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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Interesting Bible Trivia

Here is a quick quiz for everyone: What is the one Commandment (out of the 'traditional' Ten Commentments) That Jesus Christ Himself did not break? Please consider the four gospels and the Acts in your answer.

If you guessed "graven image" then you are correct. Jesus lied, murdered, coveted, dishonored his parents, blasphemed, failed to keep holy the Sabbath, stole, held up other gods besides God, and committed adultery through lust.

So go check this post out by Ed Brayton. 'Relative' and 'Absolute'? I think someone needs to go to someone more logical than Christianity to define those terms.

I mean if both eating shellfish (like lobster, crab and shrimp) and homosexuality were both 'abominations' to God in Leviticus, but suddenly in the time of Jesus, eating anything was now acceptable but being gay was still wrong proves that 'relative' is in the eye of the religious beholder... as is slavery and a black man marrying a white woman.

I guess killing falls in the same category: It is morally acceptable to kill ala war and the death penalty, but wrong to kill otherwise is absolute, but killing due to only justifiable war, and no death penalty is relative. Who would have guessed?

Discuss the absurdities.

[Update: In comments, Rhology challenged me on my claim that Jesus violated 9 of the 10 Commandments. He wanted me to cite references. So the following addition to this post is my response to that request.]

Rhology, you are correct, I should have given references to all this, but I was feeling lazy and figured it was all known and simply accepted. I had been explained all this when I grew up in private Christian schools. It is all in the gospels clear to see, and required explanation. Of course the reasons given then make no sense to me now because I am older and more rational. In fact the only broken commandment that is not explicitly stated as such is the lust/adultery and that dealt with Jesus and Mary Magdaline. (This was well before Da Vinci Code, Last Temptation of Christ and even Holy Blood/Holy Grail). So let's look at them one at a time and I will mention the specific Gospel verses which show Jesus breaking the given rule.

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
Jesus claimed that he was God as a man. But Jewish law (i.e. the Old Testament) said there was only one God, Yahweh; and Jesus was not claiming to be Yahweh, but rather another version or entity of him. See John 5:24-26
Jews at that time believed that there would be a messiah, but they did not believe it would be God Himself in human form, and they certainly did not believe in any such notion as a "trinity" They believed in One God, not Three Gods in One.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth
Jesus did once stoop to write in the dirt, using symbols known to no one. If they were the "writing" of heavenly bodies, then that could be considered graven images, but since it also could have been doodles in the dirt, then it cannot be considered a violation. Jesus is free and clear on this commandment. Anyone else, however who has a picture of Jesus, or of angels, or devils, or fish or whales or sharks is currently breaking this commandment willfully. See: John 8:5-7

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain
Jesus was crucified for blasphemy. I thought this would be completely self-evident. A man calling himself God is blasphemy. And Remember Jesus' last words upon the Cross:"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" See Matthew 27:46
Does that sound like a person talking to himself? At best, Christianity can claim this should be in the context of the "trinity" but no such concept was ever spelled out in the Old Testament. Only One God. So blasphemy it is.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
This is another one that I thought would be blatantly obvious. It is a story told in all three synoptic Gospels. See It here in Mark 2:23-28.
Note the implications of blasphemy here as well.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee
Again, this is another famous story out of the gospels mentioned in the synoptics. Jesus comes across his family; mother and brothers and sisters. He shuns them (rebukes is a better word) Telling your own mother to 'shove off' is anything but honoring her. See: Matthew 12:46-50
Also see this tale of Jesus rebuking his mother. It is the famous story of turning water into wine in John 2:1-4
Then check out his speech about family: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" See Luke 14:26
Does this sound at all like "honoring your mother and father"?

