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Christianity, Theist Wackiness

Biblical Jesus: Liberal Hippy or Insane Conservative?

Um... Jesus? Do you mean we *really* have to cut off our hands?

When I write articles about Christian hatebigotrymisogyny, and general malevolence, I am inevitably chided by “Good Christians” for misrepresenting both them and their holy writ.  Jesus, I am told, was a liberal.  He advocated love, tolerance, and women’s rights.  He came to earth to teach us a better way to live in peace with each other.

In fairness, there are some examples of Jesus being relatively egalitarian — compared to the Jews who were stoning children and women to death.  (For the moment, never you mind that Jesus was the one who commanded the stonings in the first place — assuming that the Holy Trinity thing is true…)

The thing is, there are also a lot of very odd commands from Jesus himself:

Jesus wasn’t just guilty of a few howlers that nobody pays attention to.  He also said quite a few things that are downright… evil.

  • Jesus was into self-mutilation.  Yeah…. I know.  It’s meant to be taken figuratively.  Because it’s barking mad.  But then… how exactly do you know that it’s not literal?  He didn’t give us a decoder ring, and it doesn’t say anything about not really doing it.
  • Speaking of self-mutilation, he was an advocate of eunuchs.  Read it for yourself.  He encourages good “Christian men” to cut their balls off.  I notice that nobody in America is jumping on this bandwagon.  But there it is, in black and white.  (Or… I suppose, red.  If you’ve got one of those Bibles…)
  • He commands us — in no uncertain terms — to hate our family.  I’m no linguist, but isn’t hate the opposite of love?  And weren’t the “Good Christians” trying to sell me on the whole Hippy Jesus thing?

After Jesus’ ascension into heaven, only one person saw him first-hand.  That was Paul.  And according to the New Testament, Paul was Jesus’ appointed messenger to non-Jews the world over.  So we should believe his words as if they came straight from Jesus himself.  Paul was no peace-nik hippy:

The thing is, reading the New Testament without cherry-picking is as much an exercise in futility as reading the Old.  Jesus’ words are far from some kind of ultimate call to peace and love.  At best, they are a confusing hodge-podge of platitudes that don’t make much sense as a unified whole.  At worst, they’re justification for very conservative, hateful public policies.

You know… like the kind in America today.

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Discussion

12 thoughts on “Biblical Jesus: Liberal Hippy or Insane Conservative?

  1. Imagine how many hundreds of years of misery in the Western world would have been prevented if Jesus had taught something that had actual value like “slavery is bad” instead of something banal like “don’t get divorced”.

    Divorce never led to entire races of people being treated like cattle.

    Posted by J. Quinton | August 9, 2011, 2:13 pm
  2. Great observation, J. Thanks!

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 9, 2011, 4:32 pm
  3. The main thing to take away from religion/morality debate is that people don’t get their morality from religion, they ascribe their morality to religion.

    I can read the bible and make jebus anybody I want. I reject the “Christians get their morality from the bible” argument because Christians reject many parts of the bible. Which means they already had a moral filter to decide what to cherry pick in the first place.

    Posted by Alison | August 9, 2011, 7:15 pm
  4. Divorce can do a lot of harm though.

    Posted by Dave | September 6, 2011, 6:28 pm
  5. Good point Alison

    Posted by Dave | September 6, 2011, 6:29 pm
  6. Christians reject many parts of the bible.

    Please provide evidence and examples.

    Posted by CB | September 27, 2011, 3:06 pm
  7. The oath taking is a fascinating thought if you think about baptism for people over the age oif 12.

    Posted by Jeff Sherry | November 16, 2011, 4:46 pm
  8. ummmm, you realy got your info crossed…. you dont even understand what He says. When He said dont call anyone on earth your father, for you only have one father in heaven, of course He knows that you have someone you call dad here on earth, but He is the one who created us. AND Jesus, in no way was He ever a “hippie” let alone was He meant to be one.

    Posted by Nicole | March 8, 2012, 11:08 am
  9. I get your point but the problem is, you’re cherry picking Jesus just as much as the right-wingers at Focus on the Family do. I’ve decided that one of the most clever inventions in world history was the bible “verse”. It allows people on both sides to just take what’s actually written in there completely out of context. Jesus didn’t tell his followers to hate their family, that is preposterous, read the full-context of what he said and what you might conclude is that Jesus could be real smart-ass sometimes. No really. If you read carefully and not on hunt to defend a particular viewpoint, what you’ll find is that Jesus often used sarcasm, wit, and anecdotes to make a point. Here is Jesus in a nutshell:

    “Greed is bad. Really bad.”
    “Be a good citizen. Pay your taxes, settle disputes peacefully, etc.”
    “Don’t judge other people, worry about yourself.”
    “Everyone screws up, so own up when you do.”
    “Treat other people the way you want them to treat you.”

    Sure, there’s an odd Jesus statement here or there, but these are the things he talks about repeatedly. Which is why FOC aside, “Jesus is just alright with me.”

    Posted by Nordik | August 8, 2012, 4:19 pm
  10. Nicole has obviously bought into the xtian insanity & still believes it. If a Jeshua ben Joseph ever existed, he may have said some of the things he is supposed to have said — but as a lot of them are (as William points out) are nonsensical and/or contradictory (pretty much par for the course when looking at the pronouncements of your average street preacher).

    Posted by Charles Stearns | August 14, 2012, 5:17 pm
  11. How so many Christians claim to be “following” Jesus, yet nobody actually knew what he wanted and what he’s all about. A bunch of people in power using the name in vain for their own greedy ways, and in turn so many associate Christianity with the hypocrisy we see all over.

    Leo Tolstoy was one of the few who actually got it right, and lives accordingly.

    Posted by joe_o_loggs | September 4, 2012, 11:23 am
  12. You have to read the Bible prayerfully to truly understand it. Many statements are symbolic. People are turning away from God because they don’t want to live by his rules. Parents make rules because they love their children and know what’s best for them. He made the world and our bodies so he knows what will destroy us better than we would. Some people say that Jesus’ message is contradictory but life can’t be 100% conservative or 100% liberal; it’s a mixture of both things. Like a hippie, Jesus advocated peace and love, but he also was a tough guy who stormed
    temples and turned over tables in anger over greed and hypocrisy. I dare say he wouldn’t be happy with either political party.

    Posted by m | July 20, 2013, 9:43 am

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