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General News    H1'ed 5/30/18

Is It Possible to be Progressive and Christian?

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American Episcopal church Bishop Michael Curry, who gave a sermon at the wedding recently of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, was a key speaker at a church service and march on the White House last week. The service and march are part of a "progressive" Christian movement called Reclaiming Jesus. It seems they are upset with Christianity being used by conservatives to promote a conservative political agenda, instead of what happened in the 1960s when Christianity was used by liberals to promote a liberal agenda.

The Reclaiming Jesus movement has a declaration of six points. They are all allegedly based on the Bible and Jesus and include putting an end to racism, misogyny and hatred of gay people. They also include an attack against the idea of "America first", which Donald Trump made central to his campaign, and claim to oppose, based on the Bible, "ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal." Curry and the other clergy members are either ignorant of what they call the Word of God, the Bible, or they are actively being deceptive.

Starting with the opposition to racism, these Bible pushing clergy members must have blocked from their minds the Bible story of Phinehas found at Numbers 25:6-13. This ungodly Bible story claims God was jealous and angry that the Jews were mixing with the Midianite people and taking part in the religious services of the Midianites. According to this anti-God and repulsive Bible story, God was so jealous and angry that God ordered Moses to have the heads of the Jewish men who took part in the religious services of the Midianites cut off and to hang their heads up in the Sun.

When the grandson of Aaron, Phinehas, saw a Jewish man bring a Midianite woman into the Jewish camp and into a tent, Phinehas rammed a javelin through both the Jewish man and the Midianite woman. This double murder greatly pleased God, who then allegedly told Moses in verses 11-13:

"Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel."

Curry and his fellow clergy need to address this promotion of violent racism promoted in the Bible. The Christian Identity people, who believe the Jews of the Bible are actually today's white people, strongly embrace the Bible's Phinehas story and even have a subgroup known as the Phinehas Priests, who have already committed multiple Bible-based murders. Here is an article about them.

Regarding Christians taking a stand against misogyny, that is impossible due to the teachings in the Bible which Christianity is based upon. For example, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 teaches Christians:

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

This disgusting misogyny indicates that women are property of men when it uses the phrase "your women". According to this Biblical nonsense, women are to remain silent in obedience to "the law", which would be Jewish law since Christianity sprang out of Judaism. This is also in agreement with what the Bible says that Jesus said (IF Jesus really did exist as a mere mortal, he never wrote anything himself and all there is to go on is hearsay) in Matthew 5:17-18:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

Based on this statement attributed to Jesus, the ungodly and cruel laws of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament are still in effect, and will remain in effect, until "heaven and earth pass".

Jesus' endorsement of the laws of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (at the time Jesus allegedly existed, there was no "Old" Testament, there was simply the Hebrew Bible) would include Leviticus 20:13 which claims God commanded that gay men should be killed.

The Reclaiming Jesus movement's opposition to "ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal" is a joke when you realize that that is the purpose of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, although not to put America first, but to put the Jewish nation of Israel first (which Donald Trump and all US presidents after John Kennedy and the US Congress are very good at).

Deuteronomy 28:1 claims that God told Moses and the ancient Jews:

"And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:"

Verse 10 claims that God continued and said:

"And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee."

And verse 13 claims that God promised that he would make the Jewish state of Israel "the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath." Curry and crew seems to be oblivious to these Bible teachings. (The Jewish superiority promoted in the Bible even allows Jewish people to own Gentile people as their slaves "for ever" as taught in Leviticus 25:44-46. Any book or religion that is not capable of taking a moral stand against something to base and immoral as slavery, should not be embraced or promoted by anyone.)

The Reclaiming Jesus page claims that Romans 13 teaches that governments are supposed to "serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior." This is partially true. However, by reading the entire portion of this chapter that pertains to governments, it is obvious the intention is to use fear in order to get people to be obedient to government authorities and the powers that be. Verses 1-7 teach:

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

Based on this, Donald Trump is in the White House because he is "ordained of God" (as the religious right constantly claim) and anyone who opposes him, or resists him, is opposed to God and will be damned by God. If this Bible teaching is followed, it would do away with elections, since to oppose or resist whoever happens to be in power is to incur the wrath of God.

The fact that the religious right uses the Bible to support Trump, and the religious left uses the Bible to attack Trump, is similar to the situation in the US just prior to, and during, the American Civil War regarding slavery. The North used the Bible to attack slavery while the South used the Bible to promote slavery. The fact that opposite positions can be both promoted and attacked using the Bible makes it evident that Thomas Paine was correct when he wrote in a letter to a friend regarding The Age of Reason:

"In your letter of the twentieth of March, you give me several quotations from the Bible, which you call the Word of God, to show me that my opinions on religion are wrong, and I could give you as many, from the same book to show that yours are not right; consequently, then, the Bible decides nothing, because it decides any way, and every way, one chooses to make it."

To make a much better world we must finally let go of the false idea that the Bible, or any man-made book, is the Word of God. We need to embrace what The Supreme Intelligence/God gave to us, our innate reason. Especially in a nuclear age, we must move far beyond the nonsense of the Bible and other "holy" books, not only to make progress, but to survive. Albert Einstein was right when he wrote:

"The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking that we have done so far, has created problems we cannot solve at the level of thinking at which we created them . . . . We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humankind is to survive."

The only way to accomplish this is to take the advice of Thomas Paine who, in The Age of Reason, called for a revolution in religion based on Deism and our gift from God of innate reason.

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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
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