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Preaching The Hatred Of “God”

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The liberator of India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was asked once what he thought of Western civilization. His reply was that he thought it would be a good idea for the West to become civilized. Another question inquired of his opinion of Christianity. "I like your Christ," he responded. "I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

The history of Christianity is rife with examples of why someone would think so, and it is no different today. All one has to do is peruse the rantings of McCain supporters like John Hagee or Rod Parsley. Anti-Catholic homophobe Hagee's Zionist rantings have his erstwhile Hebrew allies asking themselves, "O, What A Friend We Have In Hagee?" while Parsley's blood lust for a modern Crusade against the Islamic infidels can hardly be contained.

One has to ask when Jesus ever expressed such hatred as spews from the mouths of his self-proclaimed adherents.

If one reads the Gospels, the only incidence of violence Jesus performs that I am aware of is when he evicts the money changers from the temple, and there is no report of physical injury to anyone. He was also known to openly visit with those social outcasts the rest of society scrupulously avoided: the lepers and whores, the criminals, and — gasp! — even the recently deceased! Why, what would Pat Robertson say about that?

One thing that I've noticed about today's so-called Christians that confirms Gandhi's assessment of them is that they thrive on division and hatred. I've noticed an increase in the expression of a desire to avoid things that they dislike or deem un-Godly. One good Christian was complaining to me just the other day about the public schools and "the crap they are putting in my kids' heads". The only "crap" I can think of that justifies the complaint are the diversity programs, specifically – but not exclusively – those aimed at fostering acceptance of homosexuals.

We are now in the time of Easter, the reason for Christianity to exist as a religion. One has to wonder why, if the followers of Christ truly have faith, the thought that gays can marry and be as accepted as anyone else fills the faithful with fear and loathing. Are they not, according to their own beliefs, allied with the ultimate power of all creation? Have they forgotten the tales of Daniel in the lions den? Have they forgotten the faith held by the early Christians in Rome for whom belief likely meant a horrible death?

I know that the Old Testament (the only part of the Bible that counts for the likes of Hagee and Parsley) is lush Rush Limbaugh territory, full of proscriptions against The Other. Unless one had the time back then to actually study all of the religious law, however, there was a real risk that an observance of such a ban might be missed. This dilemma was eased when Moses descended from Mt. Ararat with only ten rules – one for each finger of each hand to facilitate remembering them – for the chosen people of Jehovah to observe as they roamed about the Sinai desert seeking their promised land.

One would think that this should have made living easier, but by the time the foretold Jesus actually arrived, he found it necessary to further refine these dictates into just one: "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." (Luke 6:31)

We have all heard this excerpt so many times our responses are Pavlovian. But there are follow-up passages which expose the like of Hagee and Parsley for the hypocrites they are: "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil" (Luke 6:35) and "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven…" (Luke 6:37)

More directly, the desire for separation from that which threatens their sense of Christian life is addressed by Luke 6:22: "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake." The way I'm inspired to read this, those who are the object of modern Christian vilification are themselves more "blessed" than are those Christians performing the persecution in the name of their version of Jesus.

Do show me where Jesus rejected anyone for religious beliefs or personal behaviors – please. Maybe then I could accept the superiority concept of Christian isolationism. Until then, I fail to understand what there is about the beliefs or behaviors of others that is so threatening. Are Christians so weak and insecure in their beliefs that they cannot abide that which differs? Is not the Bible full of the experiences of those suffering great travails beyond their control or influence who manage to survive and thrive because of their faith? Why can't modern Christians?

Like Gandhi, I like Jesus. Treating others as I would be treated makes a lot of sense, and dispenses with wasteful hostility and fear. It is so logical that much of the world's religious thought – even that of non-Christians – contains similar precepts. It is so simple to understand that even Red State Christians should be able to get it (to be fair, many do). In fact, IMHO, if Christians were serious about actually behaving as they claim to believe, they would make Luke 6:1-49 the centerpiece of their daily activity.

All they would then have to do is put it into practice, but that would first require that they quit listening to those talking about how much they need to practice it who then themselves do the exact opposite.

Fat chance as long as the clamor emanating from the likes of Hagee and Parsley continues to distort the words of Jesus.

[Biblical quotes taken from Textus Receptus Greek Text King James Bible With Strongs Dictionary]
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About pessimist

  • I’m certainly as eager to revile the godfloggers as anyone else, but your article’s valid points is seriously weakened by your pathetic and predictable attempt to lay their bigotry at the feet of McCain who has little or nothing to do with them.

    McCain’s association with Hagee is pretty superficial. Hagee endorsed McCain and McCain effectively said ‘that’s nice’. It’s the same kind of thing with Parsley. He endorsed McCain and McCain said some nice things about him while making clear he didn’t agree with all of Parsley’s ideas. I suppose that people won’t be satisfied unless when McCain is endorsed by a crazed fundy preacher he immediately kicks the guy in the balls and then stomps his face.


  • Clavos

    If one defines as “Christians” all those who believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, then I think your article paints with too broad a brush.

    If by “Christians,” you mean only the fundamentalists to whom Hagee and Parsley are appealing, then I would agree with much of your premise, except, as Dave said, the attempt to paint McCain with that same brush.

    Not all who worship Christ are extremists; not even a plurality are.

    I reject the Obama-bashing frenzy in re Jerry Wright going on here and elsewhere for the same reason.

  • Realist,

    When Jews let themselves be influenced by Jew-hating (you do not need new glasses – that’s what I wrote) scum like Eric Yoffe, they indeed flush themselves down the toilet. Follow scum like Eric Yoffe, and you deserve to be in the toilet. And scumbags like Olmert and Peres are doing just that.

    I don’t really give a damn about what “Reverend” Hagee says or doesn’t say – he’s just another goy who wants to get us Jews to convert and buy his particular brand of Dr. Good. But the facts are that no matter who “endorses” McCain, he is still beholden to Jim “fuck the Jews Baker and other Jew-hating assholes for his “advice” on how to deal with the Middle East.

