Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Revenge and the Christian Mind

I would like to know the reason why modern American Christians tend to read one chapter in the Bible – you know, the one with all of the special effects, and most importantly – REVENGE – Yes, in their preference for that last chapter in the bible these Christians betray their true reason for being Christians in the first place, it gives them a sense of revenge that cannot be outdone. Beneath many Christians there is actually a wannabe tyrant, but it is a tyrant without the necessary fangs to fulfill this will.

Section 15 (Essay 1) of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals shows the hate that is in many Christian hearts. "Thomas Aquinas, the great teacher and saint. "Beati in regno coelesti," he says, meek as a lamb, "videbunt poenas damnatorum, ut beatitudo illis magis complaceat." ("The blessed in the kingdom of heaven will see the punishments of the damned, in order that their bliss be more delightful for them.")"

These people who watch for the end of the world refuse to recognize that things, for instance in the middle ages, were much more violent, more gruesome and unjust, and that it is doubtful that a year of history has ever passed without someone or some group of people proclaiming the imminent end of the world.

“Imagine trying to build a theory of the constitution by obsessively reading and rereading the Twenty-fifth amendment, and you’ll get an idea of what an odd approach this is.

I wish we could go back to the good old days of fighting for the poor and preaching peace, but it looks like they are long gone. This article in the august Harper's is the best treatment of the subject I have read:

“But their theology is appealing for another reason too: it coincides with what we want to believe. How nice it would be if Jesus had declared that our income was ours to keep, instead of insisting that we had to share. How satisfying it would be if we were supposed to hate our enemies. Religious conservatism will always have a comparatively easy sell.”

"It's hard to imagine a con much more audacious than making Christ the front man for a program of tax cuts for the rich or war in Iraq."

The Christian Paradox: How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong
By Bill McKibben

Harpers aug 2005

1 comment:

Andrew Gabriel Rose said...

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven"
The thing that pisses me off is how they pick and choose what's just "a metaphor" I've seen it argued that this direct quote from jesus advocating poverty is a metaphor, for something difficult but possible. Because the "eye of the needle" was a small gate in jerusalem that camels had to squat to pass through. It wasnt a gate in jerusalem, never. This is one example of how when scripture doesnt fit with the current agenda (id est: rich ass christians) they'll go to any lengths to "parableize" plain statements, while taking obvious parables literally. I'm too drunk to really frame this well, ill talk to you about it later.