‘Bible Believers’ who do not know, or care, what the Bible says

Joe Jervis relays a Twitter exchange between Anderson Cooper and some other Joe:

 

For those who can’t read that image, the guy tells Cooper that “Jesus calls homosexuality sin and calls them [sic] to repent.” Cooper replies, “actually, Joe, factually speaking, Jesus never mentioned anything about gays.”

It’s disappointing that some folks who want to call upon a Bible vs. Gays appeal to authority don’t realize that. Many do, of course — plenty of anti-gay conservatives are extremely well-versed (pun intended) in what the Bible does and does not actually say about their favorite topic.

But then there are people like this guy who seem to have no idea. They’ll tell you that “Jesus calls homosexuality sin” or that “the Bible says abortion is wrong” despite neither claim being true.

If Jesus had anything at all to say about “homosexuality” or about abortion, then none of his followers considered it something worth recording. In the Bible, Jesus is completely silent on those two topics — the same two things that many American Christians seem to believe are of paramount importance.

The problem seems to be that these folks like the idea of the Bible more than the actual Bible we actually have. This idea of the Bible can be cited as an authority against gays or against abortion without ever needing to consult the actual Bible.

Those of us who read the actual Bible find only a tiny handful of passages dealing with homosexuality — the so-called “clobber verses” condemning it, the meaning and application of which is open to dispute. And as for abortion, there’s nothing anywhere in the Bible that can even be twisted into a “clobber verse” condemning it. (Although very recent politicized translations have tried to manufacture one.)

Cooper’s patient response to his Jesus-invoking critic is commendable, but probably pointless. Cooper is dealing here with someone who invokes Jesus and the Bible as an appeal to authority, but who doesn’t really know or care what Jesus or the Bible have to say. When people like that shout about “Jesus says …” or “the Bible says …” it doesn’t help to ask where, or to point out what Jesus or the Bible actually say, because such people don’t care. They just like pretending that some unquestionable authority is on their side, because they think that this makes their authority unquestionable too.

See also: Tea-party appeals to the idea of the Constitution, which tend to be wholly ignorant of, and unconcerned with, the actual content of the actual Constitution.

* * * * * * * * *

For another good — or, rather, appalling — illustration of the way that many people who regard themselves as “Bible Believers” do not seem to know or care what those Bibles actually say, see this report from Leah Nelson at HateWatch, “Armed With Pig’s Head, Christians Confront Michigan Muslims“:

Muslims in Dearborn, Mich., were once again targeted for their beliefs on Friday when a group of protesters calling themselves the “Bible Believers” confronted celebrants at the city’s annual Arab International Festival with a pig’s head on a spike and signs decrying Islam as a false religion, the Detroit Free Press reports.

In addition to the pig’s head – presumably intended to offend observant Muslims, who do not eat pork – Bible Believers reportedly carried signs calling Islam “a religion of blood and murder” and describing the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a “liar,” “false prophet,” “murderer” and “child molesting pervert.”

… Bible Believers is headed by Ruben Israel Chavez, a self-described “street preacher” from Los Angeles who runs the website Official Street Preachers, on which he rails against “homo sex,” Mormons, “drunkards,” Mardi Gras, “Pot Smoking Devils,” Billy Graham, and Oprah Winfrey, among others.

“Among others.”

Writing for Christianity Today, Jeremy Weber refers to the so-called Bible Believers’ outreach as “an evangelism FAIL.” Weber also notes that Arab Christian leaders in Dearborn have asked these purportedly Christian outside groups to knock it off with this stuff already.

Arab Christian leaders in Dearborn criticize such efforts by outside groups, including a high-profile 2010 incident involving Acts 17 Apologetics, as ill-informed and counter-productive. One reason: The majority of Arab Americans are Christians not Muslims.

I would clarify that last point: That many of the people being harassed by these belligerent “evangelists” are themselves Christian is “one reason” that such harassment is ironic and darkly comic. But it’s not “one reason” why such harassment is wrong.

Crusaders of one form or another have always wound up attacking just as many fellow-Christians as the Muslims they first intended to attack. Such behavior is wrong for a host of reasons that do not depend on the religious identity of its victims. It is no less wrong when  directed at Muslims than when directed at Christians. It’s just wrong, period.

* * * * * * * * *

Here’s a bet: In the bit above about the Anderson Cooper tweet, I mention that Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality and abortion. At no point did I attempt to leap from that factual statement to the unsupported conclusion that therefore Jesus must have approved of both. But I’m betting that won’t stop at least one person from criticizing that factual reference to Jesus’ silence as an “argument from silence.”

This seems to be one of those phrases memorized by certain people out of the Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook of Fallacies. They seem to understand just enough of the idea to think that it means any mention of silence constitutes an opportunity to whip out this smart-sounding phrase and use it to denounce the mentioner.

Second bet: Someone will criticize that bit above as an “argument from silence” even despite my making the prophylactic bet in the previous paragraphs.

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  • Robyrt

    Good reminder. Jesus doesn’t have much to say about sex at all, except for divorce, which is not what many American Christians want to hear.

    I am a little sympathetic to the “argument from silence!” crowd because the fallacy is pretty common; it probably stems from the ahistorical “Words of Jesus in Red” tradition of treating the Gospels as documentary evidence but the rest of the Bible as unreliable, culture-specific, etc.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    As a matter of fact, RTC’s of faced with the problem of worshiping a God who himself violated all the understood rules of ‘Real Manhood’ that he supposedly demands from all human males.  Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus never ‘conqured’ a woman and made no attempt to defend himself when under physical attack.  I’m sure the internal mental gymnastics involved here are very interesting. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    As a matter of fact, RTC’s are faced with the problem of worshiping a God who himself violated all the understood rules of ‘Real Manhood’ that he supposedly demands from all human males.  Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus never ‘conquered’ a woman and made no attempt to defend himself when under physical attack.  I’m sure the internal mental gymnastics involved here are very interesting. 

    Unfortunately, some of them resolve that cognitive dissonance in unhealthy ways.  Mark Driscoll the Shithead started his pastoral career out of a desire to reclaim a Christian culture he saw as being too “feminized” and “limp-wristed.”  

    No amount of reason, pleading, or a willingness to endure suffering to redeem another will convince a person like that, they will only see it as further proof that their strong-arm approach is superior.  

  • Morilore

    Second bet: Someone will criticize that bit above as an “argument from silence” even despite my making the prophylactic bet in the previous paragraphs.