    So, I’ll repeat what I’ve written elsewhere.

    You can vote for a white man with black skin who is hostile to Jews living in Judea and Samaria; or

    You can vote for a woman with the reputation for being a lesbian who is hostile to Jews living in Judea and Samaria; or

    You can vote for an old man who has advisors who are hostile to Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

    Wow, that is some choice, ain’t it?

    For my money, all these crapheads, Oybama, Billary and McCain, can go in the same trash bag, and be dumped into the same garbage dumpster….

    Now, maybe you can ask some editor to fix your miserable spelling? It is Gandhi, not Ghandi.

    And it would be nice if Christians tried practicing Christianity instead of the barbarism they have tried to shove down the world’s throats for seventeen centuries….

  • And it would be nice if Christians tried practicing Christianity instead of the barbarism they have tried to shove down the world’s throats for seventeen centuries….

    I don’t always agree with her, but at least Irene Wagner tries….

  • Ruvy, why does everything have to be about Israel?

  • DD,

    The point I’m making is that where Israel is concerned (the Realist linked to an article in the Daily Forward, a left-wing Jewish newspaper in America, where Eric Yoffie talks about Hagee and Israel), there is no real choice at all. If he hadn’t linked to this, I never would have seen fit to make the point.

    Having dragged us into his mess of pottage (Anti-Catholic Homophobe Hagee’s Zionist rantings have his erstwhile Hebrew allies asking themselves, “O, What? A Friend We Have In Hagee?”), I couldn’t help pointing out that from the point of view of a Jew living in Samaria, all the American candidates amount to the same pile of trash.

    There are, of course, other differences and other issues. But the Realist chose to focus on Israel.

    Actually, the big issue in this election is the economy and the fact that American involvement in Iraq is making your country bankrupt; the problem is not their positions on Israel, which differ only in rhetorical flourishes, but rather the fact that none of these non-entities have a solution for keeping your adopted country from sinking into penury before 2013.

  • By the way, DD, given that you are an editor, maybe you should go in and fix the spelling of “Gandhi” in the article. It makes the magazine look bad when obvious spelling errors are left in an article. Also note that I gave Irene Wagner a plug. At least she calls for introspection and thought, rather than just screaming either doctrine or dogma….

  • Yehoshua Baptista

    You, like all non-christians and many professed Christians, do not understand that YHWH of the OT and Jesus Christ of the NT are one and the same. Jesus Christ’s earthly message of “love” was “timely” and “context-dependent”. JC also taught conditional love, as well as the unconditional type love for which YOU do not understand the context. NT “love” must be understood in the context of being consistant with the OT incidents of what YOU perceive to be “non-love”. The Father and the Son “love” all humans, thus have provided a way of salvation for all. Ignore such, but don’t expect to receive His “unconditional love”. The same JC that preached the Sermon of the Mount is the exact same JC whose next visible appearance will be as the General of a heavenly Army coming to render justice to all humans who have rejected Him as their Savior. YOU have the choice to continue taking pop-shots at Jesus Christ based on the lame, unacceptable excuse that His sinful followers are unable to match Christ’s exemplary perfect life, or YOU can wise up now, and bow down at Christ’s feet as your LORD and SAVIOR.

  • @ comment #8

    Whatever your name really is: shove your shit where the sun don’t shine. The flames of whatever lake of fire that scares you will reach you eventually for idolatry and taking G-d’s name in vain. But that ain’t my problem. Your threats don’t impress me at all.

    You’re just another goy spouting hellfire and bullshit, and I’ve heard too many of you in my lifetime.


    You demean the Hebrew you abuse in your screen name.

    Haféf Hazír!!


    If YOU are lucky and truly receiving of G-d’s grace, you MAY be lucky to LIVE to see the Statue of Liberty fall – signifying the fall of the spiritual descendants of the ancient Romans – the scum who murdered my people in the first recorded genocide – nailing them up on crosses, one by one, in their thousands and millions over six centuries, making the Land run red with blood.

  • Ruvy,

    You certainly have a talent for turning every post into a ‘hate America’ diatribe!

    Your last “P.S.” . . .

    “. . . you MAY be lucky to LIVE to see the Statue of Liberty fall – signifying the fall of the spiritual descendants of the ancient Romans – the scum who murdered my people in the first recorded genocide – nailing them up on crosses, one by one, in their thousands and millions over six centuries, making the Land run red with blood.

    . . . makes as much sense as the descendants of slaves asking for retribution from 21st Century Americans. Them people who did that ain’t around anymore!

  • MAOZ

    #10 Them people who did that ain’t around anymore!

    Well, with the US Administration pushing to carve up our Land to hand even more of it over to those whose goal is to murder Jews, and with the CIA training snipers for the “good terrorists” of Abu Mamzer [and who seriously thinks they won’t use/haven’t used that training to target Jews?], it seems more a matter of “them people” farming out the hands-on nitty-gritty to surrogates.

    Ruvy, Purim [Meshulash] Same’aH!

  • ostrova

    You can vote for a woman with the reputation for being a lesbian

    Awww, c’mon, Ruvy. That’s not fair. Say you don’t like her politics, but this is about what some idiots are writing on the bathroom walls.

  • Tony

    The real problem here is that we keep having these religious debates in the political section of this magazine.

    What sets us apart from the Muslim theocracies polluting the middle east when we scream about the teachings of Jesus and the bible in relation to political issues?

    Sure McCain has tried his hardest to turn himself into a stooge for the Christian Right — what else was he trying to accomplish by speaking at Bob Jones University? But the reason he feels the need to do such is because of a moronic voting base that, for some sick reason, still thinks that is a Christian nation, run by their narrow ideas of biblical law.

    THIS IS NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION! Sure the majority of us may be Christians but this is a constitutional and secular nation in which ALL people are afforded the NATURAL RIGHTS outline by the literature that actually did inspire the constitution: John Locke, Thomas Paine, the French enlightenment writers.

