Theology and Ideology of a Visitor Called PLEASE

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PLEASE posted an interesting comment right before the blog went down. (On Sep 29, 2007, PLEASE commented on Go Maryland!!!) I liked it, I did not agree with a lot of it, but I did like it. PLEASE’s theology has an interesting ideological streak as the bold statement below demonstrates:

"love, is 100% Liberal."

Such a statement causes me to ask for someone to explain the entire nutroots movement, the black panthers, the SLF, the ELF etc.

I am sure PLEASE was and is thinking about M.L. King. King was about love, but there is a whole set of baggage that comes with him. One cannot, though PLEASE would like to, divorce King from the SLF, ELF and moveOn.org. Since the left is stuck with all of these groups of self identified liberals the above statement does not hold water. Furthermore, since the nutroots make up a huge block of the liberal party, I think it safer to say that today liberalism is in a dark and angry place.

PLEASE and others may not realize that hating the sin is not the same thing as hating the sinner. Something I see as critical when recognizing that a higher being (G-d) is in control and sovereign. Something we, humans are not. PLEASE’s following statement epitomizes this …

He [Christ] rejected ... and the personal judging of others, their lifestyles and beliefs.

Judging involves the impugning the intentions of others. Discernment revolves around the ACTIONS of others. Please keep in mind that when a Christian is telling someone they are sinning, that is not hateful. Calling out a warning to someone before they fall off a cliff is the act of a friend. Telling someone they are on the right track when they are walking into quicksand is NOT the act of a friend. Reading Ro 1:24-28 would be a good idea with regard to this.

The only question is the intention behind the words. If a Christian is calling an act a sin, but he excuses himself for engaging in such an act, then he is a hypocrite. On the other avoids such acts to the best of his abilities and confesses his when he does stray then he is following Christ's teachings. Christ said "whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me"

Recall, Matthew was a tax collector, but, he STOPPED be a tax collector after he started to follow Christ. G-d invites all to the table, but they are changed when they come to the table, exchanging filthy rags for cleansing blood of Christ. Christ said "If you love me you will keep my commandments (Jn 14:15)" God is interest in changing us from the inside out. G-d does not love us just the way we are. G-d loves us despite the way we are.

PLEASE goes on and writes …

"Webster's dictionary defines a Liberal as one who is open minded, not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways."

True, but putting lipstick on a pig won't make it pretty. Today's 'liberals' demand orthodoxy at school, in public life and in ALL social experiments. Can someone explain the speech codes in our modern Universities or the Swastika on the Professor’s door at Columbia?

Furthermore, it is one thing to be 'loose' in ones observance, but that is miles away from attacking traditional forms and views. What I see are closed minded individuals who demand I change my world view or I am labeled hater, bigot, racist and homophobe.

I also enjoy all the inferences that southern whites are all dirty, stupid and inbred. Gee, that sounds like rank bigotry to me. I really enjoy the whole get your shots thing before you go to a NASCAR event. A negative generalization impugning intelligence and sexual practices of some 70-100M people cannot be anything but bigotry. I take it that this open mindedness at its height in the view of our left leaning friends? Is that pluralism in your view PLEASE?

To put a point on it, the pluralistic outlook was hardly exemplified by the unwashed angry liberal thugs who charged the stage, kicked over the podium and physically assaulted the speaker from the Minutemen when he was invited to speak at Columbia. Since this assault on a conservative speaker is not an isolated incident, the "that is just a few" argument does not hold water either.

PLEASE then goes over the cliff with …

"Jesus was a pluralist Liberal"

No, he was not. Nor was he a Jeffersonian Conservative. Trying to put G-d in a box of your own design is futile. It is also a violation of the first commandment. G-d defies explanation. Note the first image we make of G-d is in our minds. The first commandment warns against this emphatically.

Furthermore Jesus said "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 (Matt 5:17)"That is not a liberal sentiment by any stretch. Note: It does not make G-d conservative either.

PLEASE continues with

"[Jesus] taught that one need notvconform to strict and orthodox views of God"

PLEASE, this is at odds with scripture. Christ railed against MAN's laws, not G-ds. The Pharisee's where not Orthodox they were hypocrites. John the Baptist was Orthodox. Christ said "For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will PASS FROM the Law until all is accomplished (Matt 5:18)" and then to show difference between man's law and G-d's He said to them (the hypocrites),

"Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good [work] on the Sabbath. The good work in this case being the healing of a blind man.

PLEASE and I have are in agreement when he says

"He [Jesus] rejected greed, violence and the glorification of power"

If the power to be glorified is aside from G-ds, we are in agreement. PLEASE wanders back into mixing theology with ideology when he says

"[Jesus is against] the amassing of wealth without social balance,"

The amassing of wealth for wealth's sake is addressed in the parable of the farmer's barns. The whole "social balance" thing is blarney out of some socialistic manifesto not the New Testament. PLEASE then repeats himself but considering the context of the previous conversations on this blog …

"the personal judging of others, their lifestyles and beliefs"

"Judge not lest ye be judged" is the most misquoted verse in the Bible. This passage revolves around intentions, not actions. For the discernment of actions try reading Prov 17:24 and Is 44:18 in the old testament, and Rom 12:2, 1 Cor 2:14, Eph 5:10 in the new testament. Also recall from above "If you love me you will keep my commandments"

PLEASE here demonstrates what I see as a vital error in his theology …

"Over and over again, He [Jesus] taught us to believe in and live a spiritual and ethical life based in our essential, inherent goodness."

