Sam Smith, 2011 - Several Republican candidates claim that they each got a call from God to run for president. If true, then God is no more reliable an ally than Barack Obama.
Of course, these candidates may be deluded or they may be lying. It wouldn’t be the first time. People like this have a long history, except that they used to be regarded a hustlers of the poor and the weak, objects of ridicule by comedians or figures in novels you hoped you would never meet.
As HL Mencken noted, “Deep within the heart of every evangelist lies the wreck of a car salesman.”
That perspective changed with television, which allowed religious frauds to gain a national audience, aided by a myopic media that increasingly accepted them as the true definition of “Christian.”
In fact, they are vainglorious Lord name takers as reliable in religion as Bernie Madoff was in investments.
It’s not really the business of a Seventh Day Agnostic such as myself to point this out, but if the media ignores the facts and liberal Christians huddle cringing in their sanctuaries, afraid to confront the desecrators of their own faith, somebody’s got step in.
To cite Mencken again, “True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge.”.
The Christian right is, in fact, a bunch of hypocritical, heretical, blasphemous apostates.
Let’s start on its own ground – literalism - with a few items compiled some time back by James M. Kauffman. professor emeritus at the University of Virginia:
- The Christian right keeps stores open on Sundays. “The seventh day is a Sabbath to God your Lord. Do not do anything that constitutes work.” In fact, Exodus tells us to kill those who work on Sunday, even though this seems to conflict with the federal code, not to mention the Ten Commandments.
- The Christian right eats shrimp, crab, lobster, clams and mussels in violation of the Bible: "These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you. . . ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcasses in abomination."
- Its men have contact with women in periods of menstrual uncleanliness as prohibited by Leviticus
- It presumably supports slavery as that is clearly permitted by the Bible.
- Many on the Christian right – like other Americans – have eyesight problems yet they continue to approach the altar of God as prohibited in Leviticus.
- Their men cut their hair, including around the temples, though banned in the Bible.
- Some of these men also like to play football though the Bible says that touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean.
- Women on the right – including Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin – wear garments made of two different kinds of thread, a violation of biblical law.
- Plenty of Christian conservatives curse. Presumably the righteous in their midst should stone them as called for by the Bible.
And now a few items compiled by Protestants for the Common Good for a constitutional amendment on marriage based on biblical rules:
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines, in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither the U.S. Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe, and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)
Now let’s turn to some more compassionate segments of the Bible:
- The Christian right supports killing through war and capital punishment in violation of the Ten Commandments.
- It commits adultery, also forbidden by these commandments. Just one example, from the New York Daily News in August 2004: "With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer [for the GOP convention], high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party. Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden."
- It doesn’t love its neighbors like itself and shows no consciousness that this is – according to the Bible - as important as “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
- Nor does it “do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.”
- Nor does it respect the claim that the earth is the Lord’s and all that therein is, or it wouldn’t be so dismissive of climate change and its consequences.
- Instead of, in the manner of Jesus, driving the money changers out of the temple it helps their toadies get reelected.
- It has no idea of how to “love thy enemies.”
- It has never answered the key theological question raised by Ray Stevens in his epic work, “Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?”
Would Jesus be political
if He came back to earth?
Have His second home in
Palm Springs, yeah, and try
to hide His worth?
Take money, from those
poor folks, when He comes
There’s absolutely no reason for the media – in the false name of objectivity – to treat such con artists as religious representatives of Christianity and there’s no reason for real Christians to act like such wusses. Us Seventh Day Agnostics, skeptics and secularists shouldn’t have to do your work for you. Besides, if Jesus were to come back and see what a lousy job you’re doing on his behalf, he’d be really pissed.