The question often arises in my mind, when dealing with biblical literalists and fundamentalists, exactly WHAT their fundamentals are? What is it that makes them stand at the head of a crowd and whip them into a frenzy, spitting hatred for others - and doing so in the name of a god they claim is a god of love, and who is the personification of this all too cheap, commercialized emotion?How do they reconcile the nature of their religious scriptures? One portion, which is entirely copied from another earlier religion, and quaintly named "the Old Testament" - which represents a claimed covenant between the Abrahmic God and the Jewish religion, replete with ritualistic laws and customs which it is claimed do not apply - and yet they use those very same ritualistic laws and customs - especially those in Leviticus - to condemn others with whom they do not agree, to death and hell and all other things eternally unpleasant. The other portion, being fabricated out of a stack of books which more or less concur on a few issues, and written some 50 to 120 years - and even 200 years after the supposed events of the New Testament - by people who were never even there - and omitting entirely HALF of the other books written around the same period, which were either too liberal, free thinking, esoteric or plain confusing - or which inconveniently contradicted the Roman Catholic doctrine of "pistis", or obedience without question. Funny how that little thing got carried over into Protestantism and then Evangelism, innit?
So, looking at this collection of manuscripts, cobbled together in a way which suited the powers that were at the time, and rebound and re-edited since by whatever powers that followed - how can anyone determine so precisely WHAT exactly the message of the Christian Bible is? Is it love? Is it God's Wrath? Is the Old Testament to modern Christianity not supposed to be looked at in a historical background explanation of merely what the origins of "Christianity" were?
Should those who identify as Christian not have taken more literally the promise of their savior coming as "the New Covenant", which freed them from the bondage of literalism, ritualism, and blind obedience by rote, without question? Why do so many "Christians" today still become obsessed with and cling to the old texts as laws and use them to condemn others with? Does this obsession with guilt, being more right than their neighbors, and persecution of others not make them Leviticans instead of actual Christ followers?
We call these people fundamentalists, because they somehow whittle all this - the whole thing, Old Testament, New Testament, nearly 100 books written by numerous authors, some even unknown to this day - along with their true motives - as well as those of the people who had many of these books translated (along with errors in translation - some of which were deliberate) - fundamentalists. They cut 1000 pages of what is essentially a library of philosophizing into a handful of phrases or verses, which they claim are the essentials of the faith. THIS, they say, is the path to righteousness, and to paradise. How do they choose these "essentials"? Have they even chosen the right ones?
Let's look at this knotty little problem by referring to this confusing and perplexing conglomerate itself:
The Christian Bible, Mark chapter 12 verses 28-31: "One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," Jesus answered, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."
"NO commandment greater than these."
There is nothing at all in there about sexuality, persecution, stoning, hanging, "ex-gay", celibacy, "corrective rape", hate, preserving traditions which abuse others, or making outcasts of gay or trans people - or ANY people in there - now how about that?
"NO commandment greater than these." NO commandment. NONE.
If you're truly a biblical fundamentalist, THIS one law should be the sum of your faith.
If you're truly a Christ-follower, THIS will be your law - loving your god, and loving your neighbor as yourself. Not hating anyone. Not judging anyone. Not oppressing anyone. Not persecuting anyone. Not excluding anyone. Not destruction. Not death.
Makes you wonder how many of you nice folks calling yourselves "true Christians" who act completely opposite to this, and break these two most important commandments by your words and actions of hate against us - your neighbors - how do you reconcile this with the words of your Christ, whom you claim to follow? Whom you claim to live as? Whom you call yourself after?
And before you say that there are other verses that you think address issues of sexuality, condemning us - THIS part is not about US - it is about YOU.
How YOU deal with your neighbors, namely us.
"Love your neighbor as yourself" says the second half of the two greatest commandments of all - and yet you manifest against others hateful acts of oppression and persecution.
If working to undermine laws which protect us from persecution, and inciting or supporting acts which strip away our civil rights and equality, and which will enable our persecution, are not acts of hate - what are they?
How do you excuse yourselves from that little thing your Christ said about "There is NO commandment greater than these"?
Food for thought, huh folks? Eat up.
I hear in the stony silence, the shuffling of feet.