mirrorshard: (Lammas print)
[personal profile] mirrorshard
I wanted to write something about this (via [livejournal.com profile] fjm) but I haven't the heart to do more than rant bitterly. That kind of sheer wrongheaded childishness... the pathetic naivety of their idea that God may be compelled or persuaded by prayer, or indeed that God has enemies...

We're told that He smut[1] a few people in the past, but that's all over, if indeed it ever did happen. He's grown up now, a Father and everything, and I'd like to think that we're better people too - or at least that He picks His friends more carefully than He did then.

I know that the crazyweird morons will always be with us, but it's always depressing to be reminded of their existence. And I do have faith that I'm not going to have to go have That Talk with Himself... you know the one.

"Look, I love you, you know that. But if you smite anything, just one more time, it's all over between us. I'm not prepared to be with a smiter. The God I fell in love with would never do that."



[1] Yes, that is the correct past tense of 'smite'. He smites; the target becomes smut.

Date: 2008-09-07 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirabehn.livejournal.com
*moved, almost to tears*

There are so many things I want to ask you and talk to you about as a result of this post, but that's face-to-face stuff really. But, thank you.

It may sound rather silly, coming from a pagan, but I do have faith and confidence that the Christian God is not going to let you and the other sensible Christians down. (And you *are* in a majority.)

Date: 2008-09-08 07:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valkyriekaren.livejournal.com
Out of interest, and not meant in a judgmental way at all, why is it less 'crazyweird' (your word) that you claim to know the mind and motivations of God, than that they do?

Date: 2008-09-08 10:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arkady.livejournal.com
How about "because he's better versed in scripture than they are"?

The aggressive right-wing prolife nutters have a nasty tendancy to selectively misquote and misinterpret scripture for their own ends; they often rant at length from Deuteronomy and Leviticus, for example, completely ignoring the fact that the Mosaic Law does not apply to Christians; Christ's coming fulfilled the old Covenant.

Imprecatory prayer goes against the teachings of Christ.

Date: 2008-09-08 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirrorshard.livejournal.com
Partly because, as [livejournal.com profile] arkady says, I know more about what they're using to justify their beliefs than they do, and I know it doesn't support what they want.

But mostly because I'm not the one trying to persuade supernatural forces to hurt people I disagree with. It won't work, but that doesn't stop it being evil and wrong; after all, you never know when some nutter, encouraged by that sort of rhetoric, will take it upon himself to "become the instrument of God's will" and find a knife.

Date: 2008-09-08 07:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weegoddess.livejournal.com
Actually, the word might(?) be 'smote' as in 'He smote those perverts'. But I do agree with the rest of it. People will find any reason to justify their beliefs and even make up stories to do it. My problem is when the try to force their beliefs on others.

Date: 2008-09-08 12:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirrorshard.livejournal.com
Well, a 'smut' is a small greasy mark left behind by a fire or (for instance) a lightning strike...

Date: 2008-09-08 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirabehn.livejournal.com
*snickers*

Date: 2008-09-08 12:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elettaria.livejournal.com
It's either smote or smited, but hey, I assumed [livejournal.com profile] mirrorshard was being playful.

Don't you have to ignore more of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament to Christians) than is usual in Christianity to get rid of all the smiting? It was always something that bothered me as well when I was practising Judaism (for those who don't know me, I didn't convert to anything else, I just realised that I'm an atheist). For instance, it's traditional to vigil with the dead the night after they die (they're meant to be buried the next day), and you're meant to chant the Psalms when you do so. I wasn't actually there, but when someone died a while ago I decided to read the Psalms at home for them. This was the first time I'd read my way through all of the Psalms. I was used to encountering only a small number of Psalms, either through synagogue services or generally (e.g. the popular ones that get turned into hymns), and I was horrified to find that most of them are actually pretty bloodthirty battle songs, high on the smiting, low on the peace to all humanity. I also generally found that the more I got to know the Bible, and the more I read up on anthropology and contextualised it, the less I believed, but obviously that's just my personal opinion and it doesn't work that way for everyone.

Date: 2008-09-08 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirrorshard.livejournal.com
It is, indeed, impossible to be a good Christian if you read the Bible literally and approvingly. It's also quite easy not to be a good Christian if you just accept what dodgy pastors tell you about it, mind.

Date: 2008-09-08 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
It's possible to be a good Christian and ignore the Old Testament entirely though, I'd say.

Although you (probably) already know my feelings on Paul...

Date: 2008-09-08 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirabehn.livejournal.com
*nods* The Psalms are rather alarming. I barely knew any before singing in an Anglican chapel choir at Cambridge. We would get through all of them, eventually, so we did *all* of them, including the ones that are bloodthirsty and/or downright silly. And had to chant them to those rather strange and conversational (but sometimes pretty) Anglican psalm-chants.

I was already not really a Christian anymore (and when I was, I took very much the attitude that [livejournal.com profile] mirrorshard takes, as it's what I grew up with from my parents and is a path that still makes a great deal of sense to me), so the bloodthirsty ones generally bothered me less than the ones it was hard to keep a straight face during. All that stuff about the oil dropping down Aaron's beard, yea, even unto the beard of Aaron.

But there is one about ripping babies from wombs (I can't remember it precisely) that just made me feel ill.

Date: 2008-09-08 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirabehn.livejournal.com
And in the interests of honesty, as a pagan and a pantheist-polytheist, I should add that most Deities seem to change a great deal, and an awful lot of them have pasts that involve too much smiting. A lot of Gods who are very common in pagan pantheons no less than the Jewish, Christian and Muslim God; I get irritated with fellow-pagans who get self-righteous about that.

And there I probably reach the limits of my rather embryonic theology. I may have more to offer on this subject in a few months or years. ;-)

Date: 2008-09-08 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
A very good post, thank you.

I just found myself thinking, "Jesus wept, even being John McCain doesn't satisfy these people!!! What do they want, blood? Oh. Yeah."

But hey, AT LEAST THEY'RE NOT SEXIST! In fact, they're FEMINISTS!!!! W00000000, etc

Wishing death on an elderly man who is also purportedly on your side, just so you can get a bit extra, is weird. And is about as un-Christian as I can imagine.

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