Sermon on the Mount blogging

I enjoyed Tea Party Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mall,” but then I would. I’m not sure how effective it may be with those it’s hoping to persuade.

Will Fermia traces the various American mutations of John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” allusion. In a remark much-quoted by politicians since then, Winthrop called for the Massachusetts Bay Colony to be like the city on a hill in Matthew 5:

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Matthew just says “city built on a hill” and Winthrop just said “city on a hill.” So at what point in American rhetoric did this city on a hill get all shining?

And now, once again, I have that awesome bass-line from Godspell stuck in my head. (“You Are the Light of the World” is on my list of songs I’d learn first if ever I tried to learn to play the bass guitar which I probably never will but it’s still fun to keep a list. See also: “Blood and Roses,” “Please Do Not Go,” and the themes from Barney Miller and Night Court.)

Ken Hutcherson says he’s a pastor. Ken Hutcherson says he is, in fact, a Christian pastor. Ken Hutcherson — astonishingly, amazingly — has the audacity to say he is a Christian pastor who understands and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.

This is simply unbelievable. I do not believe him. You should not believe him. He is not to be believed.

Here’s why — this is Ken Hutcherson’s version of the Sermon on the Mount:

The only way to make your enemy a friend is to defeat them or kill them.

This fraudulent, show-boating idiot, unsurprisingly, is the official spokesman for the religious coalition opposing marriage equality in Washington state.

Here is what Jesus actually said about enemies:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?

So, yeah, I guess that means I’m supposed to love even a lying, nasty, ignorant con-artist like Ken Hutcherson. Sigh.

God sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous, and sometimes even sends snow on Amman, Jordan.

See also: Gary G. Kohls on “the Sermon-on-the-Mount Christianity of Jesus.”

(Oh, and “Stand by Me,” and “Groove Is in the Heart.” And of course “Under Pressure.” And let’s say “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” because I think it’d be easier than all those other ones.)

  • Mary Kaye

    I was in a production of _Godspell_ as a teenager, and for some reason we *could not* get that song right.  We would always sing “You gotta  be bright to be the salt of the earth.”  Drove our director crazy.  So I’ll guess that’s how the city gets to be shining–the lamp image is stronger than the salt or city images and intrudes into them.

  • Broggly

    I know the phrase “Light on the Hill” was used by the Australian Labor Party in its early days, but like the spelling of their name that could be due to American influence

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

    The themes from “Barney Miller” & “Night Court, eh? Lofty goals, dude…
    Next you’ll be trying for a Rush song.
    The Sermon on the Mount is all too often forgotten. It’s apparent that many Christians have never heard of it.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I have commented before that, though Washington state is relatively socially progressive, it does have a small but dedicated population opposed to marriage equality.  Ken Hutcherson is right at the center of that group. 

    He is also a former football player.  As you might have gathered from his tone, he is also an egotistical asshole.  At least he is self-aware enough to admit to the egoism, saying that it helped him build his football career, and now it is helping him build his congregation. 

    Did you know that he once ran a campaign to try and encourage his followers to buy as much Microsoft stock as possible?  It was not because he liked Microsoft.  Rather, it was because he objected to the fact that Microsoft was getting a 100% equality rating from the Human Rights Campaign, and wanted to get enough shares to vote to add discrimination. 

    What a dick. 

  • Leonard Andrew Spencer

    “I try to think of the Labor movement, not as putting an extra sixpence
    into somebody’s pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier,
    but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better
    standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We
    have a great objective – the light on the hill – which we aim to reach
    by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may
    give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labor movement would
    not be worth fighting for.”

    Prime Minister Ben Chifley, 1949

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Night court! Yay.

    Next you’ll be trying for a Rush song.

    Is that not what learning to play the bass is for?

  • Anonymous

    The only way to make your enemy a friend is to defeat them or kill them.

    How would you like to be a big black man….

    I can only infer from these quotes that Ken Hutcherson is either a mad scientist or a necromancer, possibly both.

  • Anonymous

    “Love Buzz,” Fred, “LOVE BUZZ!

  • Lori

     
    The only way to make your enemy a friend is to defeat them or kill them.  

     

    Someone apparently flunked kindergarten. 

  • Anonymous

    After reading that, I’m not convinced Ken is human. Get the Voight-Kampff machine out. I’m guess no empathy in this one.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner#Voight-Kampff_machine

  • Anonymous

    Hutcherson on Gov Gregoire’s support for marriage equality:

    “She might as well change her name to John Wilkes Booth because what she’s doing now is trying to put a bullet in the head of one of the greatest traditions that has ever existed and has built our society, and that is marriage between one man and one woman.”

    Where can I buy the Offensive Historical Allusions Mad Libs these guys all seem to own?