Jesus taught no such thing. Actually the statement above is diametrically opposite of the message of the Gospel. A spiritual and ethical life is only possible through G-ds goodness and mercy for we lack any essential inherent goodness.

I wonder if PLEASE has ever read the Bible and or at least the four the Gospels. Mankind is fallen; Christ told of this in the parable of the wicked tenants. This parable is about G-d and mankind, with Christ being the murdered son. As Christ told this story I would think that the parable deserves serious consideration. Another example of man inherit fallen nature is how the Apostles were arguing on the road to Jerusalem who gets to take over after Jesus is killed. Where is "innately good" in all that? These 12 guys lived with Christ and they still did not get it.

PLEASE, it is written that the wages of sin are death. If we are inherently good, and therefore without sin, then explain why do we all grow old and die? Note: "for all fall short of the glory of G-d", a verse from the book of Romans. PLEASE goes on with

"While not Biblical scholars, our common sense understanding of His lessons as philosophically and politically Liberal is founded upon Jesus' own words"

Then I strongly recommend that PLEASE read Jesus' words, (the rest of the Bible as well, for the context). Reading this at least once will hardly make him a biblical scholar, but at least he might get a basic understanding of the gospel message of Christ. PLEASE claims Liberalism has Christian foundations, but if one is utterly ignorant of these foundational text how can he know this?

If one has scant knowledge of what is written in the Bible then it impossible to understand what is the message of G-d's word. In order to argue about something, one needs to study it at least a little. PLEASE continues in his vein ...

"Certainly, Jesus brought a radically Liberal theology to the Orthodox believers of his time."

A little Bible lesson is in order. The Pharisee's had over 550 laws, and despite all that were not Orthodox. G-d had 2 great commandments, 10 commandments, and a few dozen laws governing things ranging from pulling an Ox out of a hole on the sabbath to child sacrifice. Christ was there to sweep away the 500+ man made laws and to overturn the corruption of his covenant with Moses. Read Mark 7:1-7 about the difference between Mans traditions and G-ds law. It was not a question of Orthodoxy but of heresy. The Pharisees were heretics.

The whole temple economy was about sacrifice. G-d and his mercy became incidental. This is a blasphemy. G-d set of the sacrificial order so that man could attain mercy. Jesus said "I seek mercy, not sacrifice."

Christ was interested in G-d's law, G-d's glory and this required his sacrifice on the cross so that man could be redeemed because man is not innately good, but because fallen man is just the opposite. Man needs redemption. More importantly Man cannot redeem himself, which is why Christ redeemed Man on the cross. (BTW, this above paragraph is basically the message of the New Testament)

PLEASE is wrapped up in liberation theology which is about social revolution. G-d is interested in spiritual revolution, and freedom of Mankind from sin. Liberation theology is chiefly interested in land and social (spelled 'money') reform. While the two are not mutually exclusive by any means, they are also NOT one and the same by any stretch.

PLEASE goes on to quote Luke 14:13 &14.

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

Amen, PLEASE is correct in that good works are important (James 6:14-17), but they are not a means for salvation. Works serve more as a sign of salvation (Hebrew 10 addresses this I believe) and as a means of G-d sanctifying the individual.

PLEASE appears to be hanging his faith on a few favorite verses coupled with Socialist dogma. The whole of the Bible provides a better perspective. Just knowing to a few verses will give one a strange view of G-d. The real G-d is far bigger than the G-d of Liberation Theology or Social Justice. Think about it, if all were saved would there be any injustice?

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36 Comments

zimzo said:

Isn't it interesting how anyone can pick and choose verses from the Bible to justify their preconceived notions and ideology. Please sees Jesus as a liberal. Jacob sees the Bible as a justification for his extreme right-wing agenda and southerners during the Civil War used the Bible to justify slavery and bigotry:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav1.htm

Such a useful book the Bible is.

zimzo,

Isn't it interesting that everyone has at least something of what the Bible says wrong? You, me, Jacob, Please ... everyone.

The other thing that is very interesting is that God wrote it through human authors, and will hold all accountable for what they did with the revelation he gave. While some do in fact use the Bible to justify what they already believe, the appropriate response is to make every effort to figure out what it means.

It really doesn't matter if we believe the Bible is binding on us or not -- it only matters if God binds us to what it says. (Clay pots do not have the right to protest the purpose of their making either.) If God does bind us to what is revealed, then we either submit to God, or risk punishment from him. I'd rather do my best to figure out what it says, let it change me rather than try to fit what I believe into it. Not easy by any stretch -- but it has happened many times in my growth.

Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Hmm, "lord" implies obedience. I wonder if that means what it says?

Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of the father. I suppose we can bow the knee willingly, or be forced to bow.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Seems to be that if someone is so intent on not having anyone be a sinner, then it seems they would not be one of the ones whom Jesus has come to call.

jacob said:

zimzo,
As usual you miss the point. One of the main themes of the article is that the Bible must be taken in its totality. The other theme is that God is does not conform to our limited ideological notions of left and right. Both of these themes are antithetical to the blather you spewed.

I recommend a remedial reading class, it is possible your obtuseness is a function limited reading comprehension skills, and not some character flaw.