    Having strong religious conviction is fine but trying to infuse them into our government is not. The non-Christians all pay taxes and all contribute to the economy. Proclaiming ourselves a Christian nation is unfair to those who also contribute to make us a great nation.

    Maybe the solution is to cut the country in half and give the south to the fantatical Christian Right. Then they can write their own Constitution that really is based on the bible (as many of them claim the current one is), outlaw being gay and learning about science, and just live their lives literally reading, baddly interpretating, and always cherry picking, a centuries old book of ancient man’s best attempt to explain phenomina they didnt understand.

    Seriously people, when are the citizens in this country going to catch up with the rest of world when it comes to understanding reality? Its good to believe in God, Jesus, and religion but do we really need to be quoting scripture to justify bigotry against gays? If you’re a bigot and you hate gays that be who you are. Don’t hide behind God said this or cast that stone – just put on your little white hood and take your rightful place in society.

    I know arguing against the theocratic rule of this nation is pointless but here’s a tip for your way of thought crazy christian fanatics. Change the priorities concerning how you cherry pick your favorite book. Here’s an example:

    You already ignore the polygamy thing so why not try ignoring the gay thing too? Instead the thou shall not kill thing might be better to focus on. You know what I mean fundimentalists! That President you elected because he promised to defend marriage. He’s killed a lot of people. In fact, thousand of people have been sent to their deaths based on (what you even know deep down) were his lies. Now if you would have focused more on thou shall not kill over don’t be gay, maybe we wouldn’t need to build another wall next to that big, ineffective reminder, already built in Washington.

    Just some food for thought Christian Right. If you truely believe in all you say you do, and you really want to elect a president who legislates based on your beliefs, find one who has his priorities straight next time. I can roll with the whole love thy neightbor thing — it’s the whole Crusades style, damn the gays, down with science, convert the middle east thing, that really makes me nervous, especially when you’re always talking about the Apocolypse.

  • Lee Richards

    #8 really can hardly wait to be a holy gun-slinging soldier in General Jesus Christ’s army of damnation; he’s already started verbally sniping at “all non-Christians, and many professed Christians”, that he(and HIS Jesus)just can’t stand.

    He better learn to follow his commanding officer’s orders, though: “Judge not…”

    And his ‘context-dependent’ love sounds like a crock of crypto-Inquisition crap to me, an attempt to bully others in Jesus’ name.
    Politicians who preach and preachers who politic are wolves just waiting for a chance to devour the flock.

  • Tony,

    Bravo! Well said!

  • “The real problem here is that we keep having these religious debates in the political section of this magazine.”

    Point 1: Well religion is not one of the categories at BC

    Point 2: Since the Christian Right is, as you pointed out, so determined to infuse religious thought and practice into politics, perhaps religion belongs here.

  • You certainly have a talent for turning every post into a ‘hate America’ diatribe!

    Not this time.

    This links to the prophecy of NáHman Katufá, who died a little over 1500 years ago.

    His precise words in the Aramaic:
    Tzulmá d’Rodós, Kad Ityahaiv l’gros, Karív Egrós, Romí l’harós, and translates accordingly: The idol of Rhodes, when it will be destroyed, it will be close to destruction, Rome will be destroyed.

    Now, go read the link and learn what I’m referring to.

  • Try this link to Google Videos to see a film about the subject of the fall of the Statue of Liberty as a sign of the Redemption about to occur. The film is in Hebrew with English sub-titles. The very final clips at the end are taken from the movies and Planet of the Apes to illustrate the point.

    But as is mentioned in the film, the exact method of the destruction of the New Colossus has not yet been revealed by m’kubalím – masters of Kabbala.

    Observations on comment #16. It is the general western point of view to separate things out by subject, and Blogcritics has not yet created a Religion department. This follows the Greek paradigm of dividing knowledge. This false paradigm also divides the mind from the body, to the detriment of the health of many of us. I hope that the publisher and editors of this magazine never do establish a Religion department. The truth of the matter is that religion is bound up with politics, whether we like it or not. The philosophies of gaining and using power (politics) are closely interwound and interwoven with the wise and good use of that power (ethics). The source of the principles of ethics are usually religion, and when you look at varying religions, you see a certain amount of commonality in their prophecies.

    Prophecy is not the exclusive possession of the Children of Israel. Prophecy is found among many peoples. But the proof of prophecy is not whether it comports with our understanding of the world, but rather whether it comes to pass.

    Mother Shipton, a seeress who lived in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s warned of events that have occurred. as well as some that appeared not have occurred yet. Unlike Nostradamus, she wrote in reasonably clear English.

    Some of the events she predicted that have occurred are the accession to power of Benjamin d’Israeli in Great Britain; of automobiles, steamships, airplanes, submarines, tanks, and of the terrible destruction that weapons based on these have brought to the world.

    She writes of the spread of literacy in England; she writes of the terrible wars that the French would suffer and of the European Union that followed the last of them; she writes of discovering gold in a land that she knows not – this could either be the Spanish in Latin America or the Americans in California; she wrote of many things, and it appears that many of them have already come to pass.

    It is for this reason that it is worthwhile to lend what she writes ear; the proof of prophecy is not whether it comports with our understanding of the world, but rather whether it comes to pass.

  • JustOneMan

    Ruvy why dont you use a crazy 8 Ball?

    Kabala—LOL LOL

  • Leslie Bohn

    So let’s talk about religion. The poster asks:

    Do show me where Jesus rejected anyone for religious beliefs or personal behaviors – please.

    Sure. Jesus rejects folks all the time throughout the Bible for their religious beliefs and personal behaviors, condemning them to death and casting them into eternal fire. A cursory look at the Gospels shows this.

    Among many other passages, Jesus condemns entire cities to Hell because they rejected his teachings in Matthew 11:20-28.

    In Matthew 10:20, etc., he calls for family members to kill each other if they don’t believe in him.

    I believe that some fundamentalist Christians hate others because Jesus tells them to in their holy book. And, yes, I know that in other places Jesus tells them not to.

