The Christian Paradox

http://harpers.org/ExcerptTheChristianParadox.html

Interesting article about how we’re simultaneously the most christian-professing and least christian-implementing nation.

Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.

Good read. Basically reinforces what i had essentially already believed: we are, and always have been, the biggest hypocritical society in the entire world. The “pro-life” and “culture of life” bible thumpers that scream and scream on topics like the Schiavo case are essentially the same ones who make up the Christian majority in states where the death penalty is strongest in force. But no! That’s different! Those people deserve to die! It’s moral insanity.

Better get that post count up before he crucifies you.

:wink:

(Your saving grace: you agree with him on this at least.)

QT3 comments: ~50
Life: ~50,000,000

I’ll take my chances.

Scry- You really see being pro-death penalty but against abortion as being hypocritical? It is different, and those people do “deserve” to die.
That’s not even remotely close to hypocritical.
Killing people who have done nothing wrong= Bad.
Killing people who have done very bad things= Not Bad.
Note that the arguments about Schiavo and abortion aren’t about morality, they are about the nature of life.

So, uh, not to rain on your closely held belief, but it’s absolutely not true. And that you think your example supports that makes you look like you don’t have a basic understanding of the issues. Either that or you don’t know what “hypocritical” means. Moral insanity? That doesn’t make any sense.

The same amount of people probably believe “In God We Trust” is also from the bible. Thankfully most people do realize that Priase God and Pass the Ammo is from the Alamo.

It is insanity. If you go by the Christian coda (which i don’t, but that’s neither here nor there) it essentially says we don’t have the right to decide who lives and who dies. That is up to God. The second you start deciding what those “very bad things” are, you start treading the line of relative opinion. Perhaps keeping Schiavo alive was wrong, while to others it wasn’t. Perhaps keeping people on death row alive is wrong, while to others it isn’t.

Of course, all of these are opinions. I’m sorry you don’t see where i’m coming from, and i’m also extremely sorry that you don’t realize that this is my opinion, and i am entitled to it. It is not “absolutely not true.” It is an opinion. Don’t get aloof now and pretend you hold the sole, unwavering truth in all of this. Because you don’t.

Thou shall not kill.

Thou shall not kill.[/quote]
Kinda leaves little room for debate, doesn’t it?

This is where the “Thou shalt not kill” vs “Thou shalt not murder” translation and intent debate goes.

You know. So we don’t have to actually have it out.

Scry- Except “hypocritical” means something. You can believe that opposing abortion and supporting capital punishment is hypocritical, but that’s incorrect. It’s not your opinion, it’s wrong. “Insanity” means something. There’s nothing insane about that position.
You are entitled to believe whatever you want, but if you tell me what you believe and the things you believe are stupid you can’t start crying about everyone being entitled to their own opinion.

Also, not to doubt your theological credentials, but “Christian coda”? What the fuck are you talking about? If you’ve truly deduced the will of God you should be like Pope or something.

The nature of life? How is keeping a severely brain damaged woman alive via feeding tube the “nature of life?” It was “God’s will” that she die, because that’s what she did “naturally” when man-made technology was removed. Nobody killed her. And keeping her alive is claiming to know God’s will, which is a no-no.

From the “Thy shall not kill” perspective, being pro-capital punishment is hypocritical. God would kill em Himself if he wanted em dead, and He’d send em to Hell if He wanted em punished, see? It’s that simple.

“The word of God” leaves no room for debate, or arguments about translation or interpretation. That’s a one way street that fundies drive, and they deserve to get run down if they suddenly – “in special cases” – decide to go the other way.

Ben, the anti-abortion side of the debate is not monolithic; there are nuances to the anti-abortion position. Some people argue against abortion on the grounds that taking life is morally wrong or that only God should be able to decide who should live and who should die. Others have a more nuanced, qualified position in which it is only the killing of innocents that is wrong. People in the first group who also support the death penalty are being hypocritical while those in the second group are not.

Brewers- Some people are hypocrites, but simply supporting capital punishment and opposing abortion is not hypocritical by itself. There are dozens of consistent belief systems that can return that outcome. There are two unrelated questions:

  1. When does a fetus become a human being?
  2. Is it morally wrong to kill as punishment?

Bren- I am once again dumbfounded by the degree of stupidity you display. The Schiavo case was about WHETHER SHE WAS TRULY ALIVE. That was the issue.

You are a fanatical little shit, you know that? You don’t understand either side of damn near every issue, but that won’t stop you from loudly telling people what you believe. That you use “fundies” as a pejorative is almost too good to be true.

From the “Thy shall not kill” perspective, being pro-capital punishment is hypocritical. God would kill em Himself if he wanted em dead, and He’d send em to Hell if He wanted em punished, see? It’s that simple.

Who believes this?

Nah, you’re just dumb, Ben.

That was the issue, huh? Nobody debated whether she was TRULY ALIVE! She breathed, she had brain activity, her heart was beating, c’mon, of course she was alive. The debate was whether she was cognescent, aware, thinking. Maybe that’s your point, but you don’t deserve an inch, Ben. If that’s what you meant by the “nature of life”, then the narrowness of your comprehension is astounding, and your inability to clearly explain you own simple thinking is remarkable.

Ben, you’re an offensive, ignorant hothead. You’re so quick to attack, dismiss and ridicule, you completely undermine any feeble attempt at making a point, or even demonstrate the ability to think at all! Your clearly full of unreasonable hatred, have an extremely short temper, and completely incapable of anything approaching basic consideration, let along simple respect. You come off like a twitchy, angry, frightened bully. It’s pathetic.

I’m not fanatical. Nor do I fail to understand. You fail to understand. You clearly don’t even try to understand. Getting called names by you is frankly a compliment, I had such a small opinion of you. I have little doubt you feel the same way about me, which, again, I’ll take as a compliment.

Nobody, apparently!

Bren- What the fuck do you think “truly” means in that context? “Maybe”? What else could I have meant? Idiot.

You don’t seem to get it. I don’t think anybody believes the “God’s will” viewpoint you seem to be arguing against as hypocritical wrt capital punishment. I believe it’s a strawman.

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

There’s a lot of good advice in the Gospels, not that most of it gets followed. :roll:

You used the word “truly” in your clarification!

The original misunderstanding, if you can manage to follow this conversation, was when you said “Note that the arguments about Schiavo and abortion aren’t about morality, they are about the nature of life.” It was this vague attempt to frame debate that I misunderstood.

You not being able to clearly express yourself through your red rage is not my fault, nor my failing, idiocy, fanaticism, or anything. That’s your problem, Mr Angry.

Jesus, I can barely parse what you are trying to say here. Believe what you want, as obviously confused as it is. I hope it makes sense to you. But it’s simple, captal punishment is against God’s will, not to mention a commandment. Hardly a straw man, as I have seen the same point made in debate by anti-CP Christians against pro-CP Christians. Simple enough for you?

Yeah, both of 'em have a ceiling support in their eyes!
H.

What the fuck are you talking about? And better yet, what the fuck is your problem? I have absolutely nothing against your point of view, but when you start acting like an all-knowing theological/philosophical genius who can speak no wrong, yeah, don’t be surprised if i get edgy with you. Where’s your bachelors in theology? Christ.

You’re right, insanity does mean something. But there are people who decide what insanity is, aren’t there? And sometimes they disagree over what is considered insane, right? We seem to be disagreeing here. Funny, and i managed to do that without calling you stupid, or claiming you’re “crying” over my opposing views. I guess you showed me, though. I’m crying a river here. Laugh.