Tuesday, May 03, 2005

 

Overly loud professions of faith - the very last refuge of a scoundrel

In response to one of my posts, some anonymous missionary without even the guts to admit his name basically says I'm going to hell unless I repent and accept JAYZUSSS as my personal savior.

Fuck him.

I'm sick and fucking tired of so-called Christians acting like only they know anything about faith and morality. As if, once a person says he's a Christian, the rest of us are supposed to suspend all our judgment and critical faculties and fall to our knees in reverent obeisance.

Considering what Christians have done to Jews the past couple of millennia - torture, murder, lies, forced conversions, expulsions, blood libels, etc. - that they really think any of us have the slightest desire to become anything like them strikes me as the sheerest height of delusion.

One reason Jews and Catholics have always gotten along better than Jews and Protestants is Catholics do not believe in the foul, filthy notion of salvation by faith alone. Catholics, like Jews, believe that it is your works as much as your faith that define your relationship with God. Salvation by faith alone is an abomination to Jews. Actually, salvation is a rather odd notion to a Jew, since we believe and teach that all humans are by definition saved provided they follow a few, simple commandments (the seven so-called "Noahide" commandments). Jews, of course, have to follow 613 commandments, but even we are automatically saved (as David Klinghoffer puts it, we follow the mitzvot not to earn salvation but to justify already being saved and to show our appreciation and loyalty to God for His gifts. But we're all already "saved".)

In any case, the idea that once you say you're a Christian, you automatically are above reproach, that no one can criticize you, that no one can question anything you do, is repulsive and un-American. James Dobson, nominally a Christian, is a proponent of child- and animal-abuse. Can we not say so without being condemned as enemies of people of faith? Ralph Reed is a corrupt pig.

I don't care what they say they are. I know plenty of real Christians. I'm not necessarily impugning Dobson's or Reed's personal faith and piety. I'm just saying that when they act like pigs, I'm going to call them pigs, and they can't hide behind a Bible and a cross and say I'm being mean to them.

I'm a Jew. Unlike Christian mischaracterizations of Judaism, faith is as important to Jews as it is to Christians. But it's like Napoleon supposedly said to his generals, "Pray as if everything depends upon God, but fight as if everything depends upon you." Merely saying you're a person of faith is not enough. You have to truly live your faith, too. If it doesn't make you a better person, what good is it?

Hating gay people, hating women, advocating violence against children, threatening judges who disagree with you, attempting to impose your incredibly narrow-minded vision upon everyone else - that's not faith, that's miserable, mean-spirted insecurity and megalomania.

Stop braying about your faith while belittling everyone else's. Just shut up about how wonderful you are and how awful the rest of humanity is. We don't want to hear it, and it sure doesn't make what you're pushing seem attractive and appealing.

This is not anti-Christian. It's anti-blowhard. It's anti-mean old goatfucking scumbag. It's anti-theocratic dictator wannabe. Yes, it's even anti-Republican (which did not used to be the same thing as pro-Antichrist. And you know what? It still isn't.)

Let's get back on track here. We don't oppose Janice Rogers Brown because she's a Christian. We oppose her because she's a nutcase who does not understand or give a shit about the U.S. Constitution. It's cheap and easy to defame us - too cheap and easy. It demeans the people who do it as much as they think they're humbling us. It divides the nation. It brings Christianity itself into disrepute, which I somehow doubt is what Tony Blankley and Bill Frist have in mind.

A fair fight is one thing. Winning at any cost is another. Trying to turn a 51-49 Presidential election into the Second Coming is off the frickin' table.
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