  • Anonymous

    These days, every time I hear the “shining city on a hill” line all I can think of is Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Specifically, the opening of “A Guy Like You”:

    Paris, the city of lovers
    Is glowing this evening
    True, that’s because it’s on fire
    But still, there’s “l’amour”….

    I keep thinking at some point we should stop being so self-congratulatory about the brightness of the light and worry about how big the fire is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

    Well, that’s what learning to play the drums is for. If I was a bass player, that’s what I’d do.
    Off topic, how do you do italics? Is there an easy resource? 60 y/o guys want to know…

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Slacktivist’s been in all italics for me since the move to Patheos. 

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    First, you sing to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It:
    “Oh, the pointy little brackets are your friends.
    Oh, the pointy little brackets are your friends.”

    Then you use [i], [/i] replacing the square brackets with your pointy bracket friends, or [em], [/em], again replacing the square brackets with your pointy bracket friends, which is supposed to make a difference that I can’t see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

    Ummm, OK…

  • Tricksterson

    Umm, has this guy even [b]read[/b] the New Testament?

  • Anonymous

    @ Tricksterson:

    Oh, the pointy little brackets are your friends!
    Oh, the pointy little brackets are your friends…

    Back on topic: No, I don’t think that he has. Then again, I’d be willing to bet real money that the vast majority of those who claim to be “Christian” have never read the NT — or at least read it carefully enough to understand what it *actually* says.

  • Patrick Phelan

    I try to think of the Labor movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody’s pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective – the light on the hill – which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labor movement would not be worth fighting for.

    Speaking from New South Wales, it’s that speech that keeps me putting Labor at least high on my ballots, and growling at the people that tends to mean I’m voting for. …Naturally it’s not that simple, but I’d love to see a little more of that kind of speech in modern politics.

    And these days it always reminds me of the song from “Keating! The Musical” – one of only two in the whole thing that isn’t satirical and hilarious (with occasional prejudice problems, naturally), where a mythologised Paul Keating is facing his coming and historical defeat, he has a simple, heart-rending solo about how he still believes politics can be a force for good, which is called “Light on the Hill“. And the audience weeps. And then the writers decide to play hob with historical accuracy and completely rewrite it. Which makes a good ending.

    I can only infer from these quotes that Ken Hutcherson is either a mad scientist or a necromancer, possibly both.

    I immediately think of Herbert West. Which isn’t a good association, because again, Lovecraft gets an excellent idea, writes it with a dawning and creeping horror, and then says “BY THE WAY, RACISM!” and ruins everything.

  • Brandi

    [Ken] is also a former football player.

    So did he get too many concussions, or not enough?

  • twig

    The only way to make your enemy a friend is to defeat them or kill them.

    And then I think about how many enemies this guy thinks he has.  And then I think about the fact that me, and practically everyone I know would be on his list, and that I don’t know what his definition of ‘defeat’ is…

  • Anonymous

    Then again, I’d be willing to bet real money that the vast majority of
    those who claim to be “Christian” have never read the NT — or at least
    read it carefully enough to understand what it *actually* says
    .

    I’m willing to be that their knowledge of the NT is limited to the following:

    Romans 1:18-27
    1 Corinthians 7:4a
    Ephesians 5:22-24
    1 Timothy 2:8-15 and 6:1
    Titus 2:3-5
    Revelation 13
    Leviticus 18:22

    Yeah, I know . . . Leviticus isn’t part of the NT, but it seems to be so very important to these people.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Ken Hutcherson learned everything he needed to know about Christianity from 90s comic books.

  • Matri

    Hmm. I’d bet that if you replaced the rest of the book with the Kama Sutra, none of them would notice.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    The pointy brackets are these things: . Replace the square brackets in [i]text[/i] or [em]text[/em] with and you will have text.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    And then I think about how many enemies this guy thinks he has. And then I think about the fact that me, and practically everyone I know would be on his list, and that I don’t know what his definition of ‘defeat’ is…

    Ken Hutchinson does not know the meaning of the word ‘defeat’,* ha! 

    * Seriously, I would be surprised if he ever gave the word two seconds’ thought in his life.  Part of that whole egoism thing.  Seems to be a pattern among such “musclar” preachers. 

  • Anonymous

    I had to reread Ken Hutcherson’s introduction a few times before I figured out that it wasn’t a parody written by an opponent.  I can’t wrap my mind around anyone wanting to portray themselves in that way.

    thinks it is okay to drill for oil in our own country, to kick illegals out of that same country,

    I thought I’d read all four Gospels, but I missed the part where Jesus talks about oil drilling.  Maybe it was edited out of the Catholic version.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    It’s easy to make your own. Just take a random bad guy from US history, preferably one with three names — John Wilkes Booth, John Wayne Gacy, James Earl Ray, Lee Harvey Oswald — and pair him with a contemporary politician. Add lots of hyperbole and ridiculously overheated imagery (“allowing same-sex marriage is just like shooting someone in the head!”) and pour to serve.

