Saturday, April 16, 2005

Required Reading - The Bible


The Bible is a big book, written by a ton of different people, and like many big books written by a ton of different people, it contains a ton of different ideas from a ton of different perspectives. Some of these ideas fit in with the mean-spirited, thoroughly ungodly Republican strategy but most do not.

So if the Republicans want to run the country on scriptural lines, well, we should debate them on scriptural lines, lets use their own weapons against them.

Because The Bible is way better as a manifesto for the Progressive Movement than it is for the other guys. And to make matters worse for them, quoting the Scriptures is something they do an awful lot. So when they come at us, with, say, John 10.25 which says that Homosexuals should be stoned, we should hit back with Luke 20.50 which says we have to love thy neighbor. And when they quote Genesis 1.1 that says Man should have Dominion over the Earth, we should hit back with some other verse that says we must care for nature. It's bound to be in there.

Most of these Republicans use religion because it suits them and that's what we need to expose. They like the idea of all those zealots knocking on doors in tight congressional and presidential campaigns. Helps them out no end. But if they were challenged with the Scriptures their lack of true belief and profoundly uncharitable ideas would shine through.

Of course, Repubicans, who know no shame will hit back at us that we're using the Bible for our own ends, which is great because then the question arises - who gets to decide that. Not us mere mortals. That one is more God's remit. And once that notion is inserted into people's minds we're onto something. In short, who are they to judge us. I'm no expert, but isn't that the whole idea of Christianity? Don't judge the other guy. These people spend their whole lives judging people. Being gay is bad, having an abortion is bad, taking drugs is bad, liking the Teletubbies is bad, drinking Chardonnay is bad.

Who are they to judge the Teletubbies. What's wrong with Chardonnay? Nothing next to someone who shrouds himself in God to get votes.

The truth is they're just as selective as we are. It's called pol-it-ics. And that means only one thing. The Bible isn't just their area. It's ours too. It's like a great big spritual supermarket. Something for everyone. Even us. Let's steal it back from them. It doesn't belong to them. That may sound wacky, but let's face it, Republican McReligion isn't exactly run of the mill either. The idea of your everyday tele-evangelist asking for your money so you can be saved, is kind of heretical in itself.

The truly Christian response to them is to say, you may judge us, but we will not judge you, even though you hate us. That'll give them pause for some spiritual reflection, and perhaps a look at the works of Thomas Aquinas. And if it doesn't, how Christian does that really make them? About as Christian as, say, the Spanish Inquisition. Those guys regarded themselves as pious in the extreme even during blood-drenched torture sessions. Of course, the Inquisition didn't have mass media and a thing called democracy to contend with. But these days folks know better. They have the Internet.

Of course, there's a trap here. They want us to show ourselves as wolves in sheep's clothing, as a Judas using religion to undermine the very same "faithful" that they've fooled with religion. But if we're honest and don't overplay the card (like "Pope" John Kerry did during the recent Presidential campaign) all their fear-mongering will sound like paranoia. After all how bad can we be, if we know that Matthew, chapter 50, verse a hundred and whatever is about peace and love towards your fellow chicken?

So let's muddy the waters, lets get into some religious debates with these people.
Because these are battles that no one down here on the mortal coil can win - and religion will soon go back to its rightful place, outside government.

Once that happens, those wily old Republican dogs will have to come up with some new tricks.

Paganism, anyone?


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