Jack said:

Actually, zimzo, I was far more "liberal" in the ignorance of my youth, as are most people. I approved of a woman's "right" to an abortion, thought there was nothing morally wrong with homosexuality, opposed the death penalty, and supported social programs such as Welfare and Social Security.

My reading of the Bible has changed my mind on many of these issues. Abortion is murder. Homosexuality is an abomination. The Mosaic Law has a death penalty for many crimes, including adultery, bestiality, and homosexuality, and we are called to take care of the poor -- not to leave that to the government, nor to require it of others through the government.

Further understanding of economics has reinforced my conviction that socialism is bad for all. So it is that our "poor" live better than the middle class of Europe.

On the other hand, further understanding of the Bible has lead me to reverse my opinion of the death penalty. I have come to believe that the Mosaic Law's death penalties were there because no lesser sacrifice could atone for sins such as adultery, bestiality, and homosexuality. But Jesus has made that sacrifice for us, and we are saved by His sacrifice if we repent and accept that sacrifice. As evidenced by Ramzi Yousef's alleged conversion to Christianity, where there is life, there is hope. Had he been put to death, he would not have had the possibility of being saved. (However, in the event that he is lying, he must be kept in prison for the protection of others.)

The Bible has indeed changed my political views considerably. Christianity is not compatible with modern liberalism.

jacob said:

Jack,
Did ya notice how ol' zimzo played the race card and used the term 'extreme right-wing agenda' all in the same sentence. Its like he has Paul Bagleass' play book on his desk. hmmm, zimzo does sound a lot like the loons from media matters.

Ya'd think he'd a learnt sumtin by now after a yeyah's wort o' convasations. Somtin like all suthnas aint bigot o' sumtin. I tink he's won o dem slicky dudes who got a tetanus or plague shot before goin to the NASCAR race.

As for Christianity and conservatism, it almost sounds like you are saying 'God is with us", I could not disagree more if you ARE saying that.

Jack said:

If he could learn, he'd be a Republican.

Jack said:

Yes, Jacob, I think on some things, such as abortion, God IS with us. I doubt He cares one way or the other about Social Security.

zimzo said:

Jacob, it might make you more persuasive if you didn't insult the reading comprehension of everyone who disagrees with you. And you might consider that if so many people are misreading you, the fault is not with the reader but with the writer.

Jack, I find it interesting that you say reading the Bible persuaded you to become anti-abortion when the Bible doesn't mention abortion at all. It's also interesting that you come to the conclusion that the Bible supports the death penalty when the Catholic Church and many Christians have come to the opposite conclusion. I would also be very interested which passages of the Bible you think are opposed to Social Security and Welfare. And if homosexuality is so important why is it mentioned so rarely in the Bible and never by Jesus?

And, by the way, I don't think all southerners are bigots since I did grow up in the south myself and consider myself a southerner, which just makes me more resentful of those who perpetuate the stereotype of southern bigotry by acting like bigots. As a matter of fact, I think the north is for the most part more bigoted than the south, they just keep it hidden better. One thing about the south that is preferable to the north when it comes to racial issues is that southern bigots almost always reveal themselves.

jacob said:

zimzo,
When everybody else understands, but YOU, and this happens repeatedly, I am left with NO OTHER conclusion that either:
a- zimzo can't read
or
b- zimzo deliberately misreads in order to be obtuse

It is a bed of your own making. When others disagree they disagree with the written article not some delusion/straw whatever.

Jack said:

Zimzo -- We insult your reading comprehension because you either do not read, or do not comprehend what you read. Go back to my fourth paragraph of October 16th, and we will discuss the death penalty.

Abortion
--------
The Bible mentions the unborn in several places. John leapt in Elizabeth's womb at Mary's approach (Luke 1:41). Exodus 21:22-25 clearly puts an unborn child on the same legal level as a man. Jeremiah 1 shows us that one is an individual person before one is born.

Welfare and Social Security
---------------------------
"Thou shalt not steal." Exodus 20:15
"[This] we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25

We are called, as individuals, to care for the poor. Stealing from others to give to the poor does us no credit.

Homosexuality
-------------
How many times does the Bible have to repeat somthing before you accept it, zimzo? Jesus never mentioned bestiality or incest, either, so are they OK? Heck, Paul didn't mention bestiality, either, and he only spoke against "[having one's] father's wife" (1 Corinthians 5:1). So obviously, other forms of incest must be OK, right?

zimzo said:

Jacob, I am not the only person you claim lacks reading comprehension. It is a claim you make when anyone disagrees with you.

Jack, none of the passages you cite mention abortion. There was actually quite a bit of disagreement among Jews and early Christians as to when life begins. Many believed it began at "quickening," which is considerably later than most anti-abortion activists believe it begins.

The passages you cite to support your opposition to welfare and social security are absurd interpretations. There are plenty of other passages that counsel support for the poor and they do not say anything in favor or against it being done through the government.

In the Old Testament homosexuality is mentioned briefly in Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Kings and they all appear to refer to temple prostitution and are in the context of many laws such as forbidding the eating of shellfish that most Christians reject. In Judges and Genesis (Sodom and Gemorrah) homosexual rape is mentioned but both of these stories are about hospitality (and rape). The story of David and Jonathan discusses a ceremony that resembles a homosexual marriage. In the New Testament, Jesus never mentions homosexuality but he does affirm the union of what appears to be a gay relationship between a Roman centurion and his servant in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. There are only four mentions of homosexuality in the rest of the New Testament and all refer to temple prostitution.