6. Thou shalt not kill
Another really obvious one here. Jesus died on the cross. He had the power to save himself. He chose to die instead. That is known as suicide. And suicide is killing. I leave it to you to find the appropriate references here.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
As I said before this is the only murky one here. There are a number of heretical sources which reference Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene, or just sleeping with her. But what I really find interesting are the not-so-veiled references to Jesus' homosexual activities. Only in the Gospel of John do you find references to a disciple, "the one whom Jesus loved". Now how creepy is that? You would think, that as his disciples, he loved them all. And furthermore, as a godhead, he would love all humanity -- equally. Yet there are these specific references to a specific person that he loved in a specific way. And that can only mean in a carnal sense -- sex. (Oh, and it was not Peter, either). See: John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2 -- this one is particularly creepy, John 21:7, and John 21:20

8. Thou shalt not steal
Jesus stole an ass. Stealing is stealing. Again this is another famous story. See: Matthew 21:1-3

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
Again, very well known. How many times in the gospels did Jesus refuse to tell the truth to the public, but said it in private to his disciples? He even went so far as to "shut up" some pesky demons who wanted to tell the truth to the people. Lying is lying no matter how its done. See for one example:
John 8:14 "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true"
and John 5:31 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true"

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's
Clearly Jesus never coveted any material things (except possibly Mary Magdalene), but he did covet one thing and that is the one thing he knew he couldn't keep; his life. Jesus pleaded with his Father that the crucifixion would "pass him by." Now considering everything that was at stake, according to the gospels, that was probably the most selfish act ever in the entire bible. "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me" Matthew 26:39
And, "Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”" Matthew 26:42
That is the biggie, but I can also present here as evidence the desire to steal that donkey that Jesus stole as coveting as well, but that really is not as grievous a sin as this one. Desiring another's donkey is nowhere near as selfish as desiring one's own life over that of all of humanity's souls. Now I understand that this also points out the absurd flaw inherent in this commandment; that desiring something is not really bad at all, especially if you don't follow through with that desire, but it is still listed as a sin against God greater than rape (which is not adultery) and abortion (which is not killing) or homosexuality or stem cell research. Oh, and what else is "coveting"? Today coveting is called "Keeping up with the Joneses". In other words, Capitalism. That is correct, The American Way, is anti-Tenth-Commandment.

Sometimes I really am saddened that I am so far ahead in biblical knowledge than those who profess to believe in the bible. I honestly thought all this was common knowledge..

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Rudy Guiliani. What I would ask him if I had the chance.

This is not a political blog, per se. I often discuss conservative and liberal values, so in that sense I guess it is...

But today, I have to ask one question. While I direct it to Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! I suppose it should really be asked of all presidential candidates.

My question is simple: If you were president, would you desire that a microchip (if technology existed) be implanted in not just every American's head, but every person who entered America which not only gave the location of said person, but transmitted to the government the thoughts of that person, if, and only if, then there would be no chance of another September 11 ever happening again?

I think Rudy would say yes. His only campaign point is complete internal security. And to refuse this hypothetical 'Big Brother' society would make him look weak on terrorism.

Just a thought. And yours??

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Post Christmas mockery of Rapture Ready

I have written about RaptureReady.com before. ButI have to admit, that this particular article takes the cake. Britt Gillette writes how Jesus' birth was an actual fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy. He gives 10 examples. The obvious problem is that they are either wrong flat out, or refer to something totally unrelated to Jesus. This is the classic example of midrash, the retelling of an old story to remake it into something new. Use an out-of-context Bible verse to make it mean something it has no possibility of meaning. And this is done by biblical literalists? Irony, it seems, has no limit.

This is the list of Ten prophecies:
1. The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.
2. The Messiah will be a descendant of Judah.
3. Great kings will pay homage and tribute to the Messiah.
4. The Messiah will be a descendant of David.
5. The Messiah will be born of a virgin.
6. Children will be killed in an effort to kill the Messiah.
7. The Messiah will be taken to Egypt.
8. The Messiah will be the Son of God.
9. The Messiah will be anointed by the Holy Spirit.
10. The Messiah will bring light to Galilee.

Just looking at this list, does anything jump out at you? Anything at all? If I only looked at this list, I would say that an ironclad picture of a very specific person was depicted. I mean, THE Son of God, will be born of a virgin, be the descendant of Judah and David (even though Judad is a place and David is a person) in Bethlehem, be honored by kings who travelled far, go to Egypt to escape the massacre of ALL male children, only to return and be consecrated by the holy spirit and be the light of Galilee. That certainly seems very specific, don't you think?

I would have to say that it only refers to exactly one person, and that person is described in the Gospels as Jesus of Nazareth; Jesus Christ.

