Attack of the Praya-Haters
As recently as this morning, comments were still pouring in to respond to the January 20th post. Of the many [less than compelling] arguments "Erik Nethken" presented, three were particularly noteworthy. Let's examine them together, shall we?
Argument 1: Peter's Sword
Larry, to protest Bush and policy with statements like "[Jesus] never owned an M16" is completely idiotic. Jesus was not a mere mortal man in a man's army, a police officer or working in any other such capacity. The Apostle Peter carried a sword as a disciple, the modern equivalent to carrying a gun everywhere you go.
Erik: Although I've never seen the then-to-now artillery conversion scale that you use to liken a sword to an M16, let's set that aside for a moment to get to the larger issue. The "10,000 Jesus" protesters were not holding signs that asked "What would Apostle Peter Do?". Peter's example was not the focus of the demonstration, and I don't imagine that it should have been, considering his fraught biblical legacy. Surely, you are a much more learned biblical scholar than I, so you know that in addition to his sword wielding antics, Peter is also known as one of the two men that sinned against Jesus (the other being Judas). Having denied Jesus on not one, not two, but three occasions (Mark 14:66-72), Peter's biblical legacy is hardly untarnished. In fact, even conservative theologians have drawn paralells between these two offenders and the lowly theives that become cross-mates with Jesus.
"All the disciples sinned against Jesus in one form or another. Among the disciples, two figures are especially important -- Judas and Peter. Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter disowned him. They are similar to two other figures in the drama of Jesus death -- the two thieves [that are crucified alongside Jesus]. "
- Rev. Robert J. Saunders (enemy of "liberalism")
Details of who forgave whom notwithstanding, it's clear that Peter's example needn't be the rock upon which we build our moral character, much less our weapons policies. After all, he's a sinner. Jesus wasn't.
If, in the course of your biblical studies, you discover that Jesus carried a pocket knife or or even a stone that he planned to cast (whose "modern day equivalent", using your handy-dandy conversion scale, must surely be an atomic bomb), do inform the rest of the class. If you can locate a single instance where the blessed messiah advocated any type of violence against his assailants (Caiaphas, Pilate, the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, Judas, anyone), be sure to let us all know.
Argument 2: Trigger-happy Democracy
"If it wasn't for people like Bush or millions of others owning and using their M16's you would not have the freedom you have to "blog" all over the internet."
Let's be clear: Neither Bush nor the white-collar upper class men to whom he cateers have ever operated an M16. (How many congress members have a child actively enlisted in the military?)They "protect my precious freedoms" by exploiting marginalized folks both here and abroad. Further, though it is true that it's been a longstanding policy in America, I don't imagine violence to be the only way to protect one's rights. Somehow, I think we'd manage to fend off chaos and anarchy without the assult riffles that you love so well. Perhaps better.
Argument 3: The LovingHating God
"And yes God loves you Larry. God also loves homosexuals – but hates homosexuality. "Come on down folks, it's time for your favorite show "The LovingHating God"! *cue theme music* Please give a warm welcome our host, your favorite wrathful patriarch and mine, The Notorious G-O-D!! *uproarious applause* Stay tuned as our heavenly host demonstrates how it's perfectly possible to be love and to experience hate. But first, a word from our sponsor.
I don't do this, Erik, to blaspheme your god. I do this to demonstrate the fundamental disparity between how you and I cognize the Divine. You believe that God is a willed being. I do not. You believe that God is capable of hating. I do not. I believe that God is love. You do not. Your God can simultaneously embody love and experience (and condone) hate. Mine can not. Hate, in any form, is antithetical to the essence of the Divine as I have experienced it. This, my friend, is where you and I differ.
Mind you, I'm not saying that either of us is right, per se. I only identify that the LovingHating God, with all of His wrath and jealousy and patriarchial attitudes, has been known to be inspire and cultivate hatred, condone war, promote socioeconomic disparity and nourish illegitimate hierarchies. That's all I'm saying. And thanks for tuning in to the Larry Lyons Experience.