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(Salon)   You thought it said what??: 5 ways fundamentalists misinterpret the Bible   (salon.com) divider line 129
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6381 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Aug 2013 at 12:07 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-08 12:53:46 PM  

t3knomanser: To be fair, this article is also cherry-picking and decontextualizing Bible verses, just like the Fundamentalists do. The reality is that the Bible is a large document, rife with contradictions, metaphor, poetry, mythology, law, and history. Any large work, of that kind of complexity, compiled over that long a history, re-interpreted and re-envisioned with each new generation, becomes a mirror. The only thing you see in the Bible is what you put there. The Bible  always supports the beliefs of the person using it.


Sure, every believer has to pick and choose or they'll pretty much be Osama Bin Laden (that said, they'd have to do a lot less cherry picking if they would concentrate on the new testament and ditch the very different old testament). But there's nothing wrong with pointing out that these supposed followers of Christ are only cherry picking the parts which tell them to be an asshole, ignoring the parts which tell them not to be an asshole and blatantly misinterpreting or twisting even the parts which tell them to be good in order to justify asshole behavior.
 
2013-08-08 12:54:16 PM  
And then there are the passages that you just have to read and say "Uh, OK."

Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
 
2013-08-08 12:54:22 PM  

Felgraf: But the moneychangers in the temple? The folks using a holy site to enrich themselves and line their own coffers? Holy shiat, does he get ripsnortingly pissed..


I don't know that I'd read to much into that, he also went into a random incoherent rage at a fig tree once for not bearing fruit out of season, there was a bit with some pigs where he got pretty nasty, and a lot of his answers to the pharisees were as rudely or incitingly worded as possible while carefully not quite rising to the bait.

Probably the dude was just intentionally written as a moody bastard whose anger wasn't entirely under control.  It was sort of obligatory for demigods in contemporary mythology.

You do bring up a broader point about Christianity in general though, that goes beyond the more limited US version we're talking about: Christianity is a non-ascetic religion whose primary figure was an ascetic, with all the random hatred of people that have the temerity to work for a living or provide for their future that that implies meshing very oddly with the fact that the roots of the religion lie almost entirely within the equivalent of the blue-collar laborers.

This is one of the big sources of trouble, I think.  Not the prosperity gospel all the time, necessarily, but the difficulty of reconciling a faith built on people being productive with a primary figure who never contributed a thing to society in his life, very intentionally.  In retrospect, not really surprising that trying to work that one out has spawned a couple genocides here and there.
 
2013-08-08 12:57:08 PM  

Ennuipoet: Let's be fair, Fundies do not misinterpret the Bible, that would imply the actually READ the book.


Why bother reading when you can just show up at church, hungover on Sunday morning and have someone tell you what to think?
 
2013-08-08 12:57:11 PM  

Ennuipoet: Let's be fair, Fundies do not misinterpret the Bible, that would imply the actually READ the book.


This too. I have met soooo many evangelical Christians and almost none of them have ever bothered to read the whole bible they claim to revere. Then they get all confused when I explain to them that I, an atheist, have. Every single one assumes I must not have read it because I don't believe. Then I quote a few bible verses.
 
2013-08-08 12:57:44 PM  

grumpfuff: Yes, how dare the government make sure everyone has at least a bare minimum of food and other needs. How very un-Christian of them.

/wait, what?


Ya know you don't need a massive federal government  to "make sure everyone has at leasta bare minimum of food and other needs. "  In fact, you don't need a government at all to do that.

And do you really see the programs currently offering the "bare minimum" ?
 
2013-08-08 12:58:13 PM  
Book of Revelations is not only misunderstood by the fundies, but it is like erection-producing end-of-the-Earth porn. These guys get a hard-on that the world will burn or wage global nuclear war. Let that soak in for a minute. They get on their farking knees and pray, Come soon' to a gun-loving 'God' that hates poor people and apparently hates taking care of the sick and elderly. Can't make the shiat up.
 
2013-08-08 12:58:15 PM  
Old Testament: The Silmarillion
The Gospels: The Lord of the Rings
The Acts of the Apostles: Unfinished Tales
The Pauline Epistles: The 12 volumes of "The History of Middle Earth"

Papal encyclicals and other official church publications: The Complete Guide to Middle Earth, The Atlas of Middle Earth, The Encyclopedia of Arda, and other authoritative derivative works

The Prosperity Gospel and modern Ayn Randian Christianity:

media.tumblr.com
 
2013-08-08 01:00:10 PM  

MugzyBrown: grumpfuff: Yes, how dare the government make sure everyone has at least a bare minimum of food and other needs. How very un-Christian of them.