  • I swore off getting involved in too many discussions of this type around here, but I just MUST respond to what Leslie had to say.

    Matthew 10:20 sez: “For it is not you who speak, but (it is) the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” That’s from the NASB translation because that’s what I had handy.

    Now, according to Leslie, this verse and its fellows implore “family members to kill each other” for not believing in Christ. In fact, what Christ is talking about is the other way around. “Brother will betray brother to death (emphasis mine), and a father (his) child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.” This verse, viewed in its correct context, is about the fallout of what could happen when people decide to leave their traditional faiths and follow Christ. It is most certainly NOT an exhortation to kill family members or anyone else who does not believe in Jesus Christ. Christ NEVER preached that message.

    This is affirmed with the subsequent verses, which say: “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish (going through) the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” That’s Matthew 10:22 and 23.

    Prior to that Matthew 10:20, Christ frames it further saying: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to {the} courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.” Again, Leslie’s ideology of Christ condemning and calling for murder is conspicuous by its absence.

    Throughout the passage of Matthew 10:20-28, Christ never condemns ANY city to hell, nor does he reference anything closely resembling the idea that Leslie espoused. Instead, Christ tells his followers to proceed with caution.

    Christ never advocated murder, but rather instructed and warned his followers that those who opposed him and condemned him (Christ) and his followers may be members of one’s very own household. He never advocates the murder of those individuals, but rather advocates and gives detailed instructions on how to FLEE.

    So dear Leslie, perhaps a more than cursory look at Scripture is required in order to make your point. Removing verses from context leads to misunderstanding which leads to ignorance which leads to fear. Fear is the path to the Dark Side.


  • Leslie Bohn

    Mr Richardson:

    Of course, that’s a valid reading of the 10:20, etc. verses, too. This is one huge problem with Christianity — the Bible can and has been interpreted to mean almost literally anything.

    Why would a god not be totally clear?

    And Jesus certainly does condemn cites to hell in 11:20 etc.. You cited Chapter 10, so maybe that’s the confusion. Here’s the verses:

    11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
    11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
    11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
    11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
    11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

  • Dan Miller

    All I should say, probably, is “Thank God I’m an Agnostic (or Atheist, depending on your definition.)”

    However, I will go at least a little bit beyond that. Many of the posts on this thread are filled to the brim with hatred, and hate is bad. At the very least, it causes indigestion and high blood pressure. There is far too much of that already, and spewing more hatred makes matters worse.

    Unfortunately, hatred is a big part of some religions, including but not by way of limitation the “Religion of peace.”

    Jesus,or those who wrote and revised the New Testament after his death, which is not the same thing at all, said lots of stuff, including the crap cited in Post #20. Most Christians now living tend to disregard that sort of bovine excrement, along with other nonsense such as “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” With the same caveat, Jesus also said some pretty good stuff, including that we should treat others as we would like to be treated — hardly an original idea — and that we should hate not the sinner but the sin. Even the principal article seems to forget this precept.

    Getting back to Politics, perhaps someone can devise an electronic hate filter through which our candidates and their surrogates could pass their pronouncements. There might be very little left, but that in itself would be an improvement.

    One last comment, to Ruvy in Jerusalem. I have always sided with Israel, and think that she faces very serious dangers. She is about the only “civilized” state in that part of the world, and helping her is good not only for the United States but for civilization. I agree that Olmert and Peres are weak willed jerks, and that you need more leaders with guts. So, obviously, does the U.S. They are in short supply. The U.S. seems to be trying to mediate a conflict which simply cannot be mediated. I can almost see Neville Chamberlain getting off the airplane after Munich and declaring “Peace in our time.” I would, however, suggest that spewing hatred toward the U.S. is not the best way to change her position to one which both of us would prefer, assuming that such is your wish.

  • The Bible is unclear on a number of things because of the passage of time, a lack of understanding of the historical context, a lack of understanding of the Biblical authors, a lack of knowledge of WHO the Biblical authors are, and so on. Because of this lack of clarity, Biblical exegesis and hermeneutics can be valuable tools to understanding scripture in its original languages and contexts. It requires a study of history, language, people, places, and cultures. Just like any other historical work, study is required to grasp at the true meaning.

    As for me citing chapter 10, actually you did. I merely responded to your post and corrected you. Now let’s look at your verses in chapter 11 and work with a context and understanding of scriptural text. For starters, I’ll supply you with my shortened rant on “hell” as found in the Bible.

    In the New Testament, “hell” is referred to using the Greek word gehenna or, in some cases, tartarus. When the King James Version of the Bible was translated and put together, the words gehenna, tartarus, sheol, and hades in all of their separate instances (for the most part) were translated into “hell.” Together with different conceptions, the idea for “hell” was rendered into a sort of “lake of fire” and so on. But what do the actual words mean when Christ spoke them? What IS “hell” in the context of what Christ said? Did Christ refer to hell as a place of eternal damnation and torment?

    The verses you cite come from the King James Version, which, while beautiful and eloquent, is not often cited for its accuracy. In the “Woes” verses, Christ is rebuking cities that did not repent after they saw his miracles. This is often taken to mean that, due to the fact that those cities “saw a greater light,” they had a greater responsibility to follow that light. They saw “proof” of Christ’s “miracles,” did not change their lifestyles and worshiped the old gods and goddesses and ways, and were victims of Christ’s rebuke.

    Christ then talks about the “day of judgment.” In this verse (11:22), he implies that there are varying degrees of judgment and not a simply damnation concept that sends people to “hell.” He also compares the faithfulness of the people in those cities to the faithfulness of those in other cities.

    Verse 11:23 has Christ mention “hell.” The Greek here is “hades,” which is a well-known concept to refer to the “abode of the dead” or sometimes to something that is unseen. Hades was the NT translation of the word “sheol” which is often translated to mean “pit.” Through the passage of time and with the amalgamation of various mythologies, Greek concepts melded with Christian concepts and with Catholic mythologies to formulate concepts of “hell.” The King James Version of the Bible, eager to cement a solid doctrine (probably too eager) converted all of the various allusions to death, unseen places, and other aspects of common language of the day into a concept called “hell” and the Church preached it. But did Jesus condemn people to “hell” in the traditional sense? Most objective scholars reject that theory based on the pure meaning of the word. Was Christ rebuking those cities for their lack of faith? Most certainly. But he was not condemning them to a fiery doom in our modern conception of hellfire and brimstone. That mythological conception came much later than Christ’s time.