    “Someone will criticize Fred’s comments as an ‘argument from silence’ despite the prophylactic bet and despite the prophylactic bet against the comment in despite of the prophylactic bet.”

    We need to go deeper.

  • Chaos Engineer

    a group of protesters calling themselves the “Bible Believers”
    confronted celebrants at he city’s annual Arab International Festival
    with a pig’s head on a spike

    Do they just not know that they’re recreating a scene from “The Lord of the Flies”? Or do they know that they’re doing this and think it’s a good idea?

    I don’t know which would be more depressing.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Do they just not know that they’re recreating a scene from “The Lord of
    the Flies”? Or do they know that they’re doing this and think it’s a
    good idea?

    I try, at moments like those, to believe that somewhere along the line someone deliberately subverted the planning of the event by tossing suggestions along those lines into the planning machinery. It makes me feel better.

    I realize it’s unlikely.

  • http://www.crochetgeek.net/ Jake

     My favorite example of possible covert subversion — which is in a less incendiary arena than the common political extremism — is that the AARP has a media organ (first a magazine, now a TV show) called “My Generation”.

    “Hope I die before I get old”, indeed.

  • The_L1985

    Well, they’re not trying to cause a big sensation… :P

  • PJ Evans

     That’s the magazine they started when they opened membership to people in their 50s. The couple of issues I actually got were not particularly interesting. It’s like ‘People’ with age limits.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Sucks to your civil society! I’ve got the conch!

  • PurpleAardvaark

    I don’t care what Anderson Cooper’s Bible says, my pastor told me that Jesus said that faggots are evil and must burn in Hell.  I don’t know how I’m able to write this because I can’t read for myself — it must be like writin’ in tongues or something.

  • Jessica_R

    It’s funny. I don’t have the slightest worry that Sharia Law is hiding under my bed. But I’m worried than I wish I was that we have enough Jesus freaks who are gun nuts and how that can’t end well…

  • VMink

    Your concerns and mine trend on the same wavelength. :(

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Some weeks ago I was browsing through the online edition of my hometown rag.  Someone railing against gay marraige in the letters section wrote something like ‘The King James Bible says that marraige is between one man and one woman right?  Right!’  Of course there’s nothing unique about not actually reading the magic book that makes one better than other people.      http://www.thebricktestament.com/king_david/david_impregnates_more_women/1ch11_14p2s05_13.html

    As for the street preachers; buddy, I was raised ‘Papist’ and eat pork a’plenty.  But if you got a problem with ‘drunkards, Mardi Gras and Pot Smoking Devils’ then you’ll be seeing me on the side of the picket where the Muslims are.  Enemy of my enemy mo’fker.

    Ludwig Fuerbach for the close:   http://www.thebricktestament.com/king_david/david_impregnates_more_women/1ch11_14p2s05_13.html

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    I generally find that people who cite the Bible or the Constitution largely do so in a fundamentalist fashion (if you can call invoking the KJV “fundamentalist” of course) because they want to twist & distort a single fragment of it, out of context.  They love semantics, but hate semiotics.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Also, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.   Just like the Bible or the Constitution, the people citing it the loudest usually understand it the least.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    I don’t think people even CITE that, they just say the title, right?

  • http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=9c45b96226432ac8 Mouse

    Wanna bet that the guys protesting in Dearborn probably use Muslim and Arab interchangably like so many other fundamentalist idiots? That’s high on my list of pet peeves: people who use Muslim and Arab interchangably. One’s a racial distinction and the other refers to a religious distinction, you morons.

  • Tricksterson

    Nt too mention that a lot of Arab Americans re Christian because they or their parents came over due to life for a Christian in an overwhelmingly Muslim country can be, shall we say less than delightsome. 

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    This. I had a friend in high school in 1980 who was a Christian Armenian refugee – but her part of Armenia was in Iran, so they went from being oppressed there to being hassled here over the Iran hostage situation.

    This is why my grandmother rocks: She’d got bored with being retired so she was a cashier at the high school cafeteria. The principal of the school called my friend in to grill her over what “her people” were doing with the hostages. My grandmother found out and ripped him a new one over it. Even got him to apologize.

  • okie

    Mr. Cooper,

    The bible states that it is the “living word of God” and that the word became flesh, (Jesus) and that Jesus and God are one.  Thus Jesus had plenty to say about homosexuality.  James records that if we have broken even one point of the law, we are guilty of breaking all.

    Jesus death and resurrection paid the penalty of sin for all those who believe.   We are all sinners, some are forgiven some are not.  It is a matter of faith.  We all have faith in something do we not?

  • Ross Thompson

    The bible states that it is the “living word of God” and that the word
    became flesh, (Jesus) and that Jesus and God are one.  Thus Jesus had
    plenty to say about homosexuality.  James records that if we have broken
    even one point of the law, we are guilty of breaking all.

    So homosexuality is no worse than trimming your beard or eating bacon? If there’s no degree to sin, if having one angry thought is as bad as mass rape, or talking in the theatre, why should anyone (whether forgiven or not) try to limit the amount they sin? I mean, it’s not like it’ll add on to your sentence, either way…

    Jesus death and resurrection paid the penalty of sin for all those who
    believe.   We are all sinners, some are forgiven some are not.

    Honestly, if I believed what Christians believed (or at least, what you claim you believe), I still couldn’t be a Christian. If I thought that I’d genuinely sinned, and that I really deserved to be punished for it, how could I, in good conscience, not accept that punishment? Worse, how could I allow someone else (someone I claim to love, no less!) take on that punishment for me?

    We all have faith in something do we not?

    No.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581585394 Nicholas Kapur

    So homosexuality is no worse than trimming your beard or eating bacon? If there’s no degree to sin, if having one angry thought is as bad as mass rape, or talking in the theatre, why should anyone (whether forgiven or not) try to limit the amount they sin? I mean, it’s not like it’ll add on to your sentence, either way…

    I’m not saying you disagree, but I would clarify one point. There are obviously many good reasons not to do many of the things commonly considered sins — killing, malicious lying, etc. — it’s just that those reasons usually have little to do with them being sins per se, and everything to do with them harming others.

    (People making personal decisions based on things that are “sinful” to them are of course welcome to do so. Eating kosher is awesome; shutting down schools and charities unless you’re allowed to make sure all of your employees and students eat kosher would not be.)

  • Ross Thompson

     

    I’m not saying you disagree, but I would clarify one point. There are
    obviously many good reasons not to do many of the things commonly considered sins — killing, malicious lying, etc. — it’s just that those reasons usually have little to do with them being sins per se, and everything to do with them harming others.