/wait, what?

Ya know you don't need a massive federal government  to "make sure everyone has at leasta bare minimum of food and other needs. "  In fact, you don't need a government at all to do that.

And do you really see the programs currently offering the "bare minimum" ?



Hey now. We're mocking Christians. Let's not turn this into a real conversation.
 
2013-08-08 01:00:21 PM  

Crewmannumber6: You seem like an intelligent and well reasoned person, why are you here?


Eh, I'm usually more bull-headed and use the tab to vent suppressed frustration like everyone else, amateur theology is just one of my real-life hobbies (like many atheists, I got there kind of the long way) so I sometimes forget to imply that you're all losers when discussing it and write closer to the way I talk in RL to students or colleagues instead.

I'm sure I'll be back to calling you all dicks in the next gun thread or whatever.
 
2013-08-08 01:05:14 PM  
Noah was originally instructed to get 7 male and female 'clean' animals and 2 male and female 'unclean' animals. TOTES CRAY.
 
2013-08-08 01:05:16 PM  
Basing any form of rational morality On a book written thousands of years ago, By slaveowning misogynistic goatherder's with an ax to grind, is no way to go through life son.
 
2013-08-08 01:09:07 PM  
Individuals giving to other individuals is good. Individuals make up people. Government is by and of the people. Government giving to (and taking from) people is bad.

There is a breakdown in logic in that sequence of sentences somewhere, I just can't figure out where.
I'd really like to hear the argument against the government, representing us, doing jobs it can do more efficiently than each of us individually. The only reason I can think of is that some don't think the government is not representative enough of "us" (especially when the head of government has a different skin color than "us").

Makes you wonder what the bible has to say about representative democracy.
 
2013-08-08 01:12:41 PM  
Leviticus 20:13:  "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable..."

Has anyone pointed out to fundamentalists that this clearly applies to neither women nor gay men who bottom?  I'd love to hear what they have to say when they learn that tidbit.
 
2013-08-08 01:13:21 PM  
While it is clear that fundies are wrong about the Bible supporting capitalism -- indeed the Bible is clearly hostile to anything like it in both old and new testaments, the fundies are right about the Bible being hostile to homosexuals.

The article mentions some of Paul's statements that what we might call pro-woman.  Oddly enough this is true.   "Paul's" more anti-woman statements were not written by him.   That that does not mean those statements are not in the Bible.  And of course a fundy can't admit someone created scripture so that women would be required to stay silent in church, etc.  This means that fundies must somehow rationalize the same person singling out woman preachers for praise and saying that women should not preach assuming they read enough to notice the contradiction in the first place.

The Bible is a mix of moral stuff mixed with bigoted stuff.
 
2013-08-08 01:16:05 PM  
hinten: Individuals giving to other individuals is good. Individuals make up people. Government is by and of the people. Government giving to (and taking from) people is bad.


One of these things is not like the other.
 
2013-08-08 01:18:41 PM  
I would rather follow the Narnia books, then the bible.

Aslan is my favorite Christ figure. I actually cried when Aslan went to the white witch and laid down on the stone table to save Edmund.

Not so much with Christ on the cross.
 
2013-08-08 01:21:18 PM  
Either this is satire or the author knows very little about the vast majority of Christians and has placed the exceptions as the rule.
 
2013-08-08 01:22:18 PM  

Tyee: Either this is satire or the author knows very little about the vast majority of Christians and has placed the exceptions as the rule.


Fundamentalists are not the vast majority of Christians.
 
2013-08-08 01:23:05 PM  

gnosis301: Tyee: Either this is satire or the author knows very little about the vast majority of Christians and has placed the exceptions as the rule.

Fundamentalists are not the vast majority of Christians.


But they are the loudest and most visible segment.
 
2013-08-08 01:25:17 PM  

meat0918: But they are the loudest and most visible segment.


Boy, are they.
 
2013-08-08 01:25:36 PM  

MugzyBrown: Giving to charity and having your money taken and spent by government bureaucracies are two different things. Christians aren't anti-charity, they're anti-government hand outs. Different things


After the Industrial Revolution the population got too big for retail-level charity. The evolution of the Corn Laws in the UK basically traces how badly parish-level giving was at feeding the needy populace.
 
