Friday, November 05, 2004

Countering the Religious Message

(note: Sporkeypost)

How on earth do we counter the right wing fanaticals? We should stop reacting to them and start to spar with them. They are good Christians, at least, their church tells them so, and they voted not for Bush, but for God.

It is sad that this is their way of thinking. But it can be countered. We can't igore them, because the powerful will get their way by selling the souls of their flocks. And I am angry that so many people don't discuss God, or their beliefs, because that only reinforces their notion that "Democrats" and "Liberals" are "godless".

About the only way we'll do that is to use the most powerful and influential book in our arsenal: the Bible.

This may seem pretty bad to an atheist or an agnostic, but to tell you the truth, wouldn't it be fun to watch the heads expolde if a "Homo" says, "But didn't Jesus say that you should love the sinner, but hate the sin?" or someone who doesn't believe in God say, "Well, the bible also says that women should be sequestered in a room, given her food and drink there by other female family members, during her period." or, better yet, "Didn't Jesus tell us the parable of the man who made clear to his congragation that he was fasting, and of the man who kept himself clean and did not make a show of it?"

We need people to throw Jesus into their face. They've been propping up the cardboard cutout of the Savior and have actually convinced people that it's really Jesus. Not only am I scared, but I find it morally repugnant (repeat those words often, and make an icky face) that they would think a vote for Bush is a vote for God. And no amount of "saving" is going to help them...they are sinners. It's the commandment of Moses: "I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods but me." And by voting because someone who says that God talks to them told them to, or that they believe that Bush is godly, or by pledging faith in Bush, they've just broken that commandment. And God is a jealous God; his wrath will crush them. You are only to have faith in God, and His son Jesus, and if you're placing the faith of that kind elsewhere, you're being idolatrous. That will get them to think. Do they really like Bush that much so that they go to hell for Him? It may take some convicing, but I think they'll get the point.

Another point: The parable of the goats and sheep. "For whatever you didn't do for the least of my brethern, you did not do for me." Which means that if you don't take care of the needy, then you'll end up in hell, or at least flames licking your ankles as demons poke at you. Remind them of the parable and ask, "Are you a sheep who's helped your neighbor? Your friends? The poor people at the shelter or in prison? Or are you a goat, stepping over the homeless on the way to buy yourself a new car?" That's as simple as it gets... goats or sheep. (I'd say also to use the very famous example of "The Good Samaritan"... the guy who had helped a man who lay in ditch bleeding after being robbed and passed by by a priest and a merchant... but most people don't understand what was known at the time of Jesus: Samaritans were considered horrible people, they wouldn't help someone unless it was to their wallet. So Jesus' tale of the "bad" person helping the injured man instead of the "good" people helping him had more of an impact. We can, however, update that parable so that modern day people can truly understand it....)

There are many examples, and this with me just writing off of the top of my head. And these are ideals rooted in religion that benefit everyone. And I'm quite sure that the Koran has words like these in it somewhere. The famous Sporkey, giving a speech at which thousands clawed their way just to get into the auditorium, said, "There are many people who contend that Islam is the opposite of Christianity. Some people even go so far as to say that Judaism is the opposite of both Christianity and Islam. I don't really agree with that. There's many names for our respective deities: Yahweh, Jehova, Lord, Allah -- but they are all one God. When I look around me today at all of the faces, at all of the colors, at all of the faiths and beliefs, I am reminded of Genesis, Chapter 1: 'God created man in His image'. God truly must be a sight to behold, a being of great proportions. To include all of us, even those who don't believe in God -- I tell you, it makes my faith so strong I want to hug the world with open arms, regardless of the world's belief. That is my God, a God who understood through Jesus that we are merely mortals and imperfect. It just takes my breath away. I do apologize to non-Christians for this outburst, but I do offer you this: If I believe that God loves you and respects you even though you don't believe in God, and I try my hardest to follow the words of God, would you rather speak with me or with someone who believes that God is vengeful, angry bigot? I can only offer myself as a person, and if you are only so kind, you will excuse my emotional outburst...."

Seriously. We need to combat the "Moral Majority".

"Fundamentalism isn't about religion. It's about power." -- Salaman Rushdie

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