    Well, yes.

    To be more precise, I don’t think anyone (with an asterisk) actually draws their morality from the Bible; instead they base it on societal norms, or on what they believe actually hurts people, and then look for ways they can claim it comes from the Bible.

    But if Okie actually constructs his morality in the way he claims, he should agree with my statement, right? Any activity proscribed by the Bible is exactly as bad as any other, regardless of the amount of social acceptance, or the harm it deals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

     We are all sinners, some are forgiven some are not.  It is a matter of faith.  We all have faith in something do we not?

    I have faith that your beliefs about God and Jesus are completely wrong. Of the two of us, you are the one who wants your beliefs to have the force of law in this world, presumably because you don’t really trust God to punish sinners without your assistance. Which of us has true faith, then?

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Jesus death and resurrection paid the penalty of sin for all those who believe. We are all sinners, some are forgiven some are not. It is a matter of faith. We all have faith in something do we not?

    And I’m guessing you think you’re forgiven because of your faith, but others of us are not because we do not share your faith?

    Ick.

  • The_L1985

     So why do people treat homosexuality so differently from working on Sundays and wearing cotton/polyester blends?  All 3 things are called “abominations” and “unclean” in Leviticus, yet two of them are treated as forgivable offenses and the other isn’t.

  • Roentgenster

    So, genocide and wearing mixed fibers (  Leviticus 19:19 ) : equal levels of crime against God?

    Oh, right.  The Bible approves of genocide ( Joshua 10:40 ) .  

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    The bible states that it is the “living word of God”

    Where?

  • The_L1985

     It’s a VERY rough paraphrase of John 1.  In the same way that the Demi Moore Scarlet Letter movie was based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    I’ve heard a similar syllogism about God and Ray Charles, but it suffers from the same logical fallacies as yours, despite not being biblical in origin.

  • Tricksterson

    Hey I wouldn’t mind a Church of Ray Charles.  If Coltrane can have one, why not Ray?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Your faith in “something” (And no, not everyone has faith.) doesn’t give you the right to force others to live by how you believe. You would raise hell if someone tried to force you to live by another faith than Christianity, yes?

    So why do you try and force others to live by what you believe?

    You have every right to think homosexuality is wrong. More power to you. But stop using that belief to hurt others. 

  • The_L1985

    You may as well talk to a wall.  This sort of person thinks that “Change who/what you are or burn” qualifies as “speaking the truth in love” if you couch it with pretty words to hide the obvious threat. I have kin like okie.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    What I don’t get is this: don’t they realize how off-putting they are? “I am good and pure, you are bad and impure, here is how you become good and pure just like me” is not an appealing message.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    It’d have a lot more appeal if they were actually good people, instead of self-righteous asshats.

    I mean when someone says ‘be like me’ the immediate response is ‘why should I want to be?’

    If you’re a good, decent, humble caring person, then at least some people will say that that is an ideal to which to aspire.

    If on the other  hand you spend 90% of your time denouncing everyone who disagrees with you as EVIL and WORTHY OF ETERNAL TORMENT… no that’s not a particularly good message.

  • The_L1985

    No, but if you believe yourself to be THAT good and pure, you generally don’t have much in the way of self-awareness to begin with.  They honestly think that no one can possibly dislike Truth, no matter how ugly it is, and that everything they believe is Truth, no matter how far-fetched.

    I am rapidly losing hope that my cousin will lose the weird Christian Patriarchy crap he’s buying into, and actually FIND the Jesus he claims to worship.

  • SayBlade

     This is the problem with crowds who are led by people who practice dismal Biblical scholarship.  When I was kid in Baptist Sunday school we were taught that we could ask questions about the Bible and learned that sometimes the questions were hard to answer or that “I don’t know” was an appropriate answer.  An openness and willingness to say “Let’s find out together,”  and  “What do you think?” were also wise features of the discussion.

  • Lunch Meat

     

    The bible states that it is the “living word of God”

    The Bible cannot state anything about itself because the Bible did not exist when the Bible was written.

  • SayBlade

    Hmm.  And what about all those books not included in the current canon of scripture?  There is a passage about not adding or subtracting from the Bible and yet half the writings in the original collection were tossed around the 300s. Then a bunch more were tossed out by Protestants in the 1600s and 1800s but remain in Catholic Bibles. 

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I think that passage was about not adding or subtracting to that book.  These are the words of John, leave them as they are.  Or something like that.  It wouldn’t have been about not adding to or subtracting from the Bible as a whole because the Bible wasn’t a thing yet and more than that, even if the Bible were a thing, it itself would have been an addition. 

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    The bible states that it is the “living word of God”

    In the language of my tribe: [ citation needed ]

    and that Jesus and God are one

    Whee! Another chance to link to a favorite Mr. Deity sketch!

    Thus Jesus had plenty to say about homosexuality.

    Logic fail. All Senators are government workers. Policemen are government workers. Therefore, Senators are policemen! 

  • Tonio

    Ironic that I posted before reading Okie’s entry, which has almost exactly the counterargument that I anticipated.

  • PJ Evans

     Mr Cooper didn’t write the post. You need to read more carefully.
    And you need to read your Bible more carefully too. I recommend something like the NRSV Study Edition or the Common English version.

  • Mary

    Hey okie,

    There are many things that “God” says in the Bible that Jesus didn’t say. Commands to murder, rape, enslave others, and even commit human sacrifice. So are you telling me that Jesus said those things, too?

  • Johnsmithofamerica

    Okie,

    You are an idolator and will burn in hell.

  • Vaida_advaida

     We are all equally sinners… but some sinners are more equal than others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581585394 Nicholas Kapur

    The bible states that it is the “living word of God” and that the
    word became flesh, (Jesus) and that Jesus and God are one.  Thus Jesus
    had plenty to say about homosexuality.  James records that if we have
    broken even one point of the law, we are guilty of breaking all.

    Jesus death and resurrection paid the penalty of sin for all those
    who believe.   We are all sinners, some are forgiven some are not.  It
    is a matter of faith.  We all have faith in something do we not?

    So, if I’m understanding you correctly, this is what you are saying:

    A) The bible, presumably in any translation, is literally the exact same thing as Jesus and God.

    B) Jesus, being the Bible, may not have actually said any audible words about sexual orientation during his “being alive” phase, but He did manage to correct that mistake after the fact by having a number of other humans literally write it into Him.

    C) James 2:10, rather than being read in context as a denunciation of selective impartiality and merciless judgment of others, should in fact be read as proof that James was complete shit at predicate logic.