Here is another narrative. What if I were a writer in the first century, trying to propagate my new religion. I had a wealth of knowledge and lore at my fingertips in the holy writings of the Hebrews, and I was myself a Hebrew fighting for the freedom of my own people. I could easily fabricate a hero that fit all that, and write about him in a manner that would inspire my fellow Hebrews.

So which is correct?

Well, so much has been written about these so-called prophesies, that it makes little sense to repeat it all here. Dan Barker has written about this is in concise way in his book "Losing Faith in Faith"

I have debated within my mind how best to show just how flawed this entire prophesy story really is. The truth is that the Bible itself proves this whole prophesy wrong, all ten points. But I ask you, I ask all believing Christians, just how many of these prophecies must be shown to be wrong, before the story of Jesus is demonstrated to be nothing more than a made-up retelling and recycling of old biblical passages? Britt seems to think that ten is enough to prove that the story of Jesus is real. So is refuting these ten enough?

I hope so:
1: Britt writes: "The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem". This seems like a clear enough prophesy. And clearly when you read the Gospels it is fulfilled. But look at Britt's citation. He uses the NLT (New Living Translation) a modern language translation (rather like the bible claiming Jesus actually said to his disciples, "hey, dudes, listen to your bra... I know what I'm talking about") Britt's quote:

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a
ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant
Micah 5:2 (NLT) [actual link to NLT added by me]

Here it is in the KJV:

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting [Micah 5:2 KJV]

Notice the difference? We went from thousands of Judah in the KJV to a "small village" in the NLT. Now do you really think that there were thousands of small villages in Judah? Certainly thousands of people makes more sense. And Bethlehem Ephratah was a person in the Old Testament, not a place. He is listed in the Chronology of Kings even. So how does a person in the Old Testament become a town after the time of Jesus, and this be considered prophesy?

2: "“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will obey.” Genesis 49:10 (NLT)" [Again I add the link to the NLT because Britt fails to do so]. So what about KJV?

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people [Gen 49:10 KJV]
Shiloh? Why is King James talking about a specific person, Shiloh, and not Jesus? Only by removing the specific reference to a very specific person, not Jesus, can this verse be made into a prophesy of Jesus. I guess here we have proof that lying for the benefit of Jesus is good and holy.
For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? [Rom 3:7 KJV]

Paul says that lying for the sake of God is good. Here we see that ignoring that this was a specific passage written about a specific person, Shiloh, is twisted and recast as a prophesy of Jesus. Maybe Jesus' middle name didn't start with the initial 'H' and was actually 'Shiloh'.

3. Even Britt's quote for this shows him to be wrong:

“The western kings of Tarshish and the islands will bring him tribute. The
eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts.” Psalm 72:10-11 (NLT)
[again, I added the link]

Does the Gospel mention anyone from the west bringing gifts? No. Only from the east.
Wrong is wrong, and if the west did not bring gifts then it is wrong. I don't even need to show why the quote is skewed and how it talks of something specific other than the Son of God. And I don't need to show the KJV quote either. This one speaks for itself as to its flaw. (Post Script: see Matthew 2:1-2) If east and west actually means east, then anything can mean anything: atheist means God-worshipper and Christian means Satanist. Sorry but making this fit the story is simply a lie, plain and simple.

4: “He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:32-33 (NLT) [Again I add the missing link...]

Who knew that Israel calls Jesus Christ the king of Israel? (oh, and here is KJV of that passage)

5. The Messiah will be born of a virgin.
“All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel – ‘God is with us.’” Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)
And KJV:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Unfortunately, this was fulfilled in Isaiah's time, by Isaiah himself. At least according to him.

6. Children will be killed in an effort to kill the Messiah.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah – mourning and weeping unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted – for her children are dead.” Jeremiah 31:15 (NLT) [I added the link, surprised?]

This passage is a bit different. It clearly refers to something in its current time period. But more importantly, in the time of Jesus, nothing outside the Gospel is ever mentioned of any killing of Hebrew children, not in any historical source at all, be it Roman, Jewish, or Christian.