The Bible mentions poverty more than 2,100 times.

G.Stone said:

He is going by Zimzo, enough said.

Jack said:

Abortion
---------------
So what if none of the passages specifically mentions abortion? Human life is human life. Taking an innocent human life is murder.

Welfare
----------------
If there are ten people, and eight of them vote to take money from the two richest (threatening the two with imprisonment if they do not fork over the money), and to distribute it amongst themselves, how is that not stealing? How is it any different with 100 people, or a thousand, or a million?

In all of those 2100 times that poverty is mentioned, in how many does it lay the burden on the GOVERNMENT to care for the poor? In how many does is lay the burden on US? That, my friend, is why conservatives and Christians give more time and money to charity than liberals do.

Homosexuality
-----------------------
Show me where "temple prostitution" is mentioned in Leviticus 18, in which homosexuality, having sex with animals, marrying one's wife's sister or mother, having sex with close relatives, and having sex with a woman during her period are all forbidden. Are all of these things now OK, because they were all prohibitions in the context of "temple prostitution"?

Because the centurion's servant was "dear to him" you assume a homosexual relationship? You are sick. Jacob's dog was dear to me, too, and I prayed for him as he was dying. So are you sick enough to assume I was having sex with Jacob's dog?

David and Jonathan grew up as brothers. In the verse that you sickos use to make their relationship out to be homosexual, 2 Samuel 1:26, David calls Jonathan "brother": "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." David had seven wives, but only one "brother," Jonathan.

Now, if you will please show me where Paul mentions temple prostitution?

jacob said:

zimzo,
incredible. you attack without reading the post, and I point it out, and in your little world I am intellectually dishonest. I used to call you delusional just to get your goat, I see I was closer to the truth than I ever imagined.

zizmo indeed.

zimzo said:

The fact that you refer to homosexuality as "sicko" shows where you're coming from, Jack.

The centurion uses the word "pais" to refer to his servant, which was the Greek word for the younger partner of a same-sex relationship. If you spoke Greek and called your dog "pais" I would say it was very likely you were having sex with him.

David and Jonathan were more than brothers. They made a covenant with each other which sounds like a marriage to me, and to many scholars, as recounted in 1 Samuel 18: 1-4:

"1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle."

and in 1 Samuel 20: 16-17:

"16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies. 17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul."

In that context the meaning of David's lament when he hears of the death of Jonathan in 2 Samuel 1:26 that "thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women" sounds much different.

The words Paul uses that are translated into synonyms for homosexual are "malokos" and "arsenokoitai", words that are not the common Greek terms for homosexuality. Malokos is not used to refer to homosexuals in any contemporary Greek text and is used elsewhere in the New Testament to mean "sick," and in other Greek texts to mean "soft" or "lacking in self-control" and arsenokoitai meant specifically a "male prostitute."

Maybe you think the Bible was written by a bunch of "sickos" but I don't.

Jacob, calling me delusional is not much better than accusing me of not being able to read. It doesn't get my goat, it just makes you look like someone who is unable to have a constructive discussion with someone who disagrees with you.

zimzo said:

In regards to Leviticus 18, the word that is usually mistranslated as "abomination" is "to'ebah," which means "ritually unclean" not "zimah," the word for a moral sin. Throughout the Old Testament "to'ebah" is used to refer to idolotry and "zimah" is used for sexual crimes. The beginning of the chapter cautions Hebrews not to follow the practices of the Egyptians or Canaanites where homosexual temple prostitution was practiced, and it occurs right after a verse referring to the worship of Molech, therefore the phrase "V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee" (literally: "And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman, it is ritually unclean") is most likely referring to homosexual temple prostitution as practiced by the Egyptians and Canaanites, not homosexuality in general.

Jack said:

First, zimzo, I refer to YOU as "sicko."

The Centurion's Servant
---------------------------------
Matthew uses "pais" in five other places. First (2:16) when Herod killed the children under two years old. Do you really mean to imply that Herod only had those killed who were being used for sex? Later, in 12:18, referring to Jesus, "Behold my SERVANT, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles." Then in 14:2, referring to Herod's servants. Then in 17:18, a man has brought his son, whom the disciples could not heal, to Jesus: "And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child (pais) was cured from that very hour." What that child used for sex, too? Finally, in 21:15, "And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the CHILDREN crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased..." Were these children crying in the temple, perhaps, temple prostitutes?

Luke uses the term nine times, including in the phrase, "in the house of His SERVANT David." Perhaps you should do a little research yourself, zimzo, rather than spouting the standard liberal, sicko BS.

David and Jonathan
---------------------------------
David and Jonathan did make a pact -- similar to what our American aborigines call "Blood Brothers." Such pacts do not require nor imply a SEXUAL relationship. That is the product of your sick mind.

Paul's Letters
---------------------------------
Paul twice used the term "arsenokoitai" -- in 1Cor 6:9 and in 1Tim 1:10. These are the first known uses of this term, so the translation is questionable. There is, however, nothing in the word itself that implies temple prostitution.

The term "malakos," Paul used only once, also in 1Cor 6:9, where it is translated "effeminate." Both Matthew and Luke use the term to describe "soft" clothing as worn by those in the King's houses. Perhaps a more modern translation might be "wimps."