2013-08-08 01:26:03 PM  
Satire.
 
2013-08-08 01:26:47 PM  

MugzyBrown: hinten: Individuals giving to other individuals is good. Individuals make up people. Government is by and of the people. Government giving to (and taking from) people is bad.


One of these things is not like the other.


Are you going to show how that system works without the taking part, or were you just spontaneously bolding three words and showing you can differentiate them?
 
2013-08-08 01:27:38 PM  

MugzyBrown: In fact, you don't need a government at all to do that.


What, exactly, is the Roman Catholic Church (or the Presbyterian, or the Episcopalian) but a government wrapped in a religious robe? Why is a tithe okay but a tax is theft?
 
2013-08-08 01:31:56 PM  

theorellior: MugzyBrown: In fact, you don't need a government at all to do that.

What, exactly, is the Roman Catholic Church (or the Presbyterian, or the Episcopalian) but a government wrapped in a religious robe? Why is a required tithe okay but a tax is theft?


FTFY.
 
2013-08-08 01:31:58 PM  
FTFA:

Why Fundamentalists Hate This Verse:

Because fundamentalists are xenophobic: religious fundamentalism is a reaction to the multiculturalism of liberal democracy. Rather than seek a "brotherhood of man," religious fundamentalism longs for a tribal community, without the necessary friction from those with foreign beliefs, cultures and customs
.

My thought was, they hate that verse because John Lennon used it in his song Imagine.

It's been cracking me up the past few years the hate I've seen for Lennon by hardcore Christians (seen on Facebook and the like).  What is it with that?  Man, they hate that guy!  They sure like their daemons those Christians.

Just an example of how they have to have a point of vilification, I guess.

//yeah I know it goes back almost 50 years to the "Bigger than Jesus" thing
//way off topic
 
2013-08-08 01:34:41 PM  

quiotu: Are you going to show how that system works without the taking part, or were you just spontaneously bolding three words and showing you can differentiate them?


I'm sorry you can't follow a conversation, but you shouldn't get angry about it.

The article talked how Christians should embrace charity and used that to defend federal assistance programs.  I discussed how Christians do embrace charity and then showed the difference between charity (giving) and taxation to fund government assistance programs (taking).

Thus, people are for giving to charities of their choosing, they are against having money taken from them to go to a charity they didn't not choose.

theorellior: Why is a tithe okay but a tax is theft?


If I put $10 into the church basket, can I have the priest arrested for theft?

If somebody removes $10 from my wallet against my will, can I have this person arrested for theft (robbery)?
 
2013-08-08 01:36:17 PM  

grumpfuff: Why is a required tithe okay but a tax is theft?

FTFY.


Ok I will adjust my example

If I leave the church or do not tithe, can the priest put me in jail or sell my possessions?

If I do not pay my taxes, can the government put me in jail or sell my possessions?
 
2013-08-08 01:43:55 PM  
Oblig President Bartlett:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSXJzybEeJM
 
2013-08-08 01:44:05 PM  

MugzyBrown: If I leave the church or do not tithe, can the priest put me in jail or sell my possessions?


The Holy Spirit could kill you and your wife.
 
2013-08-08 01:46:16 PM  

gnosis301: The Holy Spirit could kill you and your wife.


The Holy Spirit has a special set of skills...
 
2013-08-08 01:46:30 PM  

MugzyBrown: grumpfuff: Why is a required tithe okay but a tax is theft?

FTFY.

Ok I will adjust my example

If I leave the church or do not tithe, can the priest put me in jail or sell my possessions?

If I do not pay my taxes, can the government put me in jail or sell my possessions?


If the church had it's way...

It still doesn't explain how one is fundamentally different than the other. Both are a person in authority requiring you to give them some of their money. Just because one is (no longer) enforceable, doesn't mean they're fundamentally different.
 
2013-08-08 01:48:53 PM  
Dahnkster:
Book of Revelations is not only misunderstood by the fundies, but it is like erection-producing end-of-the-Earth porn. These guys get a hard-on that the world will burn or wage global nuclear war. Let that soak in for a minute. They get on their farking knees and pray, Come soon' to a gun-loving 'God' that hates poor people and apparently hates taking care of the sick and elderly. Can't make the shiat up.

They're like the internet nerds who fantasize about the zombie apocalypse, picturing themselves as shotgun-toting corpse killers and not the guy who trips over his shoelaces and gets eaten on day 1.  Your average Evangelical would not be lifted bodily to heaven, they'd be more likely to be first in line behind a handsome and charismatic Antichrist.
 
