Archive of articles classified as' "Religion"

Back home

Keep Your Eye On The Camel

26/08/2014

So I encountered someone who was Christsplaining “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” on the InterWebs and thot oh hell NO! it would be a good topic for a blog post.

someone is wrong on the internet cap

Their Christplanation was that Jesus wasn’t saying rich people couldn’t go to heaven, because a camel going through the eye of a needle is obviously an impossibility.[1]

Instead, what Jesus was referring to was a special little gate called “The Eye Of The Needle” because it was so narrow, and that for a camel to pass through, it would first need to be unburdened and then get down on its knees and shuffle in.

For some peculiar reason this interpretation is extremely
popular with people who desire s4!tloads of money.[2]

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” is a very complex metaphor.
Let me explain it to you:

“A camel” = a great big fracking animal

“the eye of a needle” = that leeeetle tiny hole at the end of the thin thin thin pointy metal thing you use to sew cloth together

“a rich man” = anybody who has two shirts when somebody else has none

“the kingdom of heaven” = to be in communion with God both here & now and the hereafter

Jesus was fond of using ridiculous hyperbole to prove his points. F’r instance, “why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” literally meant people were walking around with six foot long weaver’s beams in their eyes while criticizing their neighbors for having a speck of dust in theirs. Obviously a physical impossibility, but Christ wasn’t interested in telling something literally factual but rather spiritually true

Likewise “if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out” meaning literally gouge your eyes out rather than let them lead you into temptation. I don’t think Jesus expected anybody to take that as a serious command, but rather that we should remove from our lives anything that might cause us to harm another person or allow another to come to harm.

So the point he was getting across re camel / needle / rich man was this: If you are more interested in lining your own pocket than in seeing justice is done, you aren’t going to hell…

…you’re already there.

“The Christian life is not about pleasing God the finger-shaker and judge. It is not about believing now or being good now for the sake of heaven later. It is about entering a relationship in the present that begins to change everything now. Spirituality is about this process: the opening of the heart to the God who is already here.” — Marcus J. Borg, The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion To A More Authentic Contemporary Faith

.

.

.

[1] There is an alternate Christplanation where “camel” is a miscopying of the Aramic word for “rope” and there’s a certain appeal to that insofar as one can see a similarly between a thread and a rope. However, that Christplanation also misses the point that it’s fracking impossible.

[2] They don’t actually have to possess s4!tloads of money, just desire to possess s4!tloads of money. Check out Matthew 5:27-28.

No Comments

The Words Of The Prophets…

24/08/2014

…are written on the subway walls
and tenement halls

WotP Rachel Held Evans

No Comments

The Words Of The Prophets…

16/08/2014

…are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls

WotP Louis CK 130829

No Comments

What Love Is

14/08/2014

Had an odd twinge of nostalgia / sadness today.  Saw / heard two things that I wished I could have shared with now deceased family members.

The thing that made me feel nostalgic / sad was not that I was missing them for what they had done for me, but because I was missing the chance to do something for them.

Even something as silly and as slight as relaying a cartoon or good news that they might particularly enjoy is a privilege that I’m now doing without.

That, ultimately, is what love is all about:
The desire to do something good for another person, no matter how small, with no thought of reciprocation other than the delight and satisfaction in knowing you helped another human being.

Human beings, being human of course, tend to form their closest bonds to their immediate families / mates.  That’s to be expected, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.  (Indeed, I feel sorry for those who are the products of dysfunctional families, who never learned to love and trust those physically closest to them; may they find peace and happiness and that missing love with others.)
But beyond our immediate familial / blood / mating ties there should be love that extends to others.  First it is those like us in age or interests or community, then it is to those who share our same general values even if they are not immediate neighbors, then our entire country / culture / religion.

But that’s still too narrow a band on love.

Love should extend to everyone everywhere all the time.  This most pointedly is NOT saying that all actions are equally benign, or that all behaviors should be tolerated under all circumstances.

