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Yes, I'm very forgetful today. offscreen's comment to a recent post reminded me that I should also have linked to this magnificent piece about supposed Christians who preach nothing but hate and greed (coughGeorgeWBushcough). I pretty much agree with everything he says.

I have nothing against Christianity. I wish more Christians practiced it.

Me too.


Feb. 25th, 2004 07:58 am (UTC)
The problem I have with things like that is that they tend to lean a little too heavily on the "New Testament Good, Old Testament Bad" argument, which ... well, which offends me. Because there is a religion based on what that author calls "the bloodier books of the Bible (which tend to be found in the Old Testament)": it's called Judaism, and it's not particularly bloody.

Rules are far easier to follow than Christ's actual path, which needs humility and sacrifice and the ability to forgive, love and cherish even those who you oppose and who oppose and hate you.

My mum said something very, very similar to my ex-girlfriend and really, really offended her - and me. The way Judaism considers observance is very different to the Christian idea, I think, and I found Alex's egular and measured observance of the rules of her religion incredibly beautiful. By the standards of many, she was a fairly liberal Jew, but her level of observance brought her faith to the forefront of her life every hour of every day. And it was absolutely not a substitute for critical and intellectual engagements with both the moral questions of twenty-first century life and the texts of the Torah and Talmud.

If people are going to criticise conservative Christian politicos, I'd rather they did it on the grounds that some of the time they spend policing sexual behaviour according to the Bible would be better spent looking at what the Bible says about economics, being rich and charity.

OK, I'm going to stop spamming up your LJ now. Did I mention the part where this book I have to read is really boring?
Feb. 25th, 2004 08:21 am (UTC)
I understand what you mean, and I agree that the idea that all religious rules are stupid is offensive, but I think that the main point of that piece was just to say that many conservative Christians are selective in what they choose to observe - which tends to be a few sex-related lines in the Old Testament. I think for many of those people it is easier to just say "God Hates fags!" and preach nothing but abstinence rather than think about these issues more deeply. Unlike Judaism, there's no coherence in the rules they choose to follow.

As for me, I'm not eating meat or having any snacks between meals today - which isn't in the Bible at all! Most Catholic rules seem to be made up from random whims. I'm not even sure why I still observe this one - I don't go and get ashes or anything - but I always have done. And I do it for Good Friday too. However, my non-meat lunch consisted of M&S smoked salmon and cream cheese on toast, which isn't exactly self-denial. I am, however, not eating the indescribably gorgeous and very tempting M&S white chocolate and lemon muffins which I got yesterday, though, so I'm not that bad a Catholic (although the not approving of anything the current Pope says or does might contradict that).

And heh, I've been posting and commenting like mad today too. This is what happens when we don't have Chicklit! I don't mind, though.
Feb. 25th, 2004 08:25 am (UTC)
Hey, I posted a similar response to the article itself, and the author posted back to say he took my point and he should have made more of the difference between Judaism's engagement with the texts and the Leviticans' lack of it! I'd have a cookie if I hadn't decided to attempt to repeat last year's success with giving up chocolate for Lent.

I'm partly giving up chocolate for Lent because I wanna look fabulous for the Blonde's wedding in April. Oh, the crapness of me.


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