As I write this, Twitter’s top trending hashtag is #ThingsJesusNeverSaid.
Guys, we need to talk.
Certainly it helps to expose the hypocrisy of conservative Christian “values voters” by comparing their economic views to those of Jesus. And it’s often a powerful point. Jesus would not be thrilled with the spreading Trumpian philosophy that virtue is measured by financial success — the logical evolution of wildly popular “prosperity gospel” ministries.
So Twitter is filled with tweets like these today, that (no) God willing, will hopefully touch some hearts and minds:
— Katie Henry (@KT_NRE) May 5, 2017
"Blessed are those who make it harder for the stranger to find welcome." #ThingsJesusNeverSaid
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) May 5, 2017
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid : Let the hungry starve, Do not care for the sick, Curse the poor, HATE your neighbor — especially the gay ones.
— Rob Klint (@1RobKlint) May 6, 2017
Gay marriage is wrong#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
— Seth Goodtime (@SethGoodtime) May 6, 2017
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid The poor shall receive bread and wine, but first we'll give it to the rich and it'll trickle down to you eventually
— A Neau Yorker (@NeauYorker) May 6, 2017
"You have heard it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I say to you drop bombs on those mofos." #ThingsJesusNeverSaid
— Christine Convery (@chrismichcon) May 5, 2017
Jesus may have been to the left on economic policy, but on social and military policy? The same Jesus that conservative Christians often use to justify anti-gay bigotry and religious wars? We’re not talking about a pro-LGBT rights, religiously tolerant peacenik.
Recommending Jesus’ teachings to advance modern ethics is like recommending nukes to eliminate urban blight.
Have we forgotten that most Christians believe there’s only one God in three persons, and when we promote the Sandaled One’s words, we are essentially promoting the genocide, torture, slavery, rape, and religious intolerance routinely seen in the Old Testament? Just a few verses after the lefty favorite, “Blessed are the meek,” Jesus reiterates His support for Dad’s approval of all those awful things. Let the Man-God Himself remind you:
- “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49)
- For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. (Luke 21:22-23)
- Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)
Upset with right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry? Tweeting how Jesus said we should be kind to strangers? Inviting people to follow Jesus’ lead in respecting non-Christians? Jesus? Come now:
- “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:32-38)
- And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)
- “Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:28-29)
- There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. (John 12:48)
- … But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:28-29)
- As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:40-42)
- Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:33-34)
- And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)
- Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” (John 9:39)
- If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15:6)
- If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. (Mark 9:42)
Pussy-grabbing got you down? So you’re tweeting, “what would Jesus do about respecting women?” Christ on a cracker.
- Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
- Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof”… With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished”… But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! (Genesis 19:6-8, 15, 18)
Correcting Republicans by quoting Jesus on health care? You mean, like when He says faith healing is the only way to cure epilepsy, so who needs health insurance?
- A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not”… He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” (Mark 9:17-18, 29)
No wonder conservatives are thrilled when the left wants to talk about Jesus. How are we supposed to explain to our children why we say Jesus is so great if the actual Bible is so evil?
For what it’s worth, given my lack of Twitter followers, here are my contributions to today’s hashtag:
Stop whitewashing Bible. Jesus never said "Torture is wrong" or "Rape is wrong," but promised eternal torture for many #ThingsJesusNeverSaid
— Bo Gardiner (@BoGardiner1) May 6, 2017
"You don't have to belong to my new religion to be a good person or prevent me torturing you forever." #ThingsJesusNeverSaid
— Bo Gardiner (@BoGardiner1) May 6, 2017
"Stop with the slavery thing, guys."
— Bo Gardiner (@BoGardiner1) May 6, 2017
By all means, let’s keep “values voters” on blast for their indecent values. It’s fine to expose their hypocrisy by pointing out what Jesus said on certain issues. But remember that too much elevation of Jesus is dangerous. It’s rather simple to “prove” with Jesus’ words that anyone not like them deserves either death, torture, or at least contempt.
Sure, nowadays only the insane among them are inspired by Jesus to literally kill and torture us. The rest merely absorb the message of intolerance, cruelty, and injustice and repackage it into something supposedly wholesome.