The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
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08-04-2017, 11:09 AM
The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
In line with my remark on another thread that holy books are vague and can serve as a template for almost any needed interpretation of the moment, I offer for your consideration this brief article which affirms this unintentionally and without irony, and calls for a communist revolution based on what scripture clearly and obviously, in the eyes of this author, teaches.

I rather suspect that most Christians -- certainly many -- will have a major malfunction with this because they are equally convinced that the Bible teaches self reliance and unbridled capitalism and trickle-down economics. People see what they want to see, I guess.

What this author is actually doing is just a version of what many are doing today -- seeing the growing systemic wealth inequality in the world and responding to it as unacceptable. One response is to move in either a more socialistic or communistic direction (dear reader, if you are unaware that these two are quite different, it is time to educate yourself) , or, to go way right and blame "globalism" for undermining "national interests" which are often tied to some form of tribalism, usually in the West, covert or overt white supremacy. So we end up with (in order of how influential they appear to be so far) authoritarian nationalism, often with xenophobic themes; socialism (either social democracy or actual socialism); or communism.

That is the political side, but I'm fascinated the facile way in which this author can enlist the Holy Babble to support straight up Karl Marx communism as readily as Christian fundamentalists have generally enlisted it to support unbridled capitalism and conventional elitist Republican ideation. In many ways these can be regarded as polar opposites, and yet you have people on both sides of this issue appealing to what they see as the plain meaning of scripture as a treasure-trove of divine approval for their ideology.

Is there anything the Bible couldn't be construed to be in favor of? After all, it has been claimed by people that if you read it "correctly" it supports mass suicide, prophesies rescue of the elect by alien spaceship hiding behind a comet, is compatible with a narrative of the lost tribe of Israel in America, decrees that old men can take child brides, and so much more.

I maintain that any holy book is vague by design so that it can be used as one wishes. These days I find the passage that condemns those who "wrest the scriptures to their own destruction" as hilarious, because "wresting" is what everyone does. (For those who don't know, "wrest" is Elizabethan English for "twist", ir is the root of the modern "wrestle", but I rather fancy archaic words like that, they seem so evocative).
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08-04-2017, 11:58 AM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
Yep, that's why you have so many groups claiming the bible teaches what they claim it does.

Apparently the bible is pro-slavery, anti-slavery, pro-women's right, anti-women's rights, anti-abortion, pro-choice (or at best doesn't care about abortion), teaches socialism, teaches communism, teaches captialism, teaches libertarianism, is pro-materialsim, is anti-materialism, and so on, and so on...

My favorite is the Dennis Pragers of the world who try to give Christianity the credit for ending slavery, segregation, and giving women equal rights. What complete bullshit, considering it took 2000 years after the supposed time of Christ for it to happen, so what the hell took so long since we had Christianity that whole time, and you ignore for a good 1800 years of that at least the bible was used in favor of all that bad stuff. So get bent.
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08-04-2017, 12:16 PM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
(08-04-2017 11:09 AM)mordant Wrote:  In line with my remark on another thread that holy books are vague and can serve as a template for almost any needed interpretation of the moment, I offer for your consideration this brief article which affirms this unintentionally and without irony, and calls for a communist revolution based on what scripture clearly and obviously, in the eyes of this author, teaches.

I rather suspect that most Christians -- certainly many -- will have a major malfunction with this because they are equally convinced that the Bible teaches self reliance and unbridled capitalism and trickle-down economics. People see what they want to see, I guess.

What this author is actually doing is just a version of what many are doing today -- seeing the growing systemic wealth inequality in the world and responding to it as unacceptable. One response is to move in either a more socialistic or communistic direction (dear reader, if you are unaware that these two are quite different, it is time to educate yourself) , or, to go way right and blame "globalism" for undermining "national interests" which are often tied to some form of tribalism, usually in the West, covert or overt white supremacy. So we end up with (in order of how influential they appear to be so far) authoritarian nationalism, often with xenophobic themes; socialism (either social democracy or actual socialism); or communism.