    So when Christ tells Capernaum that they will be brought down to hell, he refers to the notion that they will become desolate. The book of Matthew reports that Christ healed the servant of a Roman Centurion on Capernaum, yet the Centurion and the city’s Roman population did not follow what Christ said about God and clung to Roman traditions. As Christ’s ministry was set as a rebellion against the Roman Empire, these verses take on a bold meaning of rebuke of constructs of power, old dying religious traditions, idolatry, and more.

    “Why would a god not be totally clear?”

    I don’t know that there can ever be an answer to such a hypothetical illusory question.

  • Baronius

    Realist and Leslie – You touch on similar ideas but draw (I think) opposite conclusions. One says that Jesus condemned no one for his beliefs or actions, the other says that Jesus condemned entire cities. The point is, Jesus didn’t reject individuals. He rejected their beliefs and actions, yes. And he proclaimed judgement on the actions of entire groups, but always accepting members of those groups.

    For example, Jesus condemned the chief priests for their lack of belief in Him. But we also read that some of them did follow Him. His broad condemnation didn’t mean that salvation wasn’t available to each of them. Likewise, Jesus condemned entire cities – but if you look at the context, Jesus never proclaimed salvation to peoples or towns. He had followers among the Samaritans and Romans. Both groups were committing grave offenses against Jewish worship.

    That’s what made the new covenant unique: it was open to all individuals. No one was guaranteed anything on the basis of their bloodline. Now, unquestionably, beliefs and actions count.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Mr. R:
    Just as a point, you’re wrong here:
    As for me citing chapter 10, actually you did. I merely responded to your post and corrected you.

    In your 6th graff of 21, you cite Chapter 10, when I meant (and wrote) Chpt. 11.

    And the first four words of your #23 are all I need to know. I ask again “Why would a god be unclear?” (Remember, God wrote the Bible.)

    You claim the question is unanswerable, but the obvious and correct answer is, of course, a god wouldn’t.

    You’re welcome to any interpretations of how thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell isn’t condemning a city to hell. But the very fact that you can come up with one that finds literally THE OPPOSITE of what the words actually say seems an indictment of the Bible’s authority, and usefulness as a moral guide.

  • JustOneMan

    When Ruvy talks of the Kabala…I picture him with Madonna and Britney…hanging out in israel casting their Kabala spells on justin timberalake while eating US Surplus cheese!


  • JOM – that’s not cheese those “ladies” are sharing…it only smells like it!

  • Zedd


    If by Christians you mean the handful of people you encounter on TV occasionally, than you may be right.

    However I would suggest that strokes are much much too broad. Most people that exist in your midst do not live out their lives in that way.

  • Eqwatz

    There are many “Christians” who object to the word “Marriage” to be used for a covenant between multiples of people, or people of the same sex, or partners of different species. That specific word is religious in nature, it has long been part of the beliefs and traditions of the respective faiths.

    A covenant between two adults is a Good Thing(tm). Legalities about inheritance, health issues and other things should be straightened out–just call it something other than “Marriage”.

    To use it as a description of the covenant between two adults of the same sex in legal terms is to make a state-driven change in religious doctrine. It is the equivalent of establishing a state religion. That is why anyone who attempts to make that particular arguement is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. It would force the congregations of religious institutions to host the “Marriage” or face litigation. The rhetoric needs to be put down like a rabid dog.

    I also personally object to labelling children a particular sexual orientation before they are emotionally mature–it is just plain wrong. The children need to be taught civility; ie how to be human beings. They should not be tortured over a “crush” or any of the other things that happen during the maelstrom of adolescence and childhood. The sexualization of children is cruel and wrong.

    Everybody, regardless of “orientation”, needs to go back behind the bedroom door. I don’t want, or need, to know your particular bent. Don’t beat me over the head with it or use it to excuse uncivil behavior. Using indiscretion for the purpose of “leverage” should result in severe consequences–blackmail is blackmail. (Whether the costumes are “Batman” and “Catwoman” or “Batman” and “Robin”–I DON’T WANT TO KNOW, OKAY? I JUST DON’T NEED THAT INFORMATION TO LIVE ANOTHER DAY.)

    I COULD get into the doctrinal details, but frankly it is stupid to do so. Each person is going to interpret things through their own world view, there is no easy or sure means of avoiding that.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Mr. Eqwatz:

    Equating sex with bestiality is twisted and sick, and I wonder why the topic of human sexuality would put this thought into your head. Whatever perversion you’ve dreamed up for “partners (sic) (!)(!) of different species” is, frankly, disgusting and criminal.

    Psychologists are trained to deal with sexual confusion of this sort.

  • Eqwatz

    Sorry about the above rant.

    So far as the idea that the U.S. was and is a “Christian” nation. Yes, it is. My family came in the early 1600s to freely practice a “purified” form of Protestant Christianity.

    All who lived in the Colony were required to practice the same self-restraint in their behavior as those who believed–they were not legally bound by secular law to attend Church services as they were in the “Old World”. The other Colonies had pretty much the same ethic–though the specific form of Protestantism may have been different–or in the case of New Amsterdam, a mixture of all of them including Judaism and Catholicism. But again, the Jews practiced the same self-restraint in behavior in the Colonies as the others. This was the environment which fostered the nation. The laws were fairly simple, because there was a fundamental agreement as to correct and civil behavior.

    Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Were there anti-semites? Yes. There was also a lot of anti-Catholic (Anti-Pope) stuff going on. There was great division over indenture and other forms of slavery as well.