2013-08-08 01:49:53 PM  

grumpfuff: Just because one is (no longer) not enforceable, doesn't mean they're fundamentally different.


Actually it exactly means they are fundamentally different, because they are totally different.  They are in fact opposite they're so different.
 
2013-08-08 01:51:22 PM  

MugzyBrown: If I leave the church or do not tithe, can the priest put me in jail or sell my possessions?

If I do not pay my taxes, can the government put me in jail or sell my possessions?


Oh, so you're one of those people. Back in the day, sure the Church would. If you didn't tithe, you were excommunicated and run out of town. Like it or not, someone's gotta do the big projects like roads and public buildings, and whether you call it a toll, a tithe or a tax, someone's going to take your money, and enforce that taking if you try to skip out.
 
2013-08-08 01:52:21 PM  

MugzyBrown: Actually it exactly means they are fundamentally different, because they are totally different. They are in fact opposite they're so different.


No they're not. You're just trying to get out of paying taxes because you're a dumbshiat libertarian.
 
2013-08-08 01:53:08 PM  

MugzyBrown: grumpfuff: Just because one is (no longer) not enforceable, doesn't mean they're fundamentally different.

Actually it exactly means they are fundamentally different, because they are totally different.  They are in fact opposite they're so different.


Never heard of the Dark Ages, huh?


theorellior: Oh, so you're one of those people. Back in the day, sure the Church would. If you didn't tithe, you were excommunicated and run out of town. Like it or not, someone's gotta do the big projects like roads and public buildings, and whether you call it a toll, a tithe or a tax, someone's going to take your money, and enforce that taking if you try to skip out.


Said it for me. Thanks for that. o/
 
2013-08-08 01:55:19 PM  

theorellior: Oh, so you're one of those people. Back in the day, sure the Church would. If you didn't tithe, you were excommunicated and run out of town. Like it or not, someone's gotta do the big projects like roads and public buildings, and whether you call it a toll, a tithe or a tax, someone's going to take your money, and enforce that taking if you try to skip out.


Not only does this discussion not matter because you're talking about vague, possible realities of the world 300+ years ago, but roads are not charity.

And to top it off, a tithe, tax, and toll are all very different things.

We've already distinguished the difference between a tithe and a tax (voluntary vs involuntary).  A toll is a 'tax', but is at least associated with a fee-for-service type of arrangement.

Like a toll road, I don't have to use the toll road.
 
2013-08-08 01:57:15 PM  

theorellior: No they're not. You're just trying to get out of paying taxes because you're a dumbshiat libertarian.


You can scream at the monitor all you want, but let me know when the catholic church is going to start deducting money from my check or when they are going to start arresting people for tithe evasion.
 
2013-08-08 01:57:26 PM  

MugzyBrown: theorellior: Oh, so you're one of those people. Back in the day, sure the Church would. If you didn't tithe, you were excommunicated and run out of town. Like it or not, someone's gotta do the big projects like roads and public buildings, and whether you call it a toll, a tithe or a tax, someone's going to take your money, and enforce that taking if you try to skip out.

Not only does this discussion not matter because you're talking about vague, possible realities of the world 300+ years ago, but roads are not charity.

And to top it off, a tithe, tax, and toll are all very different things.

We've already distinguished the difference between a tithe and a tax (voluntary vs involuntary).  A toll is a 'tax', but is at least associated with a fee-for-service type of arrangement.

Like a toll road, I don't have to use the toll road.


Wrong. By dogma of the Church(the group that makes the rules of that particular community), a tithe is involuntary. Just because they don't have the legal authority to enforce it anymore, doesn't change the fact that it's involuntary from the perspective of the community itself.

Though I'd probably agree on the tax/toll being different party.
 
2013-08-08 01:58:18 PM  
I often wonder if Jesus took the OT literally, and why or why not?
Seems to me he would of done us all a favour if he could have just cleared that up.

Discuss.
 
2013-08-08 02:00:40 PM  

grumpfuff: Wrong. By dogma of the Church(the group that makes the rules of that particular community), a tithe is involuntary. Just because they don't have the legal authority to enforce it anymore, doesn't change the fact that it's involuntary from the perspective of the community itself.


Ya know what's weird... I'm technically catholic.  I've been baptised catholic, I've been married in a catholic church, and my son was baptised catholic.