    The best part is that the people who would agree with your sentiment are unlikely to question your comparison. You would think that even opponents of same-sex marriage in Washington would realize that Gregoire isn’t figuratively or literally “assassinating” the concept of of opposite-sex marriage. If her bill was outlawing marriage between one man and one woman, that would be an appropriate comparison…

  • Tricksterson

    Hey it’s been a while

  • Tricksterson

    Ah, but these folk think that somehow, allowing same sex marriage will lead to the elimination of opposite sex marriage and that in fact that is the whole purpose behind allowing same sex marriage, that it’s just a tool, not an end in itself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Oh, I know, but they should make that connection, shouldn’t they? Instead, they’re kind of trying to prove one thing just by asserting it, which shouldn’t fly.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The thing is, for a few years now Washington state has had marriage equality in everything but name.  Civil unions here have all the same legal ramifications as marriages do.  All that passing a marriage equality measure here would do is change the type of certificate involved in gay marriages. 

    Of course, Hutchinson and his ilk opposed the “marriage in everything but name” bill that passed a few years ago too, saying that it was just a wedge strategy to get gay marriage legalized.  He was actually right in that case, because it is part of a wedge strategy, to make it more difficult for it to be overturned by a popular ballot like Proposition 8 did in California. 

  • FangsFirst

    I had to reread Ken Hutcherson’s introduction a few times before I
    figured out that it wasn’t a parody written by an opponent.  I can’t
    wrap my mind around anyone wanting to portray themselves in that way.

    I read it a few times and still wasn’t sure. Then I thought maybe it was him talking about someone else and then himself.

    It was kind of the reverse of the first article on the Atlas Shrugged DVD cover. I read it and went “What? What error?”
    I was so used to “self sacrifice” being a good thing it didn’t occur to me it wasn’t supposed to be there.

    Kinda like here, I couldn’t believe anyone would say those things and it had to be about an opponent…or…something…

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Incidentally, Microsoft has come out with those asking for marriage equality in Washington.  And just to blow the minds of the GOP, they’re doing it for straight-up capitalist reasons: Some of the Best and The Brightest happen to be gay, and Microsoft would have a hard time attracting such Best and Brightest to come work in a state where they’d be second class citizens.

  • Nenya

    I see Ken Hutcherson and I read Ken Hutchinson, who is a far better (if fictional) human being…

  • Leisa McCord

    Green-eyed Lady by Sugarloaf
    http://youtu.be/Xc1PHk9FhIk

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I know I am supposed to love my enemies, but you know, when battling against people who’s motivation is the satisfaction of being a condecending jerk, I have trouble taking news like this with anything less than “Screw you, bigots!” kind of schadenfreude. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Woo, Chifley!

    Bloke used to be a train driver. That’s a Labor leader :)

  • http://pulnimar.livejournal.com/ RSE

    Unless you are gay, Ken Hutcherson isn’t your enemy.  If he isn’t your enemy then, according to that quote of Jesus, you’re free to hate him. :)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    This font is supposed to look better?

    Is it that much different from this one?

    /Squints

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There was a font change? (<_<)

  • Mathbard

    It doesn’t look any different to seeing folk. What I’ve heard is that [em] is better for page reading software for the blind than [i]. I have no idea if it’s true, but that’s the explanation given me.

  • Cathy W

    More generically, [i] specifies italics, but [em] allows people to use a default CSS style sheet to make it more readable for themselves, no matter what kind of reader they’re using. [em] defaults to italics, but can be redefined to flashing pink on a chartreuse background if you really feel the urge…

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ah! I thought Fred had changed the font used in Disqus. Yeah, HTML standards say you should use the em and strong tags for greater versatility, among them speech to text readers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    I knew my explanation was sadly lacking, but that’s because I couldn’t remember the reason for using “em”.

  • kbeth

    Matthew just says “city built on a hill” and Winthrop just said “city on
    a hill.” So at what point in American rhetoric did this city on a hill
    get all shining?
    Well, that one sentence likens the reader to a city on a hill, and the rest of the passage likens the reader to a light shining out. So combining the two doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch. Of course, as someone else pointed out, this combination usually means the city’s on fire. That’s no good.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    And just one line from Leviticus! Just imagine if instead of the ‘man lying with another man’ bit they saved their venom for ‘mixed fibers’; gay men would be God’s chosen people!

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Does not know the meaning of the word ‘defeat’…or the word ‘cabbage’, actually. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Ah. That makes sense. And makes me think I should switch to em…

    Thanks also @4ec364250d84aa89323eddcb34347f9a:disqus for the added explanation.

  • zzxjoanw

    I’m not familiar with how they work in screen readers, but as far as visual CSS, both i and em (and any other html tag) can be CSSed up.


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