    If you are not familiar with the history of the individual Colonies, of the laws, traditions, and ethics of the founding peoples of the Nation–or just choose to “cherry pick” the flaws–your arguements are embarrassing to read. It’s like watching one of the more unendurable “I Love Lucy” shows.

  • Eqwatz

    [argument] The word always looks wrong to me. Sorry.

  • As long as all of you and others feel the need to whip out your various holy books, all the various versions, different translations, etc., there will be no hope for peace or enlightenment. It is all contentious, divisive and meaningless. Religion continues, ad nauseam, to “strut and fret [its] hour[s] upon the stage…” obstinantly refusing to give it up.

    So, we are to believe that god wrote the bible. Did he write the Torah? How about the Koran? I simply cannot understand why otherwise intelligent adults refuse to think for themselves, take responsibility for their own actions and leave god out of the equation. STAND UP AND BE MEN! Whether one believes that god is benevolent or wrathful, or both why do humans so often hide behind his robes pointing fingers prattling on saying “god will get you for that?” Children! Puppets!


  • Baritone,

    I’ll not argue with your perspective in the previous comment; I agree with much of it. But you ask some questions.

    Did G-d write the Torah? Yes, He did, about 30 billion years ago. Did he write the rest of what is known as the Tana”kh (the Hebrew Bible)? No. Rabbis will tell you He inspired the authors of the various books and for this reason they are included.

    G-d’s direct inspiration can be seen in a few places. One of them is the Scroll of Esther, which is the story of Purim.

    There are elements of commonalities to prophecy. This listing of Hopi prophecy has some uncanny resemblances to the prophecies in the Tana”kh.

    As for the Qur’an and other books, I leave the adherents to them to contribute their own knowledge.

  • Ruvy, if this god of yours wrote the Torah 30 billion years ago, long before this planet existed, I have questions.

    Where did he store this book for for all those years?

    How exactly did he deliver it to your people approximately 4,500 years ago?

    Why did he wait that long?

  • I would, however, suggest that spewing hatred toward the U.S. is not the best way to change her position to one which both of us would prefer, assuming that such is your wish.


    Take a careful look at comments #17 & 18, particularly the links to the Jewish prophecy on the Statue of Liberty. Understand what is being said here.


    This is not hatred of America. This is a bald statement that what too many people worship in place of G-d, the government of the United states, is going down for the count, and that the United States are going down with its government.

    I don’t say this because I necessarily desire it to be true. What I wish is irrelevant! I say it because I am honest, and understand what the prophets are talking about. My religious perspective – which is what you are reading here – is widely shared in Israel – but the secular Hebrew press will not cover that perspective, except to slam it, and Arutz Sheva will not put it in its English language site for fear of offending people like you.

  • Leslie Bohn

    That’s because that “viewpoint” is batshit fucking crazy.

  • if this G-d of yours wrote the Torah 30 billion years ago, long before this planet existed, I have questions.

    1. Where did he store this book for for all those years?

    First of all, the Torah was used to create the universe. So it pre-existed the universe itself. Secondly, why should a Divinity Who Is outside of time/space (but yet in it, as it is all His creation) need to store data?

    2. How exactly did He deliver it to your people approximately 4,500 years ago?

    Approximately 3,500 years ago, first of all, or about 106 generations. That is the age of the “Cohen” marker in the y chromosomes found in 65% of Jews who claim to be “kohanim”, or descendants of Aaron and his sons.

    The Torah recites much of how it was given – the phrase v’yidabér HASHEM el-Moshé l’emór – “G-d told to Moses to say” – and this was written down on parchment and copied exactly from generation to generation. There are three versions of the Torah in existence, and all contain a bit more than 305,000 letters. The total LETTER variance between all three versions is nine. That is how faithful the Hebrew scribal tradition is.

    3. Why did He wait that long?

    The question begs the answer. G-d is outside of Time. But, it was given when it was needful to tell the people it was about who they were, and from the point of view of the pathetic hominids that humans are, this was 3,500 years ago, about 30 billion years after the creation of the Torah.

    There are four levels to the Torah. The top level is like the topping to a cake, and is what you see when you look at the Torah scroll – the writing on the parchment. The other three layers exist beneath these in meaning. The bottom layer, known in Hebrew as sod, or secret, being the layer used to create the universe.

    If you can understand what I’m telling you without mocking it, I’d be surprised.

    Now, to approach the question you didn’t ask – but which I’ve considered.

    What about other sentient beings in the universe? Did they get this Torah revealed to them

    Possibly. But the key point here is to understand that these other sentient beings may be very different from us. So here I need to speculate on the nature of the sod, or “secret” layer of the Torah. In essence, I believe, it consists of 22 different elements of meaning, arranged in a specific order, with 305,000 elements arranged in a chain of meaning, much like a helix of DNA. The 22 elements of meaning correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alef-bet. But it is irrelevant to understanding the chain of meaning that the sentient being understand Hebrew, which is merely the language of an insignificant percentage of hominids on an insignificant planet in the universe, one of possibly billions containing sentient life.

    Now, Chris.

    Do you comprehend the concept I’m attempting to convey to you here?

    I’m not talking about Revelation of Divine Law to only an insignificant bunch of humans on an insignificant rock rolling around a medium sized star; I’m talking about Revelation to a universe of sentient beings….

  • So, in plain English:-

    1. You dunno.
    2. It was written and then dictated? It’s normally the other way round…
    3. What exactly was happening that your people needed this “information” at that time?

    As to the rest of your answer, no, I have no idea what you’re on about.

  • No Chris, you don’t have it quite right.

    In plain English:

    1. It’s irrelevant.
    2. The Torah was thought up, used to created the universe, and then dictated.
    3. Haven’t got time to answer that one. The wife wants on, and G-d help me if I don’t allow her time on the ‘puter.

  • Baronius

    “I simply cannot understand why otherwise intelligent adults refuse to think for themselves, take responsibility for their own actions and leave god out of the equation.”

    Baritone, I see three possibilities. Either people aren’t as thoughtful as you, or they’re as thoughtful as you about everything but religion, or they’ve thought about religion and came to different answers than yours.