    D) There is no such thing as a context in which random musings on “faith” are a non sequitur.

    Did I miss anything?

  • http://twitter.com/anatman jerry anning

    i have spent almost all my life in the dearborn area. i won’t pretend that the area is a paradise of ethnic harmony, (just google orville hubbard *or henry ford* to see what i mean) but these days we mostly get along around here. please, any racists or religious bigots who read this, stay home. we don’t need you and you aren’t going to get converts around here with your nonsense.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    “Clobber-verse” sounds like something from Marvel Comics.  

    A parallel universe, perhaps, where Ben Grimm is God?

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    And lo, on the eighth day, the Lord Grimm did layeth the smack down upon the assholes who taketh His self published novel too seriously.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    This world sorely needs a Bible rewritten with Marvel Universe characters.

  • Vermic

    This world sorely needs a Bible rewritten with Marvel Universe characters.

    The Gospel According to DOOM! would be a fantastic thing.

  • Ima Pseudonym

     In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was DOOM…

  • Loki100

    This world sorely needs a Bible rewritten with Marvel Universe characters.

    It already has been. His name is Adam Warlock, and he is Space Jesus.

    Of course in the supreme irony, God is a being known as the High Evolutionary.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Of course in the supreme irony, God is a being known as the High Evolutionary.

    Well that explains the platypus. He must’ve been stoned to bone when He did that one!

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

    From Marvel, there’s also the Silver Surfer, who sacrificed himself to save his planet and whose entire comic run consisted of theological arguments with Mephisto, as well as Wundarr the Aquarian, a character who was explicity drawn like traditional paintings of Christ. 

  • Loki100

    Marvel does have a lot of space Jesuses? Jesusi? Plural of Jesus.

    Which is fitting because they have a lot of stand ins for God. Galactus, The Celestial Host, The Living Tribunal, Eternity, The High Evolutionary, Jack Kirby, and the One-Above-All.

  • GeneMachine

    Marvel does have a lot of space Jesuses? Jesusi? Plural of Jesus.

    Loki100: Jesus is declined in the 4th declension in Latin (albeit irregularly) . Therefor the plural would be Jesus (distinguished from the singular by a long “u” – I have no idea how to input a makron here).

    /nerdmode

  • Tonio

     In comics, Superman has the market cornered on Jesus allegories. The Passion of the Kryptonian, apparently.

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

    Isn’t Grimm explicitly based on Jack Kirby, who more or less *IS* God in the context of the Marvel Universe? Some might say Stan Lee, but being that he is still incarnate in mortal form, I’d disagree. 

  • http://twitter.com/andysherwin Andy Sherwin

    Hey, let’s also not forget that in Mark Waid’s excellent Fantastic Four run, Ben Grimm dies, and when the rest of the gang trace him to a dimension that Reed refers to as “Heaven,” they meet God, who actually IS Jack Kirby at a massive drawing board.

    …I like this place.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    “Clobber-verse” sounds like something from Marvel Comics.  A parallel universe, perhaps, where Ben Grimm is God?

    There are so many bits of culture war jargon that would make awesome super-villain names:  

    “Clobber-Verse”, an anti-gay crusader who literally thumps people over the head with a bible.  

    “The Gay Agenda”, who fights to make homosexuality not only accepted, but mandatory.  

    “Death Panel”, a bureaucratic doctor who cures society’s sickness by deciding who lives and who dies.  

    “The Silver Ring”, who’s pathological fear of sexuality drives them to strike out at those who lose their virginity while unmarried.

  • VMink

    The climax of Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. saw the titular team opposed by a variety of custom-grown (broccoli, specifically) (don’t ask) superhero teams.  One of these teams was “The Gay Agenda,” with expys of Apollo, Midnighter, Northstar, and a couple of others.  … Or they would be fighting Nextwave, as soon as they got back from the Pride parade in San Francisco.  All things considered, that was probably their best call, since Nextwave proceeded to wipe the floor with all the synthetic superhero teams who did show up.

    Nextwave is a bit bland, and has all sorts of sophomoric humor.  And I can’t stop giggling at it now and then.  And it’s wrong of me, I know, but I find all the heroes of Nextwave to be more interesting than any iteration of the X-Men.  Including Tabitha.

    That being said, ‘One Man Death Panel’ is my next COV character. XD

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Actually, I kind of cribbed the name “The Gay Agenda” from MacHall’s “The Homosexual Agenda” (and also “The Nocturnal Abortion”.)  

  • Tricksterson

    The only problem with “The Gay Agenda” as a supervillain is that too many RTCs don’t think that’s a fiction.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The only problem with “The Gay Agenda” as a supervillain is that too many RTCs don’t think that’s a fiction.

    Which is part of why it would be such an awesome name for a super-villain.  Turn it into a parody, make the comic series absolutely goddamn ridiculous, get the public at large to associate the term more with the character than with RTC fears of a gay conspiracy.  Take the piss out of the entire idea.  

    After all, Mel Brooks once said something to the effect that the best way to get revenge on someone is to make people laugh at them.  

  • Tonio

    I mention that Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality and
    abortion.

    I would expect a counterargument to go something like, “Well, God wrote Leviticus and Jesus was God in human form, so technically Jesus did oppose those things.” I don’t know enough about the theology to refute that.

    At no point did I attempt to leap from that factual statement
    to the unsupported conclusion that therefore Jesus must have approved of both.

    Good point. The principle at work is that actions aren’t just morally right or morally wrong. There’s a third category, morally neutral. Jumping up and down on a sidewalk is neutral as long as it directly impacts no one. Doing so when it entertains someone who’s having a bad day – that’s morally good. Morally bad would be jumping up and down on a person’s stomach. The “argument from silence” wrongly lumps good and neutral into the same category. In reality, approval means deeming the action to be good, and neutral entails neither approval nor disapproval.

    So for Christians, I would think it’s reasonable to treat the Gospels’ silence as these two issues being morally neutral. This would mean they would amount to individual conscience, with no moral obligation to either engage in them or refrain from them.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I would expect a counterargument to go something like, “Well, God wrote Leviticus and Jesus was God in human form, so technically Jesus did oppose those things.” I don’t know enough about the theology to refute that.

