Home > Uncategorized > Re-Writing the Bible for the Christian Right II

Re-Writing the Bible for the Christian Right II

I’ve been kind of big on hypocrisy lately. Not that I’ve been actively hypocritical but in calling it out, mostly on various political arguments. For instance it’s pretty hypocritical to continue with a rule change that you once condemned as anti-democratic and a threat to the functioning of the country. It’s just the simple definition of the word. A more complex version might be to say that you can’t support an action with regard to, say, the Syrian people being attacked while at the same time denying those people refuge from those attacks. That version is a little more subtle and nuanced, but the label still fits. This isn’t a politically focused blog so I’ll just leave those there (feel free to agree/disagree in the comments though): but one problem that I had back during the ACA proposal says was in the stark disconnect between the Christian Right and social programs from the government. Notably was the idea that providing health care to those that cannot afford it was hurting the country and stealing their tax dollars. The former complaint is a technical matter. Would the financial burden of the government be too much if it were to provide subsidized health insurance? Turns out, no it wasn’t, but at the time there was no way to really know that unless you went to the CBO and asked for their economic prediction.

The latter objection was mysterious to me, not because of the sentiment but because of who it came from. Notably the Christian right were the ones against the ACA and any kind of healthcare reform that involved using tax money to pay for poor people’s health. It’s literally in the bible that a person ought to render unto Caesar and sell their belongings to take care of the poor. Did they miss that part in their churches? Because it was a lesson in the songs, the readings, the homilies so much that even someone half paying attention couldn’t walk away without thinking, “that Jesus guy has got a real thing for poor people.” I guess they missed all of those parts when they concentrated on the times that Jesus said it was ok to hate the gays (which is zero by the way). It’s just one of those weird things that keeps coming up even from those apologists who think I should like Jesus because he was a moral philosopher–a point which I strenuously disagree with–but that’s for a different post.

So I guess that it’s time to rewrite the Bible so that their position fits with their book. While Jesus mentions taking care of the poor a bunch of times, I think it’s better to go with Matthew 19 as that’s the book and chapter which explicitly talk about giving your belongings to the poor and how the rich people are least likely to make it to heaven. It needs some work so that the Joel Olsteens and Krefro Dollars of the world can feel justified. I’m going to ignore the frankly weird stuff about when it’s ok to divorce and that it’s preferable to be a eunuch, because I’m not sure what the hell the lesson is there. For those playing at home we’re starting with 19:16.

16: And Behold, one came and said unto him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”

17: And he said unto him, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18: He saith unto him, “Which?”

Jesus said, “Though shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, though shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, 19: honor thy father and thy mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

20: The young man saith in reply unto him, “Master? That last one, isn’t one of the commandments. It sounds great, but it’s not in there, unless I have missed it in my scrolls.”

21: And he said back unto him: “It’s implied, the lesson of all the commandments is thus.”

22: A Greek wanderer then spoke up, “Teacher, does this forbid slavery and forced relations as well?”

23: Jesus ignored the stranger and then addressed the young man again, “Have you kept the commandments that I have thus told unto you?”

24: “Yes, but the other man asked a question…”

25: “Of course I know that.”

26: “Fair enough…,” the young man cleared his throat, looked upon the audience, lifted his shoulders, then saith unto him, “So, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”

27: Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Unless by doing so you create a culture of need and dependence in which thou shalt surely leave them lying in the dust. For better they learn not to be poor through their own sandal thongs than they become like the locust feeding off the crops of others.”

28: The young man nodded, “So if a man be starving, I should not help that man?”

29: Then Jesus said unto him, “For the rabble in Rome rely on the bread of others, thus they have no impetus to feed thyselves. In doing so, such charity breeds sin.”

30: The Greek wanderer then spoke up: “Teacher, what if the difference is thus between life and death, or their ability to feed their children?”

31: This time Jesus addressed the man, “A poor man who relies on the charity of others shall surely not enter into the kingdom of heaven, it is a far better charity to let that man die lest he become full of sin on the need of others.”

32: And Jesus said unto the mob, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

33: And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

34: The young man and the Greek man looked at each other vexed, then the young man spoketh: “We should not give unto the destitute but unto you?”

35: Jesus replieth, “Yes, for many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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