    Fortunately, we’re not on a jury. We don’t have to come to the same conclusion. I don’t deny your right to be an atheist (cough(wrong)cough). Heh.

  • Condor

    Hey! 1 Samuel chapter 8…. it don’t matter who is running the ship of state…. Gawd had Sammy give them the reasoning and the assurance that no matter which human is running things… they’re going to get it wrong and that the people who are being ruled by a person… can expect those types (and shadows, and mysterious) of tyranical absurdities.

    WYSIWYG…. in a scriptural sort of way.

  • I’m not talking about rights. I’m talking about rational thought. Belief in any god is irrational. Consequently, religion is also irrational. Consequently, anyone’s death in the name of a god is irrational as well. All you godsters should let go of your sanctimony and give humanity a break. In the end, believers and non-believers alike just want to live. Life is hard enough without all of the religious blather that strips people of their earthly potential and dignity.

  • Doug Hunter

    “The philosophies of gaining and using power (politics) are closely interwound and interwoven with the wise and good use of that power (ethics). The source of the principles of ethics are usually religion”

    Bravo, an excellent observation. I see much more hate in this country spewed from those all knowing and wise secularists than from all the religious ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed.

    It is a moral argument. The judeo-christians morality where homosexuality is bad (among a million other things) is now being replaced with it’s own bastard child.

    The poster above who compared homosexuality to bestiality, polygamy (should have even mentioned pedophilia) had a good point.

    Someone expressed repugnance at the idea of bestiality, why? If god did not condemn it why? Do you think gravity or protons, neutrons, and electrons, any of natures laws give a fuck who or what you fuck? Where did you derive this idea that it is evil? Give me something logical…. Ok I thought so.

    Hear’s a clue, take it as you will. ALL MORALS ARE ILLOGICAL MADE UP BULLSHIT, RELIGIOUS OR OTHERWISE! They are self imposed rules that have no meaning outside of the favor of society.

    There is nothing any more or less valid about the morals of christianity than secularism.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Mr. Hunter:
    Conflating sex with the rape of animals or children is a symptom of some pretty disturbing psychosexual mental disease. It’s also pretty disgusting. What other crimes pop into your mind when you think of sex?

    As for your theory on the religious basis of morals, what do you think humans were doing the day before Moses got those commandments? Just killing, stealing and coveting their asses off? Waving their false idols in the air like they just didn’t care? I mean, If god did not condemn it why?(sic)

    Seems to me that religion may have sprung up from pre-established moral codes, not the other way around.

  • Doug Hunter


    It’s nice of you to think that all these morals and value concepts just sprang into your mind at conception (or is it birth). You have no answer to my question of bestiality so you call me mentally diseased and hope it will go away.

    I know asking you to think outside of your little judeo-christian/western values box is like asking you to think in Chinese rather than English. It’s not as simple as pointing out that bestiality, murder, rape, theft, pedophilia, and countles other ‘atrocious’ acts were sometimes shunned but often embraced by older competing groups. It goes very much deeper.

    The entire concept that there is such a thing as right and wrong and that we have the ability to choose between them is a powerful notion set out very well by the Jewish religion and something we absolutely take for granted. As realist pointed out, Christianity’s teachings almost apply more to those who attack it today, than it does to those who claim to follow it. The idea of human equality and doing unto others (read empathy) is one of the most powerful drivers of modern morals and something that’s not self evident in nature.

    It’s not that I don’t believe humans are the true originators of religious ideals it just seems to me that the ultimate Hubris is the conception that somehow these ideas are just self evident. They’re not, they must be explicitely taught to each generation. Can that be done without religion? Probably, but being openly antagonistic towards it isn’t the best start. Morals can survive without religion like the English language could survive without a dictionary or classroom training, I’m just not quite ready to burn my books just yet.

    If you really are interested in verifying anything I suggest you can start by looking of the ‘Historical and cultural perspectives on zoophilia’ and ‘good and evil’ on wikipedia.

    You might also be interested in researching people outside of your influences, the Piraha tribe of South America for example. They have no concept of God or religion (or even numbers for that matter). It’ll stretch anyones imagination to believe that an entire people have no way of expressing the simple concept of 3. Interesting stuff really.

    Most importantly I implore all to have a little bit of respect for the people and social constructs that gave rise to their current being. All the good in the bible and in the law and constitution may seem elementary to you but they were revolutionary, earthshattering ideas at the time.

    In the end, if our current religions aren’t necessary it’s not becuase they are wrong, it’s because the good ideas laid out in them have been fully absorbed into society.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Mr. Hunter:
    You didn’t ask any questions about bestiality.

    I’m glad you agree with my point that religious moral codes spring from pre-established moral codes rather than from gods, or as you put it, humans are the true originators of religious ideals.

    And thanks so much for the suggestions for research. Wikipedia can be a good starting point if one is completely ignorant about a particular topic.

  • Morality did not spring from or originate with religion. Morality developed concomitantly with civilization. Godsters have simply usurped morality as their own to give weight and lend legitimacy to their beliefs.

    What we define as “civilized” behaviour is essentially the same as “moral” behaviour. Moral behaviour serves the interests of society rendering life a bit easier and, perhaps more importantly, safer. Any “society” includes elements of give and take and compromise. Moral (or, if one prefers – ethical) behaviour toward others – an acceptance that others within a given society have rights and privileges similar to one’s own makes living and working together possible.

    God has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Doug, recount some specifics regarding the “spewed” hatred “from those all knowing and wise secularists.” If you listen to the average fundamental evangelist, it is obvious that they harbour a great deal of hatred, fear and loathing of any having a different perspective regarding god and religion. Fire and brimstone are epidemic in radical christianity just as it exists in radical islam and radical zionism.


  • Irene Wagner

    Hi Ruvy–the word “plug” was not hypertext in my email where I read the comment you left. I didn’t even realize it was somewhere else til I got on the actual site–so thank you again 🙂 Well, I’m trying to refrain from arguing with ANYONE ’til April 20 yada yada but I thought I should at least pop in to say thanks when appropriate.