    The refutation is this:

    Jesus was God in human form, but because God is greater than humanity, Jesus was not the entirety of God. There were aspects of God that could not be present in Jesus (like, say, omnipresence) so while everything Jesus said or did was the work of God, not everything God said or did was part of Jesus. (math majors would describe it as “the set of Jesus is contained entirely within the set of God, but the set of God is larger than the set of Jesus”) 

    Jesus didn’t cause the Flood, Jesus didn’t smite Egypt with plagues, and Jesus didn’t destroy the Tower of Babel. That all happened before Jesus was born; those things weren’t part of Jesus’ life or works at all. They are part of God’s works, but again, “All X’s are Y’s” only means “Some  Y’s are X’s”

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    (math majors would describe it as “the set of Jesus is contained entirely within the set of God, but the set of God is larger than the set of Jesus”)

    Yes, but the terminology would be, “Jesus is a proper subset of God.”

    Subset indicates Jesus is contained entirely within God.  Proper subset means that there’s more to God than just Jesus.

  • Chaotechnician

    Also, if God and Jesus are both infinite (which I think many theologians have asserted), it’s possible that despite Jesus being a subset of God, God might not be larger than Jesus. The Bible is sadly silent on the cardinalities of Jesus and God.

    Of course, this assumes that God forms a set. Arguably, God might be a proper class.

  • arcseconds

    Well, at the very least God’s knowledge has to be a proper class.

    Otherwise They can’t be omniscient.

  • arcseconds

    ah, i’ve just remembered, the Bible may be silent on the cardinalities of God, but if we’re prepared to accept Cantor as a divinely inspired prophet (as surely we must be) then an answer is provided by our tradition.

    The magnitude of God is the absolutely infinite, Ω, the multiplicity of the system of all ordinal numbers.

    Of course, ‘Bible-only’ protestants will have a problem here as they stubbornly refuse to accept mathematicians as divinely inspired.  Papists aren’t much better as while they accept the teaching of tradition and post-biblical divine inspiration, they accept far too many churchmen and far too few mathematicians as inspired.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Given that a set is infinite if a proper subset of it can form a one to one correspondence with it, which makes no intuitive sense but is none the less plain to see when you look at example infinite sets , my personal definition of infinity is “the point at which things stop making sense.”

    But yes, Jesus being a proper subset of God does not mean God is larger than Jesus even though it does mean God is not limited to Jesus.

    For any who don’t follow, allow me to give an explanation that probably won’t be any easier to follow.

    If we were to consider God to be the set of all integers, the Father to be the set of all integers divisible by 3, the Son to be all integers one greater than divisible by three, and the Ghost to to be the set of all integer one less than divisible by three

    God = the set of all k such that k is an integer.
    The Father = the set of all “3k*1” such that k is an integer
    The Son = the set of all “3k+1” such that k is an integer
    The Spirit = the set of all “3k-1” such that k is an integer

    (it looks better when I can say it in symbols instead of words)

    So The father is 0, 3, 6, 9, and so on.
    The son is 1, 4, 7, 10 and so on.
    The Spirit is -1, 2, 5, 8, and so on.

    It’s completely clear that God contains a lot more than just Jesus, It’s got these two other subsets that don’t overlap with Jesus at all and each of them is as big as Jesus.

    It’s plain to see that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are the same size because you can plainly see the one to one correspondence for every element.  If you were to take every element of the Father, preform a simple transformation (add one to the the value of the element) you would be left with every element of the Son.  There would be no duplicate elements of the Son produced, nor would there be left over elements of the Father that had no Son element to change into. There certainly wouldn’t be any elements of the son missing.

    That’s only possible if they started with the same number of of elements.  Similar correspondences are possible between Son and Spirit and Father and Spirit.  Thus they’re all the same size.  And, as noted, the don’t overlap.  So what about the size of God, which includes these three non-overlapping things?  Shouldn’t God be bigger than them?  No.

    Try the same thing.  Take every element of the son, every 3k+1,  and preform a simple transformation.  Subtract 1 (now you’ve got every element of the Father, but I preferred not to start there)  divide by three.  Now what do you have?

    The son is 1,3,7,10, and so on forever, (and also in the opposite direction, I might add, -2, -5, -8, and so on forever), so after this transformation we get 0,1,2,3 and so on forever in on direction, and -1,-2,-3 and so on forever in the other direction.  We get God, all of God, including Father, Son and Spirit.  But this change didn’t require us to add any elements, just alter the individual elements, so that means that God is the same size as Jesus in this example.

    And, yeah, I’m sticking with the idea that God is a set.

  • The_L1985

     I prefer the idea that God is a relation.  As it says in the old hymn:  “Infinite thy vast domain, everlasting is thy range.” :)

  • VMink

    Posts like this have renewed my interest in mathematics. <3

  • arcseconds

    You’re stepping perilously close to some kind of heresy here, Chris!  This is starting to sound like Arianism, what with the implication that Jesus hasn’t always existed. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CE6FTHLHRMXUGOOGCMG3ROXBH4 David

    The bible states that it is the “living word of God” and that the word became flesh, (Jesus) and that Jesus and God are one.  Thus Jesus had plenty to say about homosexuality. 

    By that logic, Jesus has got some serious explaining to do regarding the Song of Songs…

  • LoneWolf343

     Who washes God’s mouth out with soap?

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

     By that logic, Jesus has got some serious explaining to do regarding the Song of Songs…

    That almost made me spit out my water.  On the other hand, there are some older traditions that some very interesting interpretations of that book…

  • Theophile

    Clobber verses, really! Like the entire chapters 19 of Genesis, and 19 Judges? Can you read through those scenarios and see those incidents both included democracy( the majority rule) and sick rapist homosexuals? probably not from the tenner of your article, but Hey when Jesus spoke on sex:… But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.(not male and male) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more  twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
     Now Joe, you might think wife doesn’t mean woman, or argue that”shall a man leave HIS” is not a sexual reference, and you can even try to imply that everything Jesus said had nothing to do with the words of Moses, but hey, you don’t know or don’t care.

  • The_L1985

    Technically, we don’t KNOW that the people of Sodom were homosexual.  They may not have been attracted to the angels, and simply saw the strangers as an easy mark for humiliating rape.

    Rape =/= attraction.  Rape == violence.

    Also, Ezekiel 16:49.  Read it.  Learn it.

    By the way, Moses could not possibly have written all the first 5 books of the Bible. Deuteronomy describes his death. Bit hard for him to write about the circumstances of his own death before it happened! And dead people can’t write anything!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581585394 Nicholas Kapur

    Rape =/= attraction.  Rape == violence.

    This also comes up when bigots rail against gays in the military. They love(d) to cite man-on-man rape statistics, while ignoring the fact that most of those are committed by straight men against (perceived or actual) gay men.