But it does say we are to love our enemies, to love those who despitefully use us, to love those who hate us and do no reciprocate our gestures of mercy and forgiveness and tolerance.

Never return evil for evil,
neglect for neglect.

The writer Andrew Vachss summed it up succinctly:

“Children know the truth.
Love is not an emotion.
Love is a behavior.”

Bill Mauldin one for the enlisted men

“Beautiful view!  Is there one for the enlisted men?”
Bill Mauldin, circa WWII [this is how a military leader
expresses love for his troops; he sees that their needs
are taken care of first, and that he enjoys nothing
they
can not have as well.]

No Comments

Fictoid: So I Says To St. Pete…

10/08/2014

Hieronymus Bosch - garden of earthly delights1

Hieronymus Bosch – Garden Of Earthly Delights

So I says to St. Pete
says I to he
How come
there’s no
gate to heaven?

St. Pete says,
Oh we’ve got the gate
and it works very well.

Understand this life
and the previous life
are like elevators
in a skyscraper.  

Down in the lobby level,
anybody can walk
back and forth, back and forth
between the two sides.

One side is the love others side,
and the other is the love myself side.

Depending on which side
you’re on when you die,
that’s the elevator you take
to the penthouse.

Now, those of you on the love others side,
when you died you came straight up here
non-stop, like a utility elevator: 
Not exactly plush,
but it gets you there.

But if you were on the love myself side,
the fancy elevator takes you to a foyer
just outside the penthouse.  

We have a canned message playing, saying,
“Every thing you think you believed was true is false
and if you renounce it, you can come in.  
Take all the time you want in making your decision.”

Now here’s the thing:  
If you were on the love myself side,
you’re not caring about other people,
you’re wondering how you
are going to get into heaven.

You’re asking yourself,
“Is this a trick?  
Did I really believe
the wrong thing, or
are they just testing me?

“If I do renounce my belief,
and it was a test,
then I’m in hell for all eternity.

“But if they are telling the truth,
and I don’t renounce my belief,
then I’m damning myself to hell.”

You, and the others on this side,
worried less about getting to heaven
than you worried about loving your neighbors,
treating people fairly,
acting justly and
compassionately.  
You have no belief to renounce
because you were doing,
not believing.

The other side,
they’re stewing away,
sweating it out,
wondering which answer is correct.  

And they know they only get
one shot at answering it,
and that answer
will determine
where they spend eternity.

Wellwhat about
the ones to choose,

one way or another?  
What do you do
when they come
through the gate?  

What do you say
about their choice
either way?

Never had that problem.  
They’re so anxious for themselves,
they never get around to making the final choice.  
Every time they nearly convince themselves one way,
they turn around and argue themselves out of it the other.  
Lacking love, they possess only fear,
and fear is what keeps them from entering.

Seems mighty cruel.

St. Pete shrugs.  
Keeps the assholes out.

(c) Buzz Dixon

 

No Comments

The Words Of The Prophets…

2/08/2014

…are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls

WotP Terence McKenna

No Comments

The Words Of The Prophets…

27/07/2014

…are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls

WotP Elle Degeneres

No Comments

Unclear On The Concept

8/07/2014

Holly Makes Jesus Sad1

No Comments

And As The Snake Whips Around…

8/07/2014

…to bite Hobby Lobby and SCOTUS on the ass…

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt

No Comments

Addendum to “Lauren’s Choice”

30/06/2014

I’ve been asked, “But what about adoption for unwanted children?”

To that I say:

Yes!
Yes!
Yes!
and even more
YES!!!
PLEASE!!!

That is the best, most humane solution to the problem of a woman’s unwanted pregnancy.  It’s a perfect example of “pony up”.  Give that child a stable, loving home.  Raise it to its full potential.  Personally assume that responsibility.

A blessing for the child
A blessing for the parent
A blessing for the society

GO FOR IT!

No Comments