  • April 20?

    You flunked Lent so you’re giving yourself another 40 days?


  • Clavos

    They’re allowing do overs for Lent now?

  • Irene Wagner

    I can’t believe I just happened to see that!
    I’ve decided to extend the Lenten season by following through to the end with the Eastern Orthodox–their timing of Passover/Easter is linked to the new moon rather than the full moon based timing of Easter that the Catholics use–so it’s all perfectly legit, especially for someone who’s a Protestant anyway, although I’m sure there’d be some Protestants who would disagree heartily.

    By the way, I didn’t make a promise to God because that would have been flippant. It was more of a promise to myself. Two more comments to make before I resume resuming to resume.

  • Commenting on my comment #37, Leslie Bohn wrote

    That’s because that “viewpoint” is batshit fucking crazy.

    Well, Leslie, I have bad news for you. What you think is “batshit fucking crazy” is pretty commonplace in the world, and the problem is that from your spoiled spot in the world, you cannot or do not want to see that painful reality.

    Let’s talk about how child abuse and sex go hand in hand: all over south and southeast Asia, young girls (and to a lesser degree boys) fear being sold off as sex slaves by mom and dad. That’s pretty damned outrageous in my eyes, and I suspect in your eyes as well, but hey! There is also the issue of putting food on the table, and for many poor families, selling off the little girl to some slaver or pimp might just do that. I mean, having another child is always a possibility, isn’t it?

    And if you think about it, selling off the kid to feed the rest of the family is more civilized than selling off your kids for two bottles of beer, something that actually happened in St. Paul, a number of years back.

    And I haven’t even gotten to the way a certain group of people in Israel relate to donkeys and sheep….

    Hint – they are not Jews.

    In the minds of too many people, sex is used to denigrate and dehumanize, rather than to share joy.

    But let’s go a bit further….

    The idea that a regime would kill off an entire ethnic group was considered “batshit fucking crazy” – until soldiers from the U.S. and U.S.S.R. started finding abandoned concentration camps all over Europe with living skeletons in them.

    The world is a nasty and vicious place, and it has still not absorbed the simple lessons of civilized behavior contained in the Ten Commandments, or the more basic rules of the Seven Commandments of Noah.

    That is reality, whether you like it or not.

  • It’s getting a little scary here. I find myself agreeing with Ruvy more and more. I don’t share his faith, but I do share much of his world view. Obviously, I don’t see Israel as the center of the wheel, but there are more universal aspects of human life that, in my mind at least, transcends religious considerations.

    Having just returned from Germany and visits to both the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, I have gained a further grasp of just how hideously we can behave. There apparently is no limit to just how far down we can stoop.

    Concomitantly though, I also believe the opposite is true. We can reach untold heights. It’s our choice.


  • Leslie Bohn

    It’s not “commonplace in the world” for people to believe that secret codes in the Bible accurately predict future events, the “perspective” you outlined in #36.

    I can’t follow the rest of your argument supporting these codes, despite your kind hint.

    You’re right that selling your children for beer or abusing them is wrong. Religions should make it a very high priority to prevent those kinds of things.

  • It’s not “commonplace in the world” for people to believe that secret codes in the Bible accurately predict future events, the “perspective” you outlined in #36.

    You are both right and wrong, Leslie.

    To the degree that you are right –

    It is against Jewish Law prohibiting the use of divination to use codes found in the Torah to predict future events, and it is physically impossible, as it contravenes basic laws of physics (which back up the existence of “free will” at the molecular level). It also goes against laws of probability, which indicate that each action that you or I take precludes other actions (which eventually count up to billions and trillions of possibilities), that could have been taken. Each path taken implies at least one path not taken.

    An example of the above: The authors of the Torah Codes in Israel were approached by the Mossad to help them figure out when the first Scud rocket would fall on Israel in 1991. The IDF wanted to know when to distribute gas masks in case the Scud missiles contained poison gas. Lacking a date (essential to procuring an array of data), they poured all the data they could procure into the computer in place of the date, and the program spit back three dates. The event had not yet occurred, and was impossible to predict in advance. They had to guess: they picked the closest date to the array (group of letters indicating an attack by Scud rockets), and prayed they were right. They did guess right.

    But ironically, the distribution of gas masks against the Scud missiles produced most of deaths from the Scud missiles in Israel. One person died of post-traumatic shock. Over twenty died because they did not know how to use the masks!

    Praying to G-d to provide a shield against the enemy would have saved over twenty lives!

    People who lived here realized that a miracle had occurred during the Scud bombardment of this country by Iraq. Thousands of apartments were destroyed, four Superpharm Drug Stores (the chain had decided to open in the Sabbath) were destroyed, but only one person died as a direct result of the bombardment of 39 Scuds. Compare this to the over 200 American soldiers who died in Saudi Arabia from one single Scud.

    What was painfully obvious here was obscured to people like you who live overseas. G-d had distinguished between His chosen people, Israel, and the rest of the nations, just as He had in Egypt millennia earlier.

    And don’t give me any trash about the Exodus from Egypt never having happened until you pay careful attention to The Riddle of the Exodus, by James Long.

    This is where you are right.

    Where are you wrong? I did not cite some Torah code to indicate America would fall, I cited a prophecy, encoded by order of the father of the prophet. And the code enshrouding this particular prophecy has been decoded and clearly interpreted.

    But as for the perspective we have in this country, even without such prophecies, it is evident to us that the United States government is an enemy to the people of Israel by its policies. And it is headed for a fall. You do not need me to tell you this. Just look at your budget and the state of your economy, the lack of leadership at the top, both in the sitting leadership, and in the candidates for potential leadership. And this perspective is clear to most Israelis, even though it is generally slammed by the whore that is the Hebrew secular press. Israeli whores are better than most whores – they stay bought.

    I’m sorry, dear. We perceive reality here. You are the one having trouble with the delusions.