  • Loki100

    This also comes up when bigots rail against gays in the military. They love(d) to cite man-on-man rape statistics, while ignoring the fact that most of those are committed by straight men against (perceived or actual) gay men.

    It also comes up when they talk about child molestation. I’ve heard it more times than I can count that if a man rapes a male child he must be gay. The fact is that every scientific study into the subject (I know of six off the top of my head) has shown that it is virtually unheard of that an adult homosexual would molest a child. In fact, one study in Denver that looked at almost 300 cases of child abuse found that over 75% of male abusers of male children were in a sexual, heterosexual relationship at the time that the abuse occurred. And precisely zero could be actually shown to have homosexual inclinations.

    Rape is about power, not sex. Which is something that anyone with even the slightest bit of knowledge of what rape is, knows.

  • Falconer

     “Bit hard for him to write about the circumstances of his own death before it happened!”

    Perhaps he was dictating?

  • PJ Evans

    “Bit hard for him to write about the circumstances of his own death before it happened!”

    Perhaps he was dictating?

    Did they have the equivalent of a Ouija board?

  • The_L1985

     Tut-tut, suggesting divination.  How dare you.

  • Theophile

     Ezekiel 16:49-50
    Iniquity of Sodom:
    #Pride, (proud to be an American? parade anyone?)
    #Fullness of bread, (obesity problems? fast food?)
    #Abundance of Idleness , (Got entertainment?)
    #Failure to STRENGTHEN the hand of the poor, (Big bank bailouts? government dependance?)
    # They were haughty, (Were #1! were #1! God made us this way, lets have a parade!)
    #They committed abominations…(comment needed?)
     These are PREREQUISITE conditions for wickedness, notice the parallels?
     Read it learn it….I memorized that long ago, how about this one:
    Jeremiah 6:19.. or Isaiah 3:12…read it learn it.

  • ConservativeWhitebread

    whoa.  You’ve gone full asshole on this one.

  • Beleester

    How is this relevant to your previous argument about homosexuality?  And really, can’t you do better than this cliche?  America is sinful and will be struck down?  That line’s been around since 1776.  Get some new material.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Wow, Theo, it’s a good thing you yourself don’t have any of those sins. Especially pride. Yep.

  • Au_catboy

     Ah, so Republicans are all Sodomites!  And you support their bigoted insanity because you worship a god of pure evil, and you’re just waiting for it to slaughter your countrymen so you can gleefully watch them die.  What a worthless piece of shit you are, Theophile!

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    *doubletake*

    Huh. At first glance I thought that was someone else refuting Theophile’s narrow interpretation of what the “sins” of Sodom actually were.

  • ako

     #They committed abominations…(comment needed?)

    So your argument that the Bible declares homosexuality an abomination is that if you assume that the reference to Sodom committing abominations refers to homosexuality (and not, for instance, attempting to gang-rape passing strangers), then the Bible can be interpreted as condemning homosexuality as an abomination?

    Are you aware of the original definition of “Begging the question”?

  • Theophile

     Hi Ako,
     But, attempting gang rape on passing strangers is what happened in Genesis 19 & Judges 19. Now we can try to get around the fact that these were attempted  homosexual rapes, but that is not the case. The Judges account was men wanting to rape the male stranger, settling for the female, in the Genesis account the male rapists refused the females. We can only conclude from the written accounts that these rapists were homosexual 1st, rapists 2nd.

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

    One of the unfortunate subtexts of those reports is that the females were profferred at all. That implies that God apparently doesn’t care if men rape women because it’s not Teh Dirty Gaysex.

    Excuse me if I don’t suddenly rush to embrace a faith that can carry that kind of interpretation of its doctrinally holy book.

  • Au_catboy

     And yet, offering up one’s own daughters to be raped by a mob is what your cult considers the act of a righteous man?  Why should anyone think your god is anything other than a psychotic bully? 

    Theophile, you have dedicated yourself to the worship of a monstrous delusion.  Why?  Have you no self-respect?  Have you no sense of decency?

  • EllieMurasaki

     You do know that it is almost invariably straight men who commit rape, yes?

  • Theophile

     Either way homosexual gang rape, or just regular gang rape, isn’t either an abomination?

  • Au_catboy

     To a person with a shred of decency, rape is an abomination.  But to YOU, Theophile, it isn’t.  The only objection you seem to be able to imagine to homosexual gang rape is that it is homosexual, not that it is gang rape

  • EllieMurasaki

     Because it’s RAPE, not because it’s homosexual.

  • Lunch Meat

    So when gay people now, today, start committing gang rape in large numbers, then we can talk about how they’re bad people. Until then, stop bearing false witness and stop using the Bible as a weapon.

  • Tricksterson

    Apparently heterosexual gang rape is okay since the angels had no objection to Lot offering up his daughters to the mo.

  • Theophile

    Umm..wrong, The angels apparently didn’t allow the mob to rape anyone, and struck them with blindness.  But the Judges 19 account has the rapists offered a woman instead of the male they desired, which they raped to death, Read Judges 19-20 to see the judgment on Benjamin over this heterosexual rape….It wasn’t okay.

  • Lori

     I can’t help but wonder if you’re willfully missing the point or if you’re just that unable to follow logic.

  • Tricksterson

    The angels only struck the crowd blind after it rejected Lot’s offer.  Remember a strong subplot of the whole story is how Lot, his faughters and their incestuois offspring are inferior to SAbraham’s line in order to justify the htred of the nation that supposedly sprung from their loins.  The Old Testament is full of shit like that.

  • Joshua


    But the Judges 19 account has the rapists offered a woman instead of the male they desired, which they raped to death 

    who they raped, not which they raped. Women are, in fact, people and not things.

  • reynard61

    “And dead people can’t write anything!”

    Try telling that to L. Ron Hubbard. I swear that his followers must have tossed a typewriter and several trees worth of paper into his coffin just before he was buried because he was a more prolific writer (notice that I don’t use the word “author”) *after* he died than when he was alive.

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

    I got kind of annoyed when they stopped putting birth and death years for authors on copyright info pages, since it meant trying to pin down if LRH was even alive at the time I first heard about him proved deucedly difficult.

  • VMink

    That was active propaganda by the Church, actually.  They were very careful to not let people know that L.Ron was dead, in part because of the circumstances of his death.  They wanted people to think he had ascended to a higher plane of existence; like most people, they and their suckers — er, adherents are/were terrified of death, and did not want to think that if it could come for their visionary prophet, it could and would come for them.