Leviticus
---------------------------------
So, in that same Leviticus 18 context, it is now OK to have sex with close relatives or animals, and to marry your wife's sister? Is it OK to "lie carnally with thy neighbor's wife"? Those prohibitions are in the same chapter with the prohibition on homosexuality, and are, in fact, closer to the preliminary text that you claim limits these only to temple prostitution. These acts are all OK, so long as they are not in the context of temple prostitution?

Again, in Chapter 20, the references to Molech begin the chapter, then come the prohibitions against adultery and incest, and only then comes the prohibition against homosexual sex. So by your "reasoning," zimzo, all of those acts must now be OK, so long as they are not in the context of temple prostitution. Brilliant.

ACTivist said:

If Zippo is southern it can only be because he is in a nursing home in Florida. Evidently he missed the "Bible Belt" completely or he wouldn't be spewing this crap. I don't mind the difference of opinion but it seems that Zippo is re-interpreting text to fit his twisted understanding of things. A prime example of how we are losing America. God help us all.

zimzo said:

Your repeated use of the word "sicko," as I said before, shows your bigotry and homophobia, Jack.

You are right that "pais" is also used in the Bible to mean "child." I don't know if you are familiar with linguistics, but in many languages, including English, words sometimes have more than one meaning so you have to look at the context. In this context it is clear that he wasn't referring to his servant as a "child" and in fact it was a common term at the time for the younger male in a same-sex relationship, just as the word "punk" in English once had that connotation but also had other meanings.

I'm not sure why you believe it is the "product of a sick mind" to believe that a close male friendship can be sexual. You certainly can't prove that none of the "blood brothers" you refer to did not have a sexual relationship. It is a product of your homophobic mind to believe that they didn't.

Malokos means soft. Again, only a homophobic culture would interpret soft as a synonym for homosexual. Arsenokoitai, as you point out, has a very vague meaning. Some believe Paul may have made it up. In later Christian writings it was used to refer to male temple prostitutes.

Even if the Leviticus verse refers to homosexuality in general and not just temple prostitution (which is debatable) doesn't it seem odd that the anti-gay stance (one might say the "wide" anti-gay stance to paraphrase Larry Craig) of modern conservative Christians is based on these very few, very vague passages in the Bible, and the Bible does not even mention abortion once, but nevertheless these are the most important issues to conservative Christians? And even more ironic, conservative Christians for the most part ignore the numerous passages in the Bible about poverty (see David Kuo's book on Bush's "faith-based initiative" for details on this hypocrisy).

As I said at the beginning of this thread, Isn't it interesting how anyone can pick and choose verses from the Bible to justify their preconceived notions and ideology?

Jack Author Profile Page said:

I use the term "sicko" because you are sick. I did not know you were gay, too.

I'm glad you can agree that "pais" means child. It also means "servant," and does not necessarily carry the sexual connotation that your sick mind wants to attach to it.

"I'm not sure why you believe it is the 'product of a sick mind' to believe that a close male friendship can be sexual."

It is the product of a sick mind to assume that it is, without any evidence.

"You certainly can't prove that none of the 'blood brothers' you refer to did not have a sexual relationship. It is a product of your homophobic mind to believe that they didn't."

Of course not. Neither can you prove that David and Jonathan were homosexual lovers. It is a product of your sick mind to assume (without evidence) that they did.

"Even if the Leviticus verse refers to homosexuality in general and not just temple prostitution..., doesn't it seem odd that the anti-gay stance... of modern conservative Christians is based on these very few, very vague passages in the Bible...."

The passages are not vague, zimzo, save to your clouded mind. "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Lev.20:13) Does a man lie with a woman only in temple prostitution?

"[The] Bible does not even mention abortion once...."

It wasn't exactly a common practice, was it? The Bible clearly tells us, in several places, that a fetus is a life. Taking an innocent life is murder.

"[Nevertheless] these are the most important issues to conservative Christians?"

Let's see. Why would Christians want to protect innocent life? It must be because they are heartless. Why would Christians oppose a practice that will condemn the practitioner to Hell? It must be because they are heartless.

"And even more ironic, conservative Christians for the most part ignore the numerous passages in the Bible about poverty...."

Nonsense. As I have pointed out, conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, give more time and money to charities than liberals do. Liberals are generous to YOUR last dime, but are not willing to give their own.

Show me a verse in the Bible that puts the onus on the GOVERNMENT to provide for the poor.

zimzo said:

The only reason you think these passages are not vague, Jack, is that you are relying on mistranslations that make them seem more definitive than they are. Linguistic scholars have been debating for decades about the precise meanings of these terms and we know very little of the culture and context in which they were used. The example you used from Leviticus is a poor translation as virtually any scholar of Hebrew will tell you.

The Bible does not say that a fetus is life and again rabinnic scholars and Christian theologians have been arguing about this question for centuries. The Talmud says that life begins at birth. The Babylonian Talmud says that "the embryo is considered to be mere water until the fortieth day" and then is considered "partial life" until birth. Some rabbinical scolars believed life began at "quickening," when the mother first notices the fetus kicking in her womb. In Leviticus 27:6 and in Numbers 3:15 a child was only given value and counted in a census one month after birth. Jewish authorities in biblical times permitted abortions for a number of reasons such as saving the life of the mother or in the case of rape.

