…at the apparent stupidity of some (or should I say almost all?) people.
Robert Gagnon wrote an article in the Religion section of CNN.com about how the Bible really is clear on the issue of homosexuality. His article was a response to a “recent CNN Belief Blog post The Bible’s Surprisingly Mixed Messages on Sexuality, by Jennifer Wright Knust. She claims that “Christians can’t appeal to the Bible to justify opposition to homosexual practice because the Bible provides no clear witness on the subject and is too flawed to serve as a moral guide.”
Gagnon says otherwise: “As a scholar who has written books and articles on the Bible and homosexual practice, I can say that the reality is the opposite of her claim. It’s shocking that in her editorial and even her book, “Unprotected Texts,” Knust ignores a mountain of evidence against her positions.”
Gagnon writes really well. In fact, I enjoyed reading his article–he’s a scholar but his writing (at least for the article in question) won’t leave non-scholars with blank expressions and stars spinning around their heads.
Then I got to the comments section. (Why do I keep going to that section if comments really irritate me so much?)
What irritated me the most was how almost nobody actually interacted with the article and instead chose to just trash the Bible. It probably means two things: People are no longer intelligent enough to actually engage in meaningful interaction, and, people are just plain lazy to look up facts. The second one is nearly inexcusable considering how much we depend on the internet these days.
Here’s a prime example from a guy named f*rmboymn (I’m guessing he’s from Minnesota):
I’ve read the Bible plenty. Twelve years of religious education and many years thereafter just because of a fascination at how people have twisted a very tiny, seemingly random selections out of many handed-down, word-of-mouth campfire stories into a world-view that promises death and eternal damnation if you don’t follow the most evangelical of interpretations. “Tens of Millions Dead in His Name” just in the last 2000 years because they didn’t toe the line. My faith (any of the Big Three) or the highway to hell.
Speaking of faith, the central tenets of Christianity are laughable:
1. Why are we supposed to be so grateful for Jesus dying on the cross–according to Christianity he was the son of God, pretending to be a man, a divine being with literally unlimited powers we can’t even conceive of, including raising the dead (or do the powers come and go?). Sacrificing yourself when you know you’re not really going to die means absolutely nothing. That’s not sacrifice, that’s theater. He sacrificed his life to “save us”? No, real people, mere mortals through and through, have been tortured much more than Jesus was, according to these legends, and have nobly sacrificed themselves to save loved ones, communities and nations for millennia when facing real, permanent death. We should be grateful for them. Jesus doesn’t need your worship. I’m sure he and his dad are fine with you trying to live a better life.
2. Which version of the crucifixion / resurrection, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, is the “real” one? Which version of Genesis is the real one (I won’t even get into the moronic rationalization of the wackiness of the premise).
You can believe whatever new or old faith you want to (I’m happy for you). But 1500 or 3000 year old myths and questionable morality tales are still just that.
Let me interact a bit here (of course, there’s no knowing if Mr. Farm Boy from MN will be reading this, so I’ll just consider him an amalgam of all who spit at the Bible and provide an intellectual exercise in simple apologetics):
I’ve read the Bible plenty.
So what? How is that an argument?
Twelve years of religious education and many years thereafter just because of a fascination at how people have twisted a very tiny, seemingly random selections out of many handed-down, word-of-mouth campfire stories into a world-view that promises death and eternal damnation if you don’t follow the most evangelical of interpretations.
This guy sounds very much like a kid who’s forced to eat vegetables. He will always find some excuse to hate his broccoli no matter how many times he’s told that “they’re good for you.” He’ll still hate broccoli by the time he turns sixty-five.
How do you define “very tiny” and “seemingly random”? Where in the Scriptures are we promised death and damnation if we don’t follow an interpretation?
Why are we supposed to be so grateful for Jesus dying on the cross–according to Christianity he was the son of God, pretending to be a man, a divine being with literally unlimited powers we can’t even conceive of, including raising the dead (or do the powers come and go?).
Why? Because he paid the price for sin, that’s why? Didn’t your twelve years of reading tell you that? And he wasn’t pretending to be human at all. He wasn’t a Greek god like Zeus who has to “pretend to be human” just so he can go on a date. Orthodox Christianity believes that Christ was both God and man. If you’re going to criticize, please criticize accurately.
Jesus doesn’t need your worship. I’m sure he and his dad are fine with you trying to live a better life.
And where does it say in scripture that Jesus needs our worship? Or perhaps you’ve heard “Christians” say that? Considering the number of imbeciles pretending to be Christians around, I’m not surprised if one of them (or some of them) said something that turned you off. He doesn’t need anything, but he deserves worship. And as to trying to live a better life, how is that exactly?
Which version of the crucifixion / resurrection, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, is the “real” one?
You write as if the four gospel writers disagree on major points. I would probably agree with your rant if, for example, Matthew wrote that Jesus died on a cross facing west, with spikes made of gold, while John or Luke wrote that Jesus was hung upside down on a sycamore tree outside Jerusalem, while chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Or, say Mark said that there were thousands of people to witness the crucifixion but Luke says there were only nine people at the foot of the cross because the mob was afraid of cooties. Those are examples of major contradictions.
Do some statements presented in the scriptures regarding the crucifixion vary? Yes, some do. But these facts varying can be explained by the fact that John, for example, was literally at the foot of the cross as an eyewitness, compared to Luke, who was writing as a reporter would, interviewing different people and getting his facts. He even mentions this in the opening chapters of his gospel.
- The four gospels agree generally regarding the flow of Christ’s trial, with a few small details here and there.
- The gospels agree that he was crucified with two criminals. Did any of the gospel writers make a mistake and should they have written three instead of two?
- They agree re certain details: the sign or titulus placed above his head; Christ crying out with a great cry just prior to death (John adds detail to this by saying he cried out, “It is finished!”)
- If we were to be worried about the time element (and people have) because John said he was crucified on such-and-such an hour, while Matthew or Mark says otherwise, we must remember that the authors of the synoptics used a different method of counting time from John. Matthew, Mark and Luke used the Jewish way of counting while John used the Roman way of counting time).
Which version of Genesis is the real one (I won’t even get into the moronic rationalization of the wackiness of the premise).
I won’t even get into moronic rationalization of the wackiness of the question. I already did that with the preceding question.
There, I’m not mad anymore.