Why Republicans CANNOT be Truly Christian, Part II: Intolerance
Intolerance: A bi-partisan affliction
I feel this is necessary to say because I've received a few angry comments from people I assume are Republican, or at least conservative. I've only allowed a few to be posted because some were just nasty and others were so incoherent I wasn't really sure what the heck the person was even talking about. Maybe I should have approved them, but in some cases I felt it would just be mean and I'm kind of trying to be a bigger person here.
But most of the comments are along the lines of Democrats being cheats and thieves and commies, and are among the most non-Christian of folks due primarily to the subject of this article, intolerance.
Yes, liberals can be arrogant even to the point of hubris. Yes, some liberals can be judgmental. Yes, liberals can be intolerant and hateful and even mean. I, for one, am guilty of all these things.
But the entire argument is a straw man, or at least a red herring. I'm not denying any of that, but IT'S NOT THE POINT!
The point is the hypocrisy inherent in the espousing of Christianity while turning around and voting against programs designed to help the poor, the sick, the otherwise needy. Voting FOR the monied rather than the penniless, virtually ignoring all the humanitarian stuff Jesus talked about and mainly concentrating on the things allegedly he called sin.
I feel like I'm repeating myself with this, but apparently I needed to say it again.
There is no caveat to "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Christ's fundamental teaching, the single one that all others extend from is simple:
Mark 12:31 And the second* is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
*The first being that whole love God with all your heart, mind and soul thing.
John 13: 34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
This is simple. Stupidly simple. Even a child with learning disabilities can grasp this concept. But can Republicans? Obviously not. The GOP is a party fueled by hate. Hatred for those of an LBGT lifestyle. Atheists and Non-'Muricans. Muslim Americans. Anyone not lily white of European stock, but not including greasy Spaniards and Portuguese - those countries were too open to Jews and Muslims. Liberals. African-Americans and women (there's a special type of masochistic self-hatred among Republican blacks and women, I believe). Canadians (the self-hatred thing goes for Ted Cruz as well. Canandian, Hispanic, Republican. Whut?). And *shudder* Socialists. Never mind the fact that their beloved military, police and fire departments (the list goes on) are paid for by tax dollars and regulated by the government, making these institutions socialist by definition.
So, taking the words from John in context, Republicans are not disciples of Christ.
Why? Because fear of the different and the unknown overrides any empathy and compassion that Christ insists we have.
More on that in a bit.
That judging thing
In the same vein as love thy neighbor comes an admonition against judging:
Matthew 7: 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Seems simple enough, but as though anticipating the need of the bull-headed, Jesus expounds on this directive:
Matthew 7: 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye meet, it shall be measured to you again.
Wait, did Jesus just talk about Karma? It would seem so.
Setting aside speculation of Eastern philosophical influence on Christ's teachings, I'd like to take a moment to look at the Bible from a historical perspective and the conditions that led to many of the multitude of commandments in Leviticus, ALL of which were overturned by the two directives of Christ above.
In "Leviathan," Thomas Hobbes gives us a brief rundown of what primitive life was like and why violence and aggression toward one's neighbors was deemed necessary for survival;
"In such [primitive] condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
This was the way of the world when the Israelites were making their way in it. Of course homosexuality was labeled a sin. The Israelites were a very beleaguered group of people - enslaved by the Egyptians to the west, the Babylonians to the east, conquered by Syrians from the north and harried constantly by roving bands of nomadic bandits from the south. They certainly couldn't have men screwing each other for pleasure - they needed babies, future male warriors and women to take care of them.
And as everyone knows, the best defense is a good offense. Preemptive strikes are the best way to ensure safety. This is the philosophy American jingoism is based upon. Most of the judgments of the "God-fearing" come from a fear of the unknown and alien. Stephen Hawking addressed this recently when he said that humanity is on the verge of destruction due to our inherently aggressive nature and lack of empathy. It shows that some are more evolved than others, but unfortunately the un-evolved are often the ones calling the shots.
Judgment is the purview of God and nothing else. Until a Republican can produce a valid ID that verifies he or she is St. Peter, they really just need to shut the hell up.
Republican enemy No. 1
Yes, I'm talking about homosexuals. Okay, maybe Islam is number one, but domestically and for argument's sake, let's go with those of LBGT orientations.
Sure, there are passages in the New Testament that seem to indicate that homosexuality is an intolerable sin:
Romans 1: 26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use unto that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
1 Corinthians 6: 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.
1 Timothy 10 [The Law of God as applied to] The whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.
The Romans passage really only overtly talks about homosexual lust between women; the part about men doing unseemly things with one another could mean almost anything, including criminal activity.
The Corinthian passage only mentions "the effeminate" which could come down to what Hans and Franz mockingly would call "a girly man."
And the Timothy verse talks about "mankind," which, last I checked, refers to humanity in general. When Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon, his words didn't mean one small step for man, one giant leap for homos. No, the quote refers to humanity as a whole.
But above all else, people tend to ignore the fact that THESE ARE NOT WORDS THAT EVER CAME FROM CHRIST'S MOUTH! The direct words of Jesus are only in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; he never talked about any of these things because his message was one of love, tolerance and forgiveness.
The American creed is "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Marriage between two loving partners falls into this category. By denying any of these things to any segment of the population, Republicans are just being bad Americans.
At the end of the day, even if homosexuality were still a sin despite Christ's admonitions of love and non-judgment, it's not our place as human's to condemn. Who died and made us God?