Many early Christians outlawed abortion but the Apostolic Constitutions allowed it ealry in a pregnancy. St. Augustine subscribed to the Aristotelian idea of "delayed ensoulment" which claimed that a fetus did not have a soul until 40 days after conception in the case of boys and 90 days in the case of girls and therefore abortion was not murder until that time. St Jerome wrote that "does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their external appearance and their limbs." Pope Innocent III ruled that life began only at "quickening" and acquitted a monk who got an abortion for his girlfriend because the fetus was not "animated" at the time. St. Thomas Aquinas believed only the abortion of an "animated" fetus was murder. Pope Gregory XIV ruled that abortion was allowed until quickening, which took place 116 days into the pregnancy.

So you see there has by no means been universal historical agreement that abortion at early stages of a pregnancy is murder. That is just your opinion.

As far as government support for the poor, no one is saying the "onus" should be on the government, it is simply a tool for helping them, but nor does the Bible say that the government should not be a means for helping the poor. There is nothing in the Bible saying it is wrong for the government to help the poor. That is your own ideology. The burden of proof is on you to show that private charity is sufficient to care for all the poor. Unfortunately, it appears that that is not the case so therefore if there are some poor who fall through the cracks, then you are guilty of oppressing the poor and showing contempt for their Maker as the Bible states in Proverbs. The fact that many conservative Christians care more about stopping government from helping the poor than they do about making sure the poor are cared for is showing contempt for their Maker.

Jack said:

So, anything you don't like is a "mistranslation"? How do these Hebrew scholars prefer to translate those passages? I have seen several translations of Lev 20:13 -- "abomination," "detestable," "disgusting," "a hateful sin," etc. In every case, however, the penalty is death. That's not very vague.

I have already given you Biblical quotes that indicate that a fetus has a life of his own. Making excuses for taking an innocent life is both sick and sickening. It may be just my opinion, zimzo, but I would rather be on the side of life; you would rather be on the side of death.

"There is nothing in the Bible saying it is wrong for the government to help the poor."

The Bible says "Thou shalt not steal."

Go back to my earlier example, which you did not address. If there are ten people, and eight decide to take the property of the richest two and divide it among themselves, and threaten the two with imprisonment if they do not comply, it is stealing. It does not matter if there are a hundred, a thousand, a million, or a hundren million -- it is still stealing.

The Bible is also quite clear on how we are to take care of the poor. The government is not mentioned. Furthermore, we are told that if a man will not work, neither should he eat. how many of our unemployed sit home and collect Welfare, while illegal immigrants stand around a 7-11 at 6AM looking for work?

"The burden of proof is on you to show that private charity is sufficient to care for all the poor. Unfortunately, it appears that that is not the case so therefore if there are some poor who fall through the cracks, then you are guilty of oppressing the poor and showing contempt for their Maker as the Bible states in Proverbs."

Nonsense. If someone is poor, and not getting a government handout, it is oppression? This is the same twisted logic that says a reduced increase is a cut. (The vetoed S-CHIP bill would increase spending 44%, Bush wants to increase it by only 10%, so Bush wants to cut S-CHIP funding.) Oppression requires action. There is a difference between not helping someone who has fallen, and standing on him so he cannot get up himself.

zimzo said:

I've already told you what a more accurate translation would be for the word mistranlated as "abomination": "ritually unclean." The death penalty was the penalty for idolatry, which is just more evidence that the passage does not refer to homosexuality per se but to temple prostitution.

The Bible does not say that a fetus is life from the moment of conception nor did all Jews or early Christians believe that.

Just because you say something is life doesn't make it so. I could say that my computer is alive and you could disagree, which by your logic would make me on the side of life and you on the side of death.

To claim that government aid to the poor is "stealing" is an opinion and an extreme one at that. Are you saying that all taxes are stealing? The Bible certaonly doen't agree. As Jesus himself said "Render unto Caesar..." Talk about twisting the words of the Bible to suit your own extreme ideology.

When the Lord said of Sodom in Ezekiel 16:49, "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy," he did not add, "Of course, I mean though private charity and not government programs" or in Ezekiel 22:29-31 "The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD," he did not add "Of course, I mean though private charity and not government programs and I'm not including illegal aliens." When the Bible says in Proverbs 14:31 "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God," once again their is no government program exception.

You may believe that "There is a difference between not helping someone who has fallen, and standing on him so he cannot get up himself" but the Jesus makes no such distinction in 1 John 3:17 "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"

According to the Bible, which you claim to uphold, you are supposed to help the poor and letting them fall through the cracks is wrong and it makes no difference whatsoever whether you are helping them individually, through a charity or through the government. You are the one making that distinction and you can't show me a single pasage in the Bible that does.

Jack said:

The penalty for having sex with another man's wife also required the death penalty. Was that also a matter of being "ritually unclean"? For what other "ritual uncleanliness" was the punishment DEATH?

"The Bible does not say that a fetus is life from the moment of conception nor did all Jews or early Christians believe that."

But it does say that a fetus is alive, and punishment for harming it was similar to that of harming an adult. Who are you to decide when a fetus become alive? Are you God?

"Are you saying that all taxes are stealing?"

No. But taking from one group to give to another is stealing. Taxes for the purpose of running the government (providing defense, judges, police, etc.), are not stealing. I actually use the "Render unto Caesar" quotes to support my position (October 17, 2007 1:58 PM
). Do you ever read the full text of what I write? This is why we say you have reading comprehension problems. It is not a government function to take care of the poor. Read the Constitution. It's not there. I realize your reading comprehension problems might get in the way, but do try.

