Sunday, January 06, 2008

It's Sunday. Here's your sermon.

You know, it's strange. The Republican party has laid claim on Christianity for around 3 decades now, and nobody has called them on it. I'm definitely not a Biblical scholar, but I have a hard time seeing how they can justify starting a preemptive war, and still claim to follow the guy who said "Turn the other cheek."

(Well, he probably said it in Hebrew, if he said it at all; let's not go there, OK?)

Disclaimer: I'm actually something that our friends on the Far Right like to claim doesn't exist. I have a relatively strong moral code, and I have been an agnostic most of my life. I was actually an athieist for much of my youth, but realized somewhere along the line that absolute denial of the possibility of a higher power was just as much a belief system as Christianity. There's always the "unicorn argument" (prove it never existed), but that can be applied both ways to this question.

Let's look at the current fascination with immigration. Apparently, if you listen to the Republican debates (particularly back when Tancredo was still in the race), not only are the Mexicans going to come in and steal all of our high-paying jobs, but they're going to hold the door open so that the islamofascists can get in, too.

Now, let's look at Exodus 22:21: "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Or the New Testament. Hebrews 13:2: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (In case you're curious, the New American Standard translates this as " Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." That's not an exhortation to pole dance for random passersby.)

For that matter, Matthew 25:44-45:
Then shall they also answer him, saying, "Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?"

Then shall he answer them, saying, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
You can also read that one when you're talking about Social Security, welfare, the national healthcare debate, or any of a number of hot-button topics for the Republicans.

The Bush tax cuts? Luke 20:25: "And he said unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."

The environment? At the same time that God gave Adam and Eve "dominion over… every living thing that moveth upon the earth," He told them to "replenish the Earth." (Genesis 1:28). In Leviticus 25:23, God says "The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with me." Sojourner is usually translated as "tenant," by the way. So do you think God's going to renew your lease?

For that matter, try to explain how you can claim to follow a guy who was crucified, and still support capital punishment?

Maybe it's time for the Republicans to decide which god they really want to follow. Because their philosophy is closer to a different philosopher: with their feelings about doing what they want and destroying their enemies, maybe they should look into the works of Anton LaVey.

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