If even the early Christians ignore this as significant, then what value can it have as historical proof of prophecy? Especially given that the original Old Testament passage refers to a specific event that transpired.

7: “When Israel was a child, I loved him as a son, and I called my son out of Egypt.” Hosea 11:1 (NLT) [The obvious, I produced the link]

I guess the fact that this passage refers to Moses and the exodus means nothing. The fact that only Matthew mentions Jesus being in Egypt and all the other New Testament writers ignoring this seemingly important fact also means nothing. Funny how a reference to a specific thing can much later be picked up by a lone writer and reinterpreted to not be about what it was specifically written about, but actually be about something that no one else guessed it was about, and that makes it factual and real.

Amazing. Amazing how prophecy works. I guess Isaac Newton when he wrote about gravity, was actually prophesying about the current Iraq war. He was a great seer after all.

I don't even need to go to other translations to show how wrong this is.

8. The Messiah will be the Son of God.
The second psalm, recorded approximately 1,000 years before Jesus, prophesied that the Messiah would be the Son of God:
“The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: ‘The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today, I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession.”
Psalm 2:7-8 (NLT) [surprise! I gave the link]

King James again makes it a bit clearer:
7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Apparently, Jesus only became the inheritor at this point in time, and before this he wasnot in possession of all. But I guess then agian, it is entirely logical for a god to be all-powerful and the source of creation, but yet not actually possess that which he created. But as I am not a theologian, I guess that explains why I cannot understand how one can be perfect and all-powerful at the same time as not even possessing one's own creation.

9. The Messiah will be anointed by the Holy Spirit.
“And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2 (NLT) [my link really]

Notice any changes?:
2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; [KJV]

First I linked to the entire chapter of Isaiah. But more importantly notice how "spirit" is not capitalized? Isn't it odd that the third "person" of the Trinity is not even honored with having His (Its?) name capitalized? After all, the LORD is completely capitalized.

Secondly, the entire chapter speaks of something other than the life and times of Jesus. Since all those other things did not happen, then what can be said about this lone "prophecy" in verse 2? Not to mention that if I were one third of the Most Holy Trinity of The Godhead, the Holy Spirit, I would want at least the first letter of my name capitalized. Then again, the Holy Ghost was always the most unassuming member of the Trinity, not appearing in the story until the New Testament.

10. The Messiah will bring light to Galilee.
“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will soon be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.” Isaiah 9:1-2 (NLT) [You guessed it]
This one is probably the most egregarious. The light of Galilee? What does Jesus himself say in the gospels?:
But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. [Mark 6:4 KJV]
Double negative aside, Jesus is saying that a prophet is shunned in his own countryside, Galilee. So what sense does it make to say that Jesus was the light of Galilee and was shunned by Galilee?

The two passages are congruent, they both speak of light. But they diverge critically. With Jesus, they see the light and reject it. But in Isaiah, they see the light and... multiply.

6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and
with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

I just wonder, is Israel a Christian Nation? If not, then Jesus is not promised ruler of Israel. But I suppose I am not looking at the bigger picture; that Jesus was not intended to be the ruler of Israel, but the ruler of the the world, and only in the sense that He was to be the Ruler of Christendom. I guess that puts me into the failed company of all the Old Testament Prophets who called for a new King of Israel.

No matter how you spin it. No matter what translation you claim. No matter how much you lie for Jesus. The truth always bears you out. And the truth is simple. There was nothing which prophesied Jesus before his time. Rewriting and midrash do not make a fictional story true after the fact.

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Pat Robertson's 2008 Prophesies are out!

As we all know, Pat was completely and utterly wrong about his 2007 prophesies. There was no major terrorist attack within the United States. But did that stop him from predicting the future of 2008? Of course not! He just announced his new God-given predictions last Wednesday on the 700 Club. See the OneNewsNow article here.

Quick quiz for you. What has been making major economic news for the last few months? You got it, if you said the housing bubble bursting. It is causing big problems for not just the credit and financial markets, but also for many American's wallets as well. We are headed for some tough times economically in this country. Anyone who pays even the least bit of attention to financial issues knows this.