Rep. Van Hollen (Socialist Party, of course) has the same problems. He tried to use the General Welfare clause today to justify S-CHIP, but the whole clause is "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." The federal government has no more business providing for my welfare than it does providing me with a home defense system and paying off my mortgage. Obviously, his reading comprehension failed when he tried to read the Constitution.

"According to the Bible, which you claim to uphold, you are supposed to help the poor..."

Agreed, but your idea of "helping the poor" is taking other people's money and giving it to them? That is stealing. Give them your OWN money and time, as conservatives, particularly religious conservative, do. That is what the Bible tells us to do. It does not tell us to set up inefficient government programs and tax the smokers to pay for it.

"[It] makes no difference whatsoever whether you are helping them individually, through a charity or through the government."

Yes, it does. Charity is giving. Taxes are taking.

zimzo said:

Jack your extremist rhetoric is beginning to contradict itself:

""Are you saying that all taxes are stealing?"
No. But taking from one group to give to another is stealing."

So it's only stealing if you give the money away afterwards but not if you keep it? That's a new definition. Then at the end you say: "Charity is giving. Taxes are taking." So which is it? Are taxes stealing (taking) or not? According to the Constitution the government has the right to impose taxes. Are you one of those extremist tax holdouts? The Constitution does not restrict what taxes are spent on and as you noted the Preamble of the Constitution says right out that the purpose of government is to "promote the general welfare." Your interpretation of the Constitution appears to be as skewed by your narrow extremist ideology as your interpretation of the Bible.

I know you would like the Constitution and the Bible to forbid social welfare programs but neither do so and no amount of twisting the words in either of those documents will make them bend to your narrow political agenda.

And once again, Jack, the Bible never says, not once, that life begins at conception or that a fetus is alive from the moment of conception no matter how much you wish it so.

Jack said:

>>But taking from one group to give to another is stealing.

>So it's only stealing if you give the money away afterwards but not if you keep it?

No wonder you have reading comprehension problems -- you cannot grasp the concept that words can have multiple meanings. Have we not just discussed how words can have multiple meanings? The fact that taking from one person to give to another is stealing does not in any way imply that taking from another to keep for oneself is also stealing. (Some words, in fact, are their own antonyms. "Illuminous" can mean both light, illumine+ous, and dark, il+luminous.)

"Are taxes stealing (taking) or not?"

Taxes for the purpose of running the government are not stealing. Taxes for the purpose of giving the money to others are stealing.

"The Constitution does not restrict what taxes are spent on...."

It most certainly does, zimzo. Article I, Section 8 enumerates exactly what the government can spend taxes on.

"...and as you noted the Preamble of the Constitution says right out that the purpose of government is to 'promote the general welfare.'"

I did not quote the Preamble. I quoted Article I, Section 8. The Preamble tells us, as you say, the "purpose of the government," but it is Article I, Section 8 that enumerates the powers of Congress. The 10th Amendment clarifies those limitations: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

"I know you would like the Constitution and the Bible to forbid social welfare programs...."

The Constitution does forbid them, because they are not in the enumerated powers of the feral government.

Now, I challenge you. Find a verse in the Bible that supports killing a fetus. Find a verse in the Bible that supports a homosexual relationship. Find a verse in the Bible the says the GOVERNMENT is supposed to take care of the poor. (Even our own constitution, "of, by, and for the People," makes a very clear distinction between the government and the people.)

Furthermore, I challenge you to find, in the enumerated powers of our now feral government, as listed in the Constitution, the power to enact such programs as Welfare and Social Security. They have already gone to the Supremes, so you will have a really fun time seeing what tortured logic they try to use to justify their decisions in the face of Roosevelt's threat to stack the court.

zimzo said:

Only an extremely small extreme minority agrees with you, Jack, about the constitutionality of social welfare programs and social security, which was settled for the vast majority of Americans in a series of 1937 Supreme Court decisions so arguing with you about it is like arguing with a survivalist who believes in black helicopters and refuses to pay taxes or someone who thinks we should give Texas back to Mexico. You can read about it here:
http://www.ssa.gov/history/court.html

You write: "Now, I challenge you. Find a verse in the Bible that supports killing a fetus."

Hosea 13:16: The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open."

You write: "Find a verse in the Bible that supports a homosexual relationship." I have already pointed out that Jesus blesses the relationship of a centurion and his "dear" slave, who according to the sexual mores of his time was most likely his sexual partner and the Bible approves of the love between Jonathan and David who made a covenant with each other. If you are too narrow-minded and homophobic to accept what would seem obvious to a reader of that time and to most modern readers that is your problem.

Your write; "Find a verse in the Bible the says the GOVERNMENT is supposed to take care of the poor." The Bible doesn't say the government is supposed to care for the poor nor does it forbid the government for caring for the poor, it only says the poor are to be cared for. It would be great if private charities had the resources to care for the poor but they don't. Are you saying that the Bible says that it is better to let the poor starve than to give them government assistance? Where does it say that? I can tell you already: it doesn't. Nowhere in the Bible is there any support for your position that it would be better for the poor to starve or go without health care than to have the government provide it. In fact, there are many verses in the Bible that say it is wrong to let the poor go uncared for for any reason. Your position is clearly un-Christian.

Jack said:

So, zimzo, you're equating abortion with what we now call a "war crime" and "genocide"? I agree.

Zimzo, as anyone can read, the word used for the centurion's servant is "pais," which is both child and servant. In NO OTHER USE in the gospels is it ever interpreted as a sex partner. Why should it be so here?