    The book Bare-Faced Messiah, is a fascinating/horrifying read.  I highly recommend it with a handful of trigger warnings, particularly towards the latter half of the book where the abuses of Scientology are gone into.

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

    Thanks for the info re LRH :)

  • PJ Evans

    A number of people (including me) believe that he was dead (or at least permanently vegetative) before the second volume of ‘Battlefield’ was written.

  • The_L1985

     I like Mr. Hubbard’s sci-fi books, I just find the ones about Xenu to be far less entertaining than Slaves of Sleep or Battlefield Earth.

  • Loki100

    Just a hint, when you cite something that begins with, “For this cause” you have to actually include the cause. But, of course, if you actually included the cause it wouldn’t make a particularly large amount of sense, or be particularly convincing.

    For context, “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.'” is the “for this cause.”

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.'”

    Something just struck me: how does that go in the original? Because that’s not even close to the etymology of the English word:

    late O.E. a compound of wif “woman” +man “human being” (in Old English used in reference to both sexes; see man (n.))

    man: Sense of “adult male” is late (c.1000); O.E. used wer and wif to distinguish the sexes, but wer began to disappear late 13c. and was replaced by man

    “wer” has pretty much only survived in werewolf. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Well, the Hebrew words translated “man” and “woman” are “אִישׁ” (eesh) and “אִשָּׁה” (eesha), respectively. So the common morpheme is there. I don’t think there’s any kind of precise etymology being claimed.
     

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

     I don’t think there’s any kind of precise etymology being claimed.

    Well, no. That looks like a KJV quote – great for poetry, not so much for literal meanings.

  • ako

      But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.(not male and male)

    Did Jesus specifically say “not male and male”, or are you adding your own words to a Bible quote?  Because you know what the Bible says  about

    adding

    words

    Or do you?  Have you actually sat down and read it yourself, or have all of your studies consisted of hearing and repeating out-of-context pick-and-choose prooftexts?

  • Lunch Meat

    Like the entire chapters 19 of Genesis, and 19 Judges? Can you read through those scenarios and see those incidents both included democracy( the majority rule) and sick rapist homosexuals?

    So how about the sick rapist heterosexual in Genesis 34 and 2 Samuel 13? Does that prove that all heterosexual sex is wrong?

    when Jesus spoke on sex:… But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.(not male and male) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more  twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    So you’re saying that when Jesus was asked about a man and his wife, his answer referred to a man and his wife?? That’s amazing!

    Context is, generally speaking, your friend. Except when you’re a bigot, then it’s your enemy because it proves you wrong.

  • Mary

    Theo,

    There is a HUGE difference between “sick rapist homosexuals” and kind, decent gays in a commited relationship.  There are heterosexual rapists, too.  And nobody is talking about legalizing  rape. Quite frankly, your attitude has more to do with YOUR SICK IMAGINATION than with reality.

  • addicted

    Why is logic so hard?

    Your argument is basically God said A is good, therefore B is bad. It fundamentally makes no sense.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Clobber
    verses, really! Like the entire chapters 19 of Genesis, and 19 Judges?
    Can you read through those scenarios and see those incidents both
    included democracy( the majority rule) and sick rapist homosexuals?
    probably not from the tenner of your article, but Hey when Jesus spoke
    on sex:… But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and
    female.(not male and male) For this cause shall a man leave his father
    and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh:
    so then they are no more  twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath
    joined together, let not man put asunder. Now Joe, you might think
    wife doesn’t mean woman, or argue that”shall a man leave HIS” is not a
    sexual reference, and you can even try to imply that everything Jesus
    said had nothing to do with the words of Moses, but hey, you don’t know
    or don’t care.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here, because honestly, I’m not exactly sure what is being said here, since it makes no grammatical sense whatsoever. So I apologize if I get the gist wrong. But I think this is the incredibly absurd Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve redux.

    To which my answer always is, what color hair did Adam have? Because by this logic, if Adam had brown hair, obviously having blond hair is against God’s intention, and must be sinful. God didn’t create blond haired men, so obviously he didn’t think men should have blond hair. Or if Eve had blue eyes, obviously women with brown eyes are an abomination in the eyes of God, because he didn’t create women that way. If Adam and Eve were created in the only form God thought was acceptable, then any deviation from that original form is unacceptable. You can’t make the argument that because God created Adam and Eve, it automatically follows that he thinks being QUILTBAG is wrong without also accepting the argument that every other characteristic of Adam and Eve is also the only correct way in God’s eyes.

  • LL

    What’s most amusing to me is the hypocrisy of most people who are opposed to same-sex marriage (well, OK, the ones I’ve encountered here in TX and where I’m from, OK), how their own lives are a significant negation of the “Christian” standards they are apparently referencing in their position. 

    At least two of my coworkers have told me that they don’t think gays should be able to get married (to same-sex partners). Both of them have been divorced. I’m fairly sure at least one of them has engaged in extramarital sex. But that’s OK for them, you see, because it’s man-woman sex, not that icky gay kind. One of them actually said the reason gays shouldn’t be able to get married is because they can’t have children together and marriage is for procreation. And this was the IT guy who made that claim. 

    It does make me feel slightly better that one of these people never votes and I’m pretty sure the other is not particularly conscientious about it. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Theophile: You are attempting to make your interpretation of a religious document apply to everyone. I don’t care who said what in it or what reasons you have for it. You are wrong for doing this.

    Now, to get to your actual argument itself — it continues to surprise me that homophobes think that the way reproduction works is some kind of argument against homosexuality. That same argument can be used against every single kind of sexual act that does not produce children. Of course, some people use it that way, but even those totally creepy extremists don’t want to outlaw marriage between people who cannot or do not want to have children, so long as those people’s genitalia is in the correct configuration.

    So yep, Theophile, to produce a human, one needs egg and sperm (though in theory and with proper equipment, two eggs would also work.) The fetus must gestate in a womb or womb-like thing (I can’t wait for uterine replicators). What this has to do with marriage in the modern world, I really don’t know.

    sick rapist homosexuals
    First, you know for a fact that most homosexuals do not rape anyone. You are smearing people with what you know is a lie. Pretty gross. And lesbians rape even less often, but hm, the Bible has nothing to say about women having sex with each other. Then there are all the other sexualities.  

    And what about all the straight men who rape? Or does it not count as rape if the victim is a woman or child? Or when the man is raping a man who does not live up to some code of “manliness”?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    And what about all the straight men who rape?

