October 31, 2008

The Bible as a voting guide

Many social conservatives point to the Bible for their guidance. Now, I'm no Bible scholar, but I've learned a few things through the years by listening to talk radio and reading letters to the editor. The Bible tells these people why gays are to be feared, hated, and beaten to death. The Bible tells them why war (crusades) should be waged against Muslims, especially Arab Muslims living in or near the Holy Land. The Bible tells them why it's important to use bombs to kill doctors who perform abortions (because life is sacred). The Bible tells them that evolution is not true, and their own family trees provide secular proof on that count. The Bible tells them many things.

But there are two things I understand the Bible says that I don't see these people clinging to. Or maybe I'm misinterpreting.

But I tell you not to resist an evildoer. On the contrary, whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.
Now, I'm not saying that we should offer up Los Angeles to Osama bin Laden so he can slap us there, too. Well, OK, maybe LA but definitely not San Francisco or Seattle. I think what this is trying to say is that moral superiority manifests as courage, not as fear. Inclusion is an act of courage. Tolerance is an act of courage. Discrimination and exclusion are acts of fear.

But perhaps these people get confused by the mention of the right cheek and the "other" cheek. McCain was getting slapped pretty bad in the polls, and maybe he was returning to the bible in the debate when he pointed out "that one" (the one on the Left). Maybe he was trying to present the left cheek to be slapped instead of him for a while. He certainly seems to be doing a lot of slapping of cheeks.

(Hey, you sniggering in the back. I'm not talking about butt cheeks, so you can stop fantasizing about Palin presenting you with her "other cheek." Sheesh.)

Then there's the whole socialism thing gone rogue this week. What's up with that? Don't the conservatives know that they should not hoard their wealth but spread it around?
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Just look at what's happened to Greenspan. Oh, wait, it says pierced with sorrows, not pierced with arrows. But I guess it's equally valid for him. Anyway, the way I read this, anyone who uses the Bible to guide their social conscience should actually be promoting the virtues of socialism. Don't fall into the traps laid by love of money; spread the wealth around and you will avoid being pierced with many sorrows.

As a final thought this morning as we head into the last weekend of the free world as we know it, here are the two ways we appear to view the world:

TGIF. Four more days! Four more days!


JaneyV said...

LoL at the charts Pete! I have to say coming from a country where there is universal healthcare, a good education system and a reasonable welfare net if you fall on hard times - I just don't understand why the US is so scared of spreading the wealth a little. My husband and I do pay more tax than the average American - but we sure do get a lot for it.

…moral superiority manifests as courage, not as fear. Inclusion is an act of courage. Tolerance is an act of courage. Discrimination and exclusion are acts of fear.

Nicely put!

Blogless Troll said...

Personally, I use a proprietary blend of Dr. Seuss, Machiavelli, and Sesame Street to guide my social conscience.

And hey, you forgot fascists on your left/right continuum. But that's OK. All you have to do is take the two ends, bend them around so they touch and the whole thing forms a circle, and stick a big fat dollop of fascism between the two ends to hold it all together. That's where it goes. The left/right linear perspective is only a partial view. It's really a giant merry-go-round.

PJD said...

What?!? I thought "fascist" was a broad categorization indicating anything to the right of "moderate democrats." Huh. Learn something new every day.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hah! Great charts.

And a great post, though if you're going to offer up L.A., I'd like a little time to get out of town.

Chris Eldin said...

THis is very funny!
Yes, just a few more days...

bluesugarpoet said...

So funny - I taught about fascism this week in my classes. I wish I would have used your charts and the great imagery blogless troll offered up in his comment.

I also taught about Marxism, and I had one kid say, "I'm pretty sure if someone from the government came in this room right now that we would get into trouble." Apparently a history teacher told his class that teaching about communism is against the law. His teacher must have been joking. I think.

A few verses that you didn't mention are these:

And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

Most Christ followers understand that all other commandments are based on these two commanments - which are words directly from Christ himself.

How can a believer, then, justify hatred for anyone?

But I am preaching to the choir... :)