Posted by john at February 24, 2004 11:46 AM
On occasion people ask me what, exactly, it is I have against Christianity, inasmuch as I seem to rail against it quite a bit. My general response is: I have nothing against Christianity. I wish more Christians practiced it. The famous bumper sticker says "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven," but I often wonder just how often they check in with Christ about that last one. I look at the picture I included with the last entry, the one with the kid protesting the gay marriages in San Francisco, wearing the shirt that has "homo" written on it with a circle and slash through the word, and I try to find some of Christ's teachings in that. As you might imagine, I'm finding very little.
If that kid were hit by a bus and got to meet Christ shortly thereafter, I do imagine the conversation would be a sorrowful one, as the homo-negating young man would have to try to reconcile his shirt with the admonition to love others as one loves one's self. I would imagine at the end of that conversation, the young man would be looking to see if Christ were holding a lever, and if there were a trap door under the young man's feet.
In the comment thread of the last entry, one of the posters wondered why many fundamentalists spend so much time in Leviticus and so little time in the New Testament, and I think that's a remarkably cogent question. Indeed, it is so cogent that I would like to make the suggestion that there is an entire class of self-identified "Christians" who are not Christian at all, in the sense that they don't follow the actual teachings of Christ in any meaningful way. Rather these people nod toward Christ in a cursory fashion on their way to spend time in the bloodier books of the Bible (which tend to be found in the Old Testament), using the text selectively as a support for their own hates and prejudices, using the Bible as a cudgel rather than a door. That being the case, I suggest we stop calling these people Christians and start calling them something that befits their faith, inclinations and enthusiasms.
I say we call them Leviticans, after Leviticus, the third book of the Old Testament, famous for its rules, and also the home of the passages most likely to be thrown out by Leviticans to justify their intolerance (including, in recent days, against gays and lesbians -- Leviticus Chapter 18, Verse 22: "Thou shalt not not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination").
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