    I’m pretty sure they have to purchase and marry their victim, if said victim was an unmarried woman.

    Traditional Marriage Values, folks. 

  • Tricksterson

    Actually I’d be willing to bet that he’s never knowingly met any actual gays and lesbians.  Oh, he probably does know some but he doesn’t know they’re gay and I’m also willing to bet that if he found out he’d be shocked at who a at least a couple of them are because they don’t fit the stereotype he’s formed in his head.

  • Jurgan

    Not only do many have a strong love for the idea of the Bible or the Constitution regardless of what it says, many also have a strong hatred for certain people or ideas regardless of fact.  Rachel Maddow showed a segment last night (I think it was a replay from about a year ago) where people were protesting against Eric Holder because he was “the most anti-gun AG in history.”  When Rachel asked what he had done that was anti-gun, they were unable to give even the simplest example.  One of them said to “look at his voting record,” and was gently informed that Mr. Holder has never held elected office.  It sounds funny in the abstract, but watching these deeply confused and clearly terrified people seemed incredibly sad to me.  They’re too scared to hate, but too stubborn to appeal to.  What do you do with people like that?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    They’re too scared to hate, but too stubborn to appeal to.  What do you do with people like that?

    Treat them with as much compassion as possible while preventing them from harming themselves or others.

  • LoneWolf343

    I would still contend that the argument from silence is a sign that Jesus really didn’t think it was important, at least as important as modern Xians seem to think it is.

    Also, Dad love to use “Before i had formed you in the womb, I knew you,” as an an anti-abortion text. Of course, if someone with a little imagination will tell you, it is more an explanation of how God perceives time, but that would be too intellectual, and intellectual interpretations are liberal.

  • ako

    Also, Dad love to use “Before i had formed you in the womb, I knew you,” as an an anti-abortion text.

    I love the sheer illogic of that interpretation.  The word “before” is right there, which means that either everyone has to follow Arizona rules and declare that pregnancy begins before conception, or it means something more complicated that isn’t equivalent to God going “Life begins at…”

  • The_L1985

     Not to mention that such an interpretation also implies that EVERYONE was called to “be a prophet to my people Israel.”  Whoops!

  • LoneWolf343

     Well, yeah, so that means we are called to be witnesses!

    To Israel?

    No, everywhere! But it says Israel.

    Look, you have to read it in context.

    (Why, yes, the literalists do like to use the word “context” unironically.)

  • JayemGriffin

    Ye gods, this one brought the troglodytes out from their caves.

  • http://twitter.com/yeshuaISchrist James Just

    No, Jesus was not completely silent on the subject. The problem is this; while people preach the word of Christ they have no real idea what he was teaching. Jesus spoke of life and death, the life and death of the bodily soul. Jesus in fact taught the Torah, completely. One of the most misguided beliefs in Christ is what many believe Jesus said about spanking your children. Jesus NEVER said “spare the rod spoil the child”, NEVER. In fact he supported the death penalty for disobedient older children (Matthew 15). Jesus taught us that to enter into eternal life one must FOLLOW THE COMMANDMENTS (Matthew 19:17). So yes, Jesus did teach on homosexuality because the Torah condemns it. But we should not hate anyone and it is a shame that the church spews hatred toward Gays, a real shame.  http://www.yahwehyeshua.com  

  • The_L1985

    Er, “spare the rod and spoil the child” is in fact in the book of Proverbs (can’t remember exact chapter and verse), and actually means “TO spare the rod is TO spoil the child.”

    …Are you one of those “Messianic Jew” types?

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Actually it’s not.  It’s not in the Bible.  You’re probably thinking of Proverbs 13:24:  “Whoever spares the rod hates their children…” or something similar based on translation choice.

    Does say not to spare the rod (unless you hate your kids) but the modern phrase comes from difference sources.

  • Au_catboy

     So, James, you say jesus “supported the death penalty for disobedient older children”?  Well, if that’s the case, then jesus was a monstrous sociopath, and completely unworthy of worship. 

    You have made your god in your own image, James.  It’s not wonder your god is a sick, hateful, murderous bastard just like you.

  • SayBlade

    The reason these “Believers” can (under Biblical authority) touch a pig comes directly from Acts 10 where the apostle Peter prepares to meet a gentile. God tells him in a dream, vision or whatever that all the creepy crawlies and everything else Peter used to avoid eating were now ok to eat.  If this were a temporary allowance, then it might not have been seen as important to report this among many things with which the early church folk were trying to come to terms.  Looking at it as a permanent command from God, there is certainly a lot more than food baggage in this story that needs to come out of the closet when doing “outreach” to non-Christians in hopes of “saving” them from the eternal fires of that other place.

  • AnonymousSam

    I prefer Fred’s interpretation of that particular section — the one which emphasizes Peter’s revelatory exclamation, “God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.” That’s a little more meaningful to me than what we can and cannot eat now.

  • redsixwing

    the life and death of the bodily soul

    Aside from being the coolest band name I’ve seen all week, what does this mean?
    I’m serious; I can’t seem to parse it.

    Life and death, I track. But “bodily soul?” Are we implying that the soul -is- the body? Is this a way of saying “embodied soul?”  Or perhaps it’s a reference to “the life and death of a person” using soul as synechdoche?

    Either way, it’s a very pleasing turn of phrase.

    Edited to reduce snark level.

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

    There were and are sects that reject the idea of a soul as being an immortal and immanent separate aspect of a human. Instead, they say that based on the exact Hebrew used in the OT, humans ARE souls that die, but God being all-powerful, that’s no barrier to resurrection later on.

  • redsixwing

     Ah, OK. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Shaenon

    Nextwave is bland? The Nextwave that has a two-page spread of the characters fighting a roomful of Elvis MODOKs?

    Man, people are hard to entertain nowadays.

  • Mouse

    If you’re reading this, then you are a human, and you are going to die, that means NOT EXIST at all – maybe in 50, 60, or 70 years, maybe sooner, it might be a good idea for you to take time to THINK about a few things and actually READ what both the Old Testament and New Testament teaches instead of ranting mere arrogance about it. Many of you are acting like *this* world is your permanent home. *This* life is EXTREMELY temporary, what part of that do you not understand.
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    Hi, Mouse, I’m an atheist, pleasure to meet you. I behave as though this life is all I’ve got because THIS LIFE IS ALL I’VE GOT.

  • E.A. Blair

    “The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.”

     — Lynn Lavner

  • Orders

    Looking for a Bible in comic book form? Look up Christianbook.com and type in “comic book Bible”.