arguments against Christ out there. Better arguments need to be made than ones based on sheer laziness.
Again, if you were an idiot or a sophist. I think the social justice suffuses the Gospels and the Epistles. It’s not a question of lazily taking one quote and skewing it out of context; it’s a valid interpretation of reams of text.
This reminds me of a fun quote I read on this blog a while back, in the context of one of these other interminably annoying Bible-bashing threads. I wish I could remember who said it, but I can’t: “The only thing more annoying than having fundamentalist Christians tell you there’s only one way to read the Bible is having militant atheists tell you there’s only one way to read the Bible.”
There are lots and lots of different ways to read the text. Your way isn’t the only one. Hundreds of theologians and Christian dogmatists and even atheist/agnostics like Doug have read it and disagreed with you. Unless you’re the single smartest man who ever read the Bible, and you know more about Christianity than guys like James who personally gave their lives for the early Church, I’m going to have to say that you’re entitled to your interpretation of the text but that others’ interpretations on this specific point seem to have enough textual backing to match you in questions of fundamental validity.
Paul in KY
@Shoemaker-Levy 9: But he’s certainly talking about the secular part of the world there, isn’t he?
Paul in KY
@Asshole: Wow, that was a Greenwaldian length post!
Thank you! (I’m Asshole, too, depends on which computer I’m on.)
What’s the very first sentence of the Gospel of Mark? What’s the very first narrative event of the Gospel of Mark?
What is the very first sentence of the Gospel of John? What are the first narrative events of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke?
Since we’re talking about the Gospels, and since the very first sentences and/or narrative events of all four Gospels establish the divinity of Jesus (for the purposes of our discussion I’m sticking with the word “divinity”), what other premise would we go on?
I did no such thing. In fact, I explicitly stated the opposite, that Christ could wave a magic wand (figuratively speaking) at any time. Can you read? Since you persist in arguing points I never made is there a point in going on?
Are you insane? For the purposes of the discussion I’ve accepted the text at face value, which is the only logical thing to do given that I was responding to what the OP says is in the text. In no way did I ever “belittle” the text, unless you think pointing out some of the obvious contradictions, which liberal Christians will readily admit are there, is “belittling”. Maybe you’re upset that I threw the “magic wand” metaphor into it. You’ll get over it.
Now you’re just lying. Since you can’t get the most basic facts about the Gospels correct, and now are simply lying, there’s no point in going on.
@Paul in KY:
Who cares, that wasn’t the question under consideration.
I think we should swap handles.
And to reiterate, the only thing more annoying than having a fundamentalist Christian tell you there’s only one way to read the Bible is to have an atheist tell you there’s only one way to read the Bible.