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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #110)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 02:15 PM

112. Well no. That's not the threat of "Hell" you mentioned.

Promising people eternal life in exchange for faith is lot more cuddly than threatening damnation, which, again, is a construct of the later churches. Judaism has no concept of "Hell," and Jesus was Jewish.

All of which is beside the overall point, which is that American conservative Christians, when pushing their political views, reference the harsh, authoritarian, intolerant "father" figure god found in the Old Testament. The "selective reading" is all on their part. That said, taken as a whole, the Old Testament IS a conservative piece of work, embracing archaic, rigid rules of conduct and a harsh and punitive view of the law.

Whether Christian conservatives' Biblical scholarship is up to snuff is irrelevant. They worship an angry, intolerant, violent god that reflects their world view, whether they have their theology precisely right or not. They use the Old Testament, not the gospels, to rationalize their views of everything from slavery to homosexuality to the subjugation of women to corporal punishment (they're not quoting Jesus when they talk about not "sparing the rod".

The touchy feely "son of God," with an entourage of close male friends and unmarried women, washing the feet of the poor and handing out loaves and fishes is not really a touchstone for them.

You won't find "Love your enemy" or "turn the other cheek" in the Old Testament, and if you pay attention, you will see that American Christian conservatives pull a quick bait-and-switch, wherein they emphasize "Jesus," but almost never argue for doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, or for forgiveness, or loving neighbors and enemies.

Their god is a harsh disciplinarian who will have you stoned or burned for having the wrong kind of sex or wearing the wrong kind of cloak. He's the one they quote, and the one they identify with.

Kind of like Mike Huckabee.

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