Monday, January 08, 2007
People don't recognize the value of listening to judgmental twits who have forgotten what God has always wanted: for people to treat each other well.
Oh, but doesn't ol' Jerry Falwell treat them well? Doesn't he preach to them about the Redemption, about sin and salvation?
Folks, I got some bad news for you if you follow that twit. The Redemption is the biggest, most screwed up misunderstanding of any religious doctrine ever. Jesus didn't have to be punished in our place, for the pure and simple reason that you don't wipe out evil by creating more evil. You wipe out evil with a flood of goodness... and the murdering of an innocent man is not good.
Jesus didn't die because God needed a perfect sacrifice to wipe away our sins. Jesus died because he'd spent three years telling us that his message was bigger than this world, and bigger than life itself. As a side effect, he proved that no matter how beaten down you are, no matter how hopeless the world might seem, there's hope. Bringing us hope, and showing us there was victory over death, that was good.
Yeah, I know... it's against the dogma that people have pounded into other people's heads for nearly two thousand years. Deal with it; the truth often is a bit strange.
What has God always wanted? God has always wanted people to treat each other right, and to remember that doing so is more important than anything else. Jesus didn't come to earth to throw away the laws that God had laid down about people doing good for each other; he came to point out that this part, the part about caring for the needy, the sick, the hungry, the homeless, that these things, these acts of love and compassion, were the law. Everything else was just a way of making the law more real, of making the law part of people's lives.
I reckon he was sickened to know his message would be perverted into "speak the magic words, accept the blessings of the church, and *poof*, you're washed free of sin, and don't have to bother loving your fellow humans any more"... but he taught the message anyway.
And it worked. The message rang true in people's hearts, because people recognize love. They recognize compassion. They recognize the essence of goodness when it's laid bare right before them.
And now Jerry Falwell's all whiny because, after he's done his part to strip the love and the compassion and the joyful work of helping others out of the Gospels, people don't see any point to them any more. Well, why should they? What good is there in them, if you don't use them to show yourself the value of love?
I suppose the value is this: Falwell can claim to be better than me because he believes that he has greater "faith" than I. Whereas I am forced to recognize that my disgust with him and dislike of him shows that I have not perfected the love that is the mission that Jesus brought.
He can feel self-righteous. I can't. And that's his value.
I prefer mine.
Very nice piece. I myself turned from the church after I read the Bible. Then, being me, I read it again and again... If Christ were alive to today, would he be a liberal or a neocon?