Is there anything more annoying than your Facebook feed being clogged up by overly righteous friends quoting Bible verses? This is by no means an attack on their individual faith: It’s an attack on the holier-than-thou crew who feels that THEIR personal, private relationship with God needs to be jammed down everyone else’s throat.
My issue with this is simple: Most of these so-called “Christians” have no clue what the Bible actually says. In a typically hypocritical religious fashion, certain verses of the Bible are cherry-picked and used to rain down righteous condescension on the unwashed masses. A vast majority of these folks have only a tenuous grasp on their own religion, and nothing but ignorance for any other vein of spirituality.
Now, the de facto argument that most Christians give when confronted with the widespread death and destruction of the Bible is that most of the oppression, slavery, killing of others, subjugation of women, etc. all take place in the Old Testament, and we don’t count that! (What happens in the OT STAYS in the OT.) Then again, these are usually the same people who have no issue quoting Leviticus (A book in the Old Testament for you heathens) when it comes to condemning homosexuality or opposing gay marriage:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22 KJV)
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.(Leviticus 20:13 KJV)
When I ask these Christians for a New Testament example of Jesus hating queer folks, they never seem to have an answer. So we’ve already established with the whole Old Testament/New Testament thing that only PARTS of the Good Book apply – At least the hypocrisy is easy to figure out. Now that we aren’t supposed to kill gay people, or women who have premarital sex, or people who work on the Sabbath, we can move on to the Jesus stuff. Also, we are allowed to enjoy shrimp cocktail now. Thanks, New Testament!
Since now we are only counting 50% of the Bible (If it makes you guys feel better, I don’t read “The Two Towers” when I read The Lord of the Rings so… I get it) we can get down to the business of looking at New Testament stuff that nobody could possibly adhere to. Basically, we are all going to hell if we believe that we are supposed to live our lives according to the Bible. Of course, the Jesus loophole is that as long as you say you are sorry, everything is all good!
Let’s start simple: Adultery. Now, we generally understand adultery as sexual relations; however, that’s not how Jesus defines it:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that the above image could be considered discriminatory or offensive to women. I certainly do NOT want that, and it’s by no means my intention. In an effort to give an equal opportunity to experience the Pits of Hell:
Look, I can go through hundreds of Bible verses and find examples of religious hypocrisy but that’s not really productive. My biggest beef with the modern day Christian is that many have forgotten the basic tenants of what Jesus taught. Easy stuff like Luke 3:11 – “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.” Often these are the same people who vote Republican and want to slash programs for the poor, or “repeal Obamacare” to help heal the sick among us. Do you think Jesus would have voted for Mitt Romney? I mean, taking away the obvious “Mormonism is a cult” thing – Jesus didn’t seem to be a big fan of rich folks. Jesus said to his disciple, “It’s terribly hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven! In fact, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom.” (Matthew 19:24) When did it happen that liberals couldn’t be good Christians, anyway?
I mean, you could be the Pastor getting blasted all over the Internet for stiffing her waitress at Applebee’s. Her church group of 20 people apparently had a problem with the automatic gratuity that many restaurants add to the check because of the extra work required for such a large party.
If it’s any consolation for you good-hearted Christians out there, the Pastor then made sure that the waitress that she stiffed was fired because you know… That’s what Jesus would have wanted.
So, where does that leave us? Your personal relationship with your God should be used as a guide for morality – If you need it. If you need an old book to tell you not to kill or rape anyone (Well, PART of the book, since rape was pretty much acceptable in the Old Testament) that’s totally fine, as long as it works for you. Please understand that not everyone needs that to be their ethical compass. Try to temper your beliefs to be a bit more tolerant of a world that increasingly might handle their spirituality differently than you do. Most importantly, read the Bible and if you are going to commit that text as your guide for living. Embrace and learn the whole book, not just the snippets that make your God look cool.
But be careful – You may not like what you read.
PS – If you want to see some of the outrage, there are over 13,000 (and counting) comments on the Applebee’s Facebook page condemning the company for firing the waitress. They were already getting negative PR for not offering healthcare and cutting employee hours. My alter-ego Cletus T. Cousinhumper paid them a visit: