“This isn’t really a problem with Paul Ryan; it’s a problem with a distinctively American brand of conservative evangelicalism. The aspiring VP can live with a glaring contradiction because his constituency shares his passion for Antichrist ideas. The Sunday School teachers of evangelical America can give you 101 clever reasons why Jesus didn’t really mean what he said about money, power, humility, forgiveness, sacrificial love or politics. The conservative movement dominates American politics because it has cobbled together a simple, internally coherent philosophy rooted in selfishness, pride, radical individualism, nationalism, militarism, and faith in the free market. If you are familiar with Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels, you will recognize this as the religion of Antichrist … or if you prefer, Satan. If you aren’t familiar with the words of Jesus, half an hour with the nearest Bible should remedy the problem. Find the part called “New Testament” and start reading.” — Why Paul Ryan doesn’t have an Ayn Rand problem (via azspot)
Pres. Bartlet: “I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.”
Jenna Jacobs: “I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.”
Bartlett: “Yes it does. Leviticus.”
Bartlet: “Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I have you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another?”
“My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police?”
“Here’s one that’s really important because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point?”
“Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side?”
“Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you?”
“One last thing: while you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits… Toby?”
Toby: “Yes, sir?”
Bartlet: “That’s how I beat him.”
Andrew Sullivan caught a surprising statement from a Fox “New” anchor:
“This country has a long history of discrimination against certain groups. Eventually we wind up getting it right. Right? Against women, against blacks, the civil rights movement and so on. And in justifying that discrimination when it was in place, some folks turn to the Bible and turn to their religious beliefs and said we have to have slavery because it’s in the Bible. Women have to be second-class citizens because that’s in the Bible. Blacks and whites can’t get married because that’s in the Bible. That wound up in a case. A judge wrote that in an opinion, which the Supreme Court ultimately struck that down, saying that’s not right, judge—the Equal Protection clause says you can’t do that. Why is gay marriage any different?” — Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Of course Dr. Robert Jeffress, to whom Kelly was speaking, responded with an argument about polygamy—in Utah no less! Let’s think about that… hey! Fun fact — which presidential candidate actually comes from a family which actually practiced polygamy: 1) President Obama or 2) Mitt Romney.
The bottom line is that fundamentalist Christians pick and choose which verses and commandments they’ll follow from the Bible and which verses they’ll ignore. You’ve found a verse about homosexuality being a sin in the Bible? Good for you. What about the thousands of other sins that are described in the Bible which you happily ignore? Where does it say homosexuality and gay marriage are against the law in the Constitution?
A particular sect of Christians shouldn’t be inflicting their BELIEFS on the entire country in the form of political ideology and our nation’s laws. Your beliefs are your business and my beliefs are mine. That’s America and that’s separation of church and state.
Christian fundamentalists should think about this a little harder: what if Mormons became the largest sect of Christianity in America? Do you really want their particular beliefs to be imposed on everyone else, to have their religious practices held up by one political party as the law of the land? The Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States are there for a reason — to protect us from the religious zealotry of the few over the many.
“You don’t build a movement with short-term tactics. You build a movement by understanding and change the way people think. The day everyone says in America, ‘You know what? There’s no missing page of Genesis that says there are separate tax rates for capital gains. There is nothing in Leviticus that says you may not regulate derivatives. This is not stuff that has to be. This is just a bunch of people who decided our public policy should be to redistribute all of the wealth in our society to a very small number of our people. It’s public policy. It’s not ancient. It’s not God, and we have the power to change it.’ That’s what will enable us to break through the log jams to re-regulate the Dodd-Frank process. That’s what will break through.” – New York’s state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, reminding progressives at the Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington, D.C. that the right’s efforts to fight financial regulation is far from divinely inspired.
DAN SAVAGE CAUSED A WALKOUT at an anti-bullying talk at a high school journalism conference when he pointed out that we’ll make some progress on bullying when Christians treat the parts of the Bible that mention homosexuality the same way that they treat the parts that mention slavery. (via)
“We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people — the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things.
[...] Slave owners waved the Bible over their heads during the Civil War, and justified it… We ignore what the Bible says about slavery because the Bible got slavery wrong.
[...] The Bible says… that if a woman’s not a virgin on her wedding night, she shall be dragged to her father’s doorstep and stoned to death. (pause) Callista Gingrich lives. And there is no effort to amend state constitutions to make it legal to stone women to death on their wedding night if they’re not virgins. At least not yet. We don’t know where the GOP is going these days…”
Listen to the whole thing, so true. Especially the point made at the end of this clip (2:30).
It should go without saying that any interpretation of meaning — on any page of the Bible — can never be anything more than subjective, a literary Rorschach Test. Religious leaders must insist that their followers ‘believe’ the agreed-upon interpretations from pages they have chosen, which dates back to the First Council of Nicaea. Even the New Testament Canon itself was was limited and censored by early Christian leadership, leaving out many Acts, Texts, Gospels and other Christian writings — the Apocrypha. Why?
I’ve always thought it was interesting that the word BELIEVE necessarily contains the word LIE. You can’t have one without the other. The following infographic highlights 439 questions on which the Bible contradicts itself.
For a zoomable (readable) document, download the chart as a PDF.
Via Suzanne LaBarre:
The Bible was wrong. For evidence look to, well, the Bible.
Such is the conclusion of this stunning, provocative infographic, which maps contradictions in the Bible, from whether thou shalt not commit adultery down to the color of Jesus’s robes. Career skeptic Sam Harris commissioned the chart for his nonprofit foundation Project Reason, with graphic design by Madrid-based Andy Marlow. Whatever your religious views, it’s an incredible testament to the power of data visualization. It’s managed to make an ancient text — over which men have fought wars and women have sacrificed babies — look downright silly.
[Click image for larger view]
The organization here is pretty simple. You’ve got bars at the bottom representing the 1,189 verses of the King James Bible. White’s for the Old Testament, gray’s for the New Testament. Then a red arc links all the verses that contradict each other.
Steve Wells, the guy who compiled the data, cites 439 — 439! — questions the Bible equivocates on, often in several places. Even something as seemingly incontrovertible as how old Abram was when Ishmael was born has more than one answer (see Genesis 11:26; Genesis 11:32; Genesis 16:16; and Acts 7:2-4).
For the full key, download the chart as a PDF.
So to anyone who thinks the Bible’s the last word on anything, remember this: It isn’t even the last word on itself.