So what is Pat's biggest prediction for 2008? Ding! Financial crisis. I guess only God can tell Pat's Christians what everyone (including all other Christians) have known for months now.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says 2008 will be a year of violence worldwide and a recession in the United States, followed by a major stock-market crash by 2010.
So only by the divine secret sharing of info by God to Pat are we supposed to know that a recession is very possible? I again guess that the whole housing market gave no one any indicator at all? But then again, if you listen to, and believe George Bush, then maybe not. He thinks everything is hunky-dory.

The same goes for violence. Is there going to be more or less violence in 2008, and would either be considered, "a year of violence worldwide?" Just out of curiosity, what past years have not been considered "years of violence"??

Oh yeah, there were a number of peaceful years during the Clinton Presidency... So I guess that means peaceful years are bad things, and by this statement of prophecy, Pat is really saying things will be good for conservatives, and especially religious conservatives. Because we won't be living in as peaceful times as the Clinton years. As for the market crash? Well, just like last years catastrophic terrorist attack, it could happen (even though it didn't) , and it could be mild or avoided altogether (which no matter which way it goes, will be called a vindication for Pat -- Prayer via his peeps, I mean flock, and all that).

But I have to wonder.. If God and Pat has this yearly tete-a-tete, why talk about something that could happen in 2009 or 2010, if God is telling Pat 2008's predictions?

Robertson said, "We will see the presence of angels and we will see an intensification of miracles around the world."
That actually sounds like a more reasonable Godly prediction. Because it has absolutely no basis in fact whatsoever, and cannot be ascertained one way or the other. Angels will be hanging around? Ok. How do we establish that? And why haven't they been hanging around before? Intensification of miracles? You mean like I put a dozen pairs of socks in the dryer, and when I put them away in the sock drawer, there were a dozen complete pairs.. Its a miracle! Just what is a miracle? A sick person getting better?? I'll tell you what a real miracle is: Tomorrow George Bush says he had an epiphany from God, and is pulling out the troops from Iraq immediately. That would indeed be a miracle.

But what does "intensification" of miracles really mean? The miracles become even more intense?? I put a dozen pairs of socks in the dryer, and I come away with two dozen pairs of socks? The sick person not only becomes healthy, but takes on super-human powers?? I gotta tell ya.. Within the realm of Christianity, words have no meaning and stupid has virtually no limit. (I say virtually no limit, because to have limitless stupidity, Christianity as a whole would have to possibly pull a Jim-Jones in entirity. And I just don't see that ever happening.)


Last year, Robertson predicted that a terrorist act, possibly involving a nuclear weapon, would result in mass killing in the United States. Noting that it hadn't come to pass, Robertson said, "All I can think is that somehow the people of God prayed and God in his mercy spared us."

Somehow? Somehow?? You mean Pat has no idea if people prayed enough, and even if they did it had the noticed effect?

So if I understand Pat correctly here, if enough people prayed that no one ever died or got sick, or that everyone who got sick was cured, then those things would come true? Because apparently if enough people pray that we will not be attacked, then we won't be; seems to work. I also presume that no actual Christians ever pray to be rich either, since not all Christians are rich. The cop out here is completely self-evident.

You know, the only thing that really saddens me about all this, is that there are still people out there who buy into Pat Robertson's line of nonsense. They are the ultra-gullible ones. Because I am certain --certain I tell you-- that there were absolutely no faithful Christians on the eve of hurricane Katrina praying that the storm would pass. And it didn't. And we had meteorological predictions that Katrina was coming too. But nothing in the way of the eve of the Great Terrorist Action of 2007 for faithful Christians to pray against... Pat Robertson, your god-buddy in the sky was playing with you.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Separation of Church and State

Ok, so I was bored, and looked this up on youtube. Here were two videos that I found (it was a part one and part two):

I am shocked. Really shocked. Apparently, being nonChristian means that one is not an American. Apparently, only by being Christian can one be honest and moral and a true American. Apparently, the first amendment was only meant to give equality among all Christians, but to place all non-Christians as not just second-tier citizens, but non-Americans because they are not Christians.