There is NO evidence to support your claim that David and Jonathan ever had sex.

"It would be great if private charities had the resources to care for the poor but they don't."

So you steal people's money and then say they're not giving enough to charity? That's good. Why don't you let the people keep what they earn, and then see how much they give to charity?

God puts the burden is upon us, the people not the government, to care for the poor. Socialists think that they satisfy that burden by stealing from the "rich" (smokers, apparently), rather than giving of their own wealth. Furthermore, you keep redefining "poor" so that whatever you do is never enough. Who in this country is starving. Our "poor" live better than the median of Europe. Out "poor" are taller and heavier than the GIs who liberated Europe. We do not even have real economic poverty in this country, only poverty of spirit. Mother Theresa said, "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." Walk in the places she walked, and you will see poverty.

"Thou shalt not steal." There were no qualifying clauses to that commandment.

zimzo said:

You asked for a verse in the Bible that supported the killing of a fetus. I gave you one. It is just one of many occasions in the Bible where God approves of killing a fetus or even a child. Kind of odd that He supports killing a fetus on some occasions and never forbids abortion yet conservative Christians think God is opposed to abortion.

There is no definitive proof David and Jonathan had sex or that the centurion and his servant were lovers, and there is no proof that Larry Craig is gay either. It seems pretty likely though.

You may believe that taxes are stealing but no one in the Bible does, including Jesus.

Jack said:

"You asked for a verse in the Bible that supported the killing of a fetus. I gave you one."

And you did. I'm impressed. Still, it does equate abortion with what we would call a war crime. Quite fitting.

"You may believe that taxes are stealing but no one in the Bible does, including Jesus."

I have clarified that several times. Taxes for the running of the government are not stealing. Taxes that you give away to others, or keep yourself, constitutes stealing.

You insist on taking no notice of those clarifications. The Latin for "we take no notice" is IGNORAMUS.

I have also challenged you to find where the Constitution gives the Congress the power to set up programs such as Welfare and Social Security. You have not done so.

zimzo said:

Jack please show me a dictionary or even another sentient human being that is not a right-wing kook who believes that taxes are stealing when you invest the money in the community instead of using it all to pay bureaucrats. It's not that I haven't understood what you're saying, it's that I think it is a ridiculous definition shared by no one except yourself, your survivalist friends and the Unabomber.

I gave you a link that explains how the Constitution grants Congress the power to set up programs such as Welfare and Social Security. Since you are apparently too lazy to read, I will explain it briefly. Hamilton believed the "general welfare" clause gave the government implied powers to spend on programs to improve the general welfare. Madison and Jefferson disagreed. In 1937 the Supreme Court came down on the side of Hamilton. As Benjamin Cardozo wrote: "There have been statesman in our history who have stood for other views. . .We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision. The conception of the spending power advocated by Hamilton . . .has prevailed over that of Madison." That has been the law of the land for 70 years. If you want to change it you'll have to get 4 more crazy Scalias on the Court, which is not going to happen.

So to conclude and reiterate, you are free to interpret the Bible and the Constitution according to your own personal narrow extremist agenda, but don't pretend that your interpretation is anything other than idiosyncratic and any truer to the actual intent of the authors than the view of the majority of people who disagree with you.

Jack said:

Zimzo, please show me a dictionary or even another sentient being who calls Welfare and Social Security "investments." I have NEVER heard an investment advisor tell his clients to give money to the old and the indigent as an "investment." That is a ridiculous definition shared by no one except yourself, your socialist friends, and Stalin.

Yes, zimzo, you provided a link. Whoopeee. But can you explain the logic of Helvering v. Davis? No, because it is inexplicable. Here is the thrust of the argument, from the written opinion YOU linked to:

"Spreading from state to state, unemployment is an ill not particular but general, which may be checked, if Congress so determines, by the resources of the nation. If this can have been doubtful until now, our ruling today in the case of the Steward Machine Co. supra, has set the doubt at rest. But the ill is all one or at least not greatly different whether men are thrown out of work because there is no longer work to do or because the disabilities of age make them incapable of doing it."

The fallacy of the logic is that it is not UNEMPLOYMENT that spreads from state-to-state, but the LACK OF WORK! Even so, only in the case of a general loss of jobs would a remedy by the federal government be warranted. If, however, one loses his job when jobs are available, the federal remedy is not warranted, because UNEMPLOYMENT is not a general problem in that case, but a problem specific to the person who lost his job.

To conclude, the Supremes restated about the problem (individual unemployment vs. general lack of work to do) and then approved as constitutional a solution that did not address the problem they said the government had the authority to address.

Would you like to try again?

zimzo said:

Enjoy your fantasy existence in 1936, Jack. I've got to get back to the 21st century.

Jack said:

Yes, zimzo, it is my fantasy that the government actually abides by the Constitution. I realize that this is an archaic concept, which the Democrats have been undermining since FDR.

Anonymous said:

While you're at it, zimzo, please show me a dictionary or even another sentient being who would take "regulate," as in "regulate Commerce ... among the several States," such that it gives Congress power over anything that might remotely affect interstate commerce, versus the usual definition of "regulate," which is "to make regular." The former is a ridiculous definition shared by no one except you and your socialist friends.

Jack said:

That was me. I'll fix it later. I don't have the address to the blog management site on this computer.

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