That is the political side, but I'm fascinated the facile way in which this author can enlist the Holy Babble to support straight up Karl Marx communism as readily as Christian fundamentalists have generally enlisted it to support unbridled capitalism and conventional elitist Republican ideation. In many ways these can be regarded as polar opposites, and yet you have people on both sides of this issue appealing to what they see as the plain meaning of scripture as a treasure-trove of divine approval for their ideology.

Is there anything the Bible couldn't be construed to be in favor of? After all, it has been claimed by people that if you read it "correctly" it supports mass suicide, prophesies rescue of the elect by alien spaceship hiding behind a comet, is compatible with a narrative of the lost tribe of Israel in America, decrees that old men can take child brides, and so much more.

I maintain that any holy book is vague by design so that it can be used as one wishes. These days I find the passage that condemns those who "wrest the scriptures to their own destruction" as hilarious, because "wresting" is what everyone does. (For those who don't know, "wrest" is Elizabethan English for "twist", ir is the root of the modern "wrestle", but I rather fancy archaic words like that, they seem so evocative).

I largely agree with you. I've often called the Bible a Rorschach (inkblot) test for this reason.

But I THINK that there might be a few exceptions if we try really hard to find them. Like, does the Bible encourage rejecting the existence and worship of the Biblical God?
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08-04-2017, 12:24 PM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
[Image: 24-300x223.jpg]

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

[Image: parodia-michal-aniol-flying-spaghetti-monster.jpg]
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08-04-2017, 12:40 PM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
(08-04-2017 12:16 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  ---
--- does the Bible encourage rejecting the existence and worship of the Biblical God?

Maybe.

Jesus was atheist and his message (there is no god but me, which is you, and I am he and you are he and we are all together) was rejected and they killed him.

True story. Drinking Beverage




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08-04-2017, 12:45 PM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
(08-04-2017 11:09 AM)mordant Wrote:  I rather suspect that most Christians -- certainly many -- will have a major malfunction with this because they are equally convinced that the Bible teaches self reliance and unbridled capitalism and trickle-down economics. People see what they want to see, I guess.

The fourth and fifth acts of the apostles provide support for communism as the foundation of Christianity. As does the parable of the wise and the foolish builders indirectly. What references do Christians use to support self-reliance, capitalism and tinkle-down economics as a basis for being? Do they even have any? Fucking Christians. Don't even understand their own teachings.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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08-04-2017, 02:13 PM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
Matt D loves to call it the "big book of multiple choice".

I agree, just about any position can be backed up with careful selection of passages.

I doubt this was pragmatic on the part of the authors, but more a sign of what a jumbled mess the religion is.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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08-04-2017, 02:45 PM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
Many Christians tell us that Jesus eliminated the Old Testament teachings. I once sat down and went systematically through the 4 gospels looking to see what Jesus actually taught as far as the Do's and Don't Do's, the strictly moral and ethical teachings of Jesus. It is surprisingly slim. And many of his commands are utterly ignored by Christians. His commands about marriage and divorce for example. Praying in private. And selling all you have and giving to the poor. When one extracts these moral teachings from the Bible, it isn't really much of a moral code. and some of it is obviously objectionable to even the most fervent Christians.

Some day, I need to do this again, and cut and paste all these Do's and Don'ts into one nice file so the less than comprehensive nature of all of his commands can be examined.

There isn't much, so if one needs a comprehensive moral code, cherry picking gospel commands of Jesus won't get you there really. Much of what is there isn't new, and what is new isn't something anybody wants to follow.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

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08-04-2017, 06:17 PM
RE: The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
(08-04-2017 12:16 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  I largely agree with you. I've often called the Bible a Rorschach (inkblot) test for this reason.

But I THINK that there might be a few exceptions if we try really hard to find them. Like, does the Bible encourage rejecting the existence and worship of the Biblical God?

no doubt. How people describe the god in the bible is how those people see the world. Like you, I just don't see any exceptions.
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08-04-2017, 06:27 PM
The Bible teaches whatever you pretend it teaches
The Bible doesn't mean what it says.

It says what you want it to mean.
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