Well, I am not a vulgar person. But I have this to say: Fuck You. Fuck you for denying me my Americanism because I am not Christian.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Olde Time Christian Morals (and logic)

I have to give thanks to the good folks at Sadly, No! for bringing this one up. It is truly a marvel to behold in its dishonesty and lack of logic. I am referring to this piece by Christian trial lawyer, Reed R. Heustis, Jr. Even Ray Comfort's banana debacle seems rational next to it. (Well that may be stretching a bit too far -- Ray, shall we say, has serious problems...) The pro-Jeezus, anti-gay and anti-freedom screed was written back in 2006, so it is not new. But as you read, you can see nothing has changed from then to now. The same innanity still exists, only today it is in the mouths of Republican presidential candidates.

It is ironic that those flaunting the rainbow flag view it as a "freedom flag" that somehow promotes liberty. According to the Word of God, there can only be liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is (2 Cor 3:17), and the Spirit of the Lord will never be found in partnership with sin.

Yes Liberty.. Everyone knows that actual liberty really means servitude. That the only true Americans to possess "liberty" were the slaves. Let's see what else the bible has to say about liberty and Christians..

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of
Christ [
2 Cor 10:5 NKJV]

Sounds like liberty to me, ignoring everything that comes from humanity, and making one's thoughts entirely captive to Christ. That certainly cannot be called slavery... Oh no. But being captive to Christ is considered "liberty". Didn't the slave owners say the same thing to, and about, their slaves? Why I do believe so.

But I want to be a bit broader here. If you were to read the Bible quote given by Mr. Heustis, it is this: "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" Notice that it does not say that the only source of liberty is Jesus.

But what is most interesting (and most detrimental to his argument) is what else Paul had to say in that very same passage:

12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. [2 Cor 3:12-16 NKJV]

Amazing! Paul is saying that the dictates of Moses are superceded by Jesus' teachings. But what does Jesus teach about homosexuality? Absolutely nothing! Leviticus teaches that eating shellfish is an abomination to God. Leviticus also teaches that homosexuality is an abomination to God. Yet Jesus teaches in the Gospels that no food is an abomination, and says nothing about homosexuality at all. In fact, when you read the epistles of Paul, he gives a laundry list of sins (homosexuality among them) that are wrong, but here he is saying that none of this matters.

This is what is known as a contradiction. Homosexuality as a sin is plainly found in Paul's epistles. It cannot be found anywhere in the Gospels of Jesus, because he never mentioned it. Yet here, in the very same passage Mr. Heustis is using to prove his pro-slavery-is-liberty point is the evidence that he is profoundly wrong.

Summarized, it is this: If one thing is found in the Old Testament to be an abomination to God (eating shellfish) as is another thing (homosexuality). Then later, Jesus says that nothing you eat is an abomination to God, but says nothing about homosexuality. And finally, even later Paul says that the entire works of Moses was just a veil and that only belief in Jesus is the way, but even later says, "oh, not so much, these things are still wrong...(including homosexuality)"

Furthermore, if Jesus himself even said that the only way to follow Him was to forsake your family, then how can the concept of family, that being man, woman, and children be held in high esteem?

Mr Heustis goes even farther though. His next paragraph is:

Contrary to a truly free people, unrepentant homosexuals live in a state of bondage and slavery. They act upon the deluded notion that their licentiousness is liberty and they foolishly wave their flag to communicate their folly. By promoting Gay Pride, homosexuals promote the antithesis of freedom.

Yes, because living your own life as you see fit is the "antithesis of freedom" whereas living your life as these conservative Christians want to force you into living it is "actual" freedom.

I have to wonder though, if this is what liberty and freedom are actually defined as: slavery and repression; then what about the actual dictates of Jesus? Jesus said that the rich will never enter heaven. Jesus said that his true followers would never own anything more than a pair of sandals, one cloak and one walking stick. He also specifically said that their purses were to be empty.

Poverty and Christianity were foretold by Jesus to be one and the same. Reconsidering the words of Mr Heustis, "the Spirit of the Lord will never be found in partnership with sin" and the sins recounted by the words of Christ; valuing your family above God, and possessing anything other than the clothes on your back, then in the words of Jesus when he said this are more appropriate today:
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. [Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV]

Words more true were never spoken. When the Bible is taken as a guide, that few is weeded down to almost zero. (I think Ned Flanders is the only human going to heaven).

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