Monday, August 29, 2005

Attack of the Praya-Haters

The New Internatonal Urban Bible (NUIB) paraphrases the deceptively un-Christian motto, "love the sinner, hate the sin"
Back by [un]popular demand, it's my boy Jesus Christ. Apparantly, folks can't seem to get enough of my commentary on the radical right's mis-use of the big guy's name. If you haven't heard the buzz, check out my earlier posts about 10,, a group that intervenes in American public discourse by challenging the "hijacking of Christian terminology and thought by institutions on the far right of the political spectrum".

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.


Blogger Clay said...

it just amazes me how religion - especially Christianity - can be twisted like gumby to fit ANYONE'S needs. it is actually scary ...

8:00 PM  
Blogger taylorSiluwé ..... said...

i agree, Cane, it is scary. but not just to us, it's also scary to the holy rollers who use Christianity as weapon to smite anything that frightens them.

But there's is a new enlightenment in the air, and that scares them too ... people are beginning to see the absurdity of it all, and finding alternate modes of spirituality outside of the status quo of a patriarchal figure shaking his finger at us across millenia.

Soon, I predict, even the Pope will find some way to except homosexual behavior as an alternate norm. Not because of any change of heart or spirtual awakening, but because it will be the only way to keep the collection plates full.

Religion is the greatest business ever, and when its all said and done ... money changes everything.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Stone said...

This is a heavy post. I think we learnt anything from Jesus it should be this " love thy neighbour as thy self" all the crap in the world would not be happening and we would be better people all around.

12:26 AM  
Blogger firechild said...

i have the same loving God you do.... "...Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God..." (Romans 8:39)

1:54 AM  
Blogger Larry D. Lyons II said...

Cane: The interesting thing is that I think that very phenomenon is the rock upon which Christianity is built. It's in determining WHOSE interpretations will be deemed valid and valuable that the real fun begins. Traditionally, it's been despotic patriarchs and not much has changed to date. I'm fascinated by how so many right wingers fail to acknowledge the impact of this startling homogeneity has on the politics of one's theological standpoint.

Taylor: You're so forward thinking. I sure do hope you;re right. There's certainly enough evidence available to support your proposition. I guess we'll just wait and see.

Stone: If Jesus was the sole example by which people chose to live, the world would be a better place indeed. If even HALF of the so-called "Christians" conducted themselves in a Christ-like manner for a week, the world would change dramatically.

Firechild: always a pleasure to find kindred in the blogsphere. Welcome to the experience. Stick around and chat with me for a spell, won't you?

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Don A said...

Look here Larry D.'ve stepped across the wrong battle lines my afro american brother. You attempted to belabor my good friend Erik N by ripping apart his posts which only prove your personal lack of self worth and ever lowering values of thought in what's supposed to be an "exercise of free thinking and religious thought." Thus far, the only thing that has made even a lick of sense is the obvious fact that the only thought "worth listening to" is obviously yours. I am sadden to report that as "east coast" as this blog may appear, you are much better suited for the higher altitude liberal thought pattern of the west...Larry, have you seriously become consumed by the miniscule celebrity you've managed to squandered by thus far?? Erik, albeit my personal friend, is a man who does not conceal a veiled attempt to make a fool of anyone (unlike you), but makes every personal attempt to insure his heart and head are aligned properly prior to ever raising a voiced opinion on any matter...He and I both fought in the Panamanian and Gulf War and witnessed many of our fellow brethen lose thier lives during combat...So to all you liberalized Republican waiting for a reason to go choke's your window of opportunity! I'm about sick of this website and the senseless blog...It's time I place my attentions elsewhere, head for my majestic hills and run far away from the "maddening crowds." Larry, I bid you a fond farewell and hope that you find peace along your path...just no stopping to eat the chocolate popsicles..Don out

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Erik Nethken said...

" 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." Larry, you are so naive it's scary. Maybe if during WW2 someone would have just told Hitler to "love thy neighbor" then 6 million Jews would not have been murdered along with countless other poor souls. Surly we could have stopped his violence through creative thinking - right Larry?

6:08 AM  
Anonymous jon b said...

Big E don't play LL. Nethken knows what's going down. LL - Yuz don't playa hate now - give me a holla'!

4:12 AM  
Anonymous miss yuky hashi said...

Brothers and Sisters, please give love a chance. Remember that this Big Green Planet is big enough for all to find happiness - and remember tiny ones - Larry is watching.

4:16 AM  

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