The only money of mine that has gone to the catholic church has been the fee for the priest, and small donation, for the wedding, and the same when I had my son baptised.

I must have fallen through the cracks of the bureaucracy.  I'm sure the next time I step into a church, I'll have my pockets pulled inside out.
 
2013-08-08 02:01:03 PM  

MugzyBrown: grumpfuff: Just because one is (no longer) not enforceable, doesn't mean they're fundamentally different.

Actually it exactly means they are fundamentally different, because they are totally different.  They are in fact opposite they're so different.


I like how the difference between the two is the church allows you to be greedy, which is rather ironic. People like choice in this matter because it assumes you're a good person who would give anyway.
Considering which is doing a better job to tackle major social issues, church or government, I think we can safely assume that government does it better because people are by and large douchebags if given a choice. The fear of God doesn't sway people like it used to anymore because civilization's mostly grown past it, accept it.
 
2013-08-08 02:01:20 PM  

gnosis301: Tyee: Either this is satire or the author knows very little about the vast majority of Christians and has placed the exceptions as the rule.

Fundamentalists are not the vast majority of Christians.


But they desperately want us to think they are, since they are so very foully oppressed.

Seriously!! The ObaMarxoHippies are, like, going out and burning hundreds and hundreds of fundies alive every single day in America. And shooting them and gassing them and hanging them off streetlights and crucifying them on telephone poles and such as.

Thus, they must get in the media and make constant LOUDNOISE.

PS your dum Tyee.
/I think I got lost in there.
 
2013-08-08 02:02:28 PM  

MugzyBrown: We've already distinguished the difference between a tithe and a tax (voluntary vs involuntary).


That makes no sense. A tax is just as "voluntary" as a tithe, or Biblical duties towards charity. You can refuse to do it; you just have to be prepared for the consequences.
 
2013-08-08 02:02:37 PM  

MugzyBrown: grumpfuff: Wrong. By dogma of the Church(the group that makes the rules of that particular community), a tithe is involuntary. Just because they don't have the legal authority to enforce it anymore, doesn't change the fact that it's involuntary from the perspective of the community itself.

Ya know what's weird... I'm technically catholic.  I've been baptised catholic, I've been married in a catholic church, and my son was baptised catholic.

The only money of mine that has gone to the catholic church has been the fee for the priest, and small donation, for the wedding, and the same when I had my son baptised.

I must have fallen through the cracks of the bureaucracy.  I'm sure the next time I step into a church, I'll have my pockets pulled inside out.


So hey then, all those other things that are required, like fasting on holy days and following the 10 Commandments, are actually just suggestions that have no actual relevance or authority?
 
2013-08-08 02:03:37 PM  

MugzyBrown: Not only does this discussion not matter because you're talking about vague, possible realities of the world 300+ years ago, but roads are not charity.


No, this discussion does not matter because you've staked out a claim that tithes are voluntary and taxes are not, yet there are centuries of church history that put paid to your claim. Just because you feel better handing over your money to a priest rather than a bureaucrat in order to make the trains run on time and the poor be fed, does not make it any different. So you go on believing that God loves you more because you pay for your spiritual salvation, and that the taxman is hiding just around your door with a gun to rape you of your hard-earned cash. Just do it elsewhere.
 
2013-08-08 02:04:55 PM  

grumpfuff: So hey then, all those other things that are required, like fasting on holy days and following the 10 Commandments, are actually just suggestions that have no actual relevance or authority?


This is the very definition of a cafeteria Christian.
 
2013-08-08 02:06:32 PM  

quiotu: I like how the difference between the two is the church allows you to be greedy, which is rather ironic. People like choice in this matter because it assumes you're a good person who would give anyway.
Considering which is doing a better job to tackle major social issues, church or government, I think we can safely assume that government does it better because people are by and large douchebags if given a choice.


Your first point isn't about greed, it's about freedom.  Using poor comparison, the church doesn't "allow" me to be greedy, it "allows" me the freedom to give to the charity of my choosing, if I choose to or if I am able to, when and how often as I like.

Whereas the government forces me to give to the government, and then they get to choose what % of that is spent on charity, what is spent on war, what is spent on corruption, what is spent on waste.

Your second point is a false dichotomy.  It's not a case of the church vs the government 'doing it better' (though I don't remember the last time the church went to war and blew people up and tortured.  It's been quite a long time.  There are many charities, large and small, that could use some money.
 
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