You may ask “How does somebody get this from the evidence we have about Jesus?” Why, by the time-honored practice of simply ignoring everything the evidence says and making a forceful and baseless assertion, compounded of half-truth, outright lies, sentimentality and wishful thinking that exactly conforms Jesus to what you would, in any case, say even if he were standing nose to nose with you telling you (like Marshal McLuhan in “Annie Hall”), “You know nothing of me or my work”!:
According to McLennan, Jesus’s message was one of love and kindness, of charity, forgiveness and peace. For him, Christianity isn’t about fire and brimstone, damnation and hell; it’s about how people get along with one another. Oh, and saving the environment, too.
And choice — so abortion (or at least first-and second-trimester abortions) and same-sex marriage, from the standpoint of progressive Christians –is permissible.
Like many, though certainly not all, Christians, McLennan also is comfortable with the notion that the Bible is not literally true. The stories in the Old and New Testaments are meant to be allegories — including the birth, death and rebirth of Jesus. McLennan doesn’t believe the Son of God was actually born virginally or that he really came back to life three days after he was killed. The Jesus story is a lesson — that God loves everyone, including harlots who have children out of wedlock, and that Jesus walks with Christians at all times, even if you can’t see him.