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      I was born in 1968, the year Wallerstein calls one of “world revolution”. It was a revolution that both failed and succeeded: women and minorities got more rights, often a lot more, but the end result was an oligarchy, where most people were equal in their lack of power, and where every year saw ordinary people becoming poorer, no matter what the official st […]
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Merry Almost Christmas!

I Hate You, and You, and You...

I Hate You, and You, and You...

In the spirit of the season, I’d like to take a break from my usual snark to ask this question:

Who Would Jesus Hate?

Now, if you ask Rick Warren, it’s Jews, women who have abortions and are not properly submissive to their husbands, and teh gays. (Whew – that’s a lotta hatin’.)

If you ask the pope, it’s teh gays. (Yes, homosexuality is hot! Oh, that’s not what he meant?)

I know I’m a Jooo, but so was Jesus. And if we’re going to cherry-pick the Bible to make it reflect our beliefs (as all Judeo-Christians do, since the book is full of contradictions and outdated restrictions), then why can’t we pick the most enlightened parts, the most tolerant parts, the most loving parts?

Like this one:

“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing….

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

And what about this, which is directly attributed to Jesus himself?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Matthew 22:36-40

Personally, I don’t know if Jesus even existed. I believe the Bible is the work of men, not God, and so I don’t venerate the Bible in any way. But the fact remains that billions of people all over the world think the Old and New Testaments are holy, and base their personal morality on these ancient pieces of literature. And many spiritual and political leaders seem to be focusing on, and promoting in very loud and nasty ways, only the most divisive and hate-filled interpretations of Biblical passages.

This holiday season, my wish is that all of us all over the world – atheists, agnostics, of Judeo-Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or other religious beliefs – start to focus on our commonalities, not our differences; that we begin to rise above the divisions that politicians create among us and start demanding action, not empty symbolism, from our elected representatives; and that we start to create a better world, where hatred of The Other is finally understood as hatred of ourselves, and it is recognized that all humans, no matter who they love or what they look like or what sex they are, deserve equal justice under the law.

We can do this, and we will.

Happy Holidays.

77 Responses

  1. If God had wanted me to be subordinate then he wouldn’t have given me the personality he gave me. Quite frankly, the meek can have the Earth. I’d like a planet that we haven’t screwed up yet.

  2. CWaltz – I always say, “If God didn’t want us to reason, why do we have brains?”

  3. This is truly in the spirit of the season, Madamab -thank you. My basic belief is that God is Love and Love is all there really is.

  4. I wonder what people like Warren think of the
    “song of solomon”– I think that’s what it’s called.
    Sensual and sexual as I recall. I reckon they skip that part as well.
    Thanks for the post madamab.

  5. God gave humans free will. Some will always abuse it for power in his name.
    I think he must look down at humans and cry every day.
    Why is it the when someone does good it is treated as unusual? We all have the capacity for good and many use it.
    Some will never use that capacity and really are to be pitied even thru our anger at the damage they do.



  6. Thanks, Joanelle. That’s what I think too.


  7. And then there’s my ever favorite one: it is as easy for a rich man to gain entrance to heaven as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

    I’ve always wondered at these filthy rich evangelicals in their thousand dollar suits with the diamond pinky rings, exactly how they get around that one.

  8. madamab,

    I’m sorry if I offended you on the last post. It certainly wasn’t intentional.

  9. I might believe in religion again if the Catholic Church among other religious groups ever find leaders who aren’t homophobic and misogynistic. I feel like we’re living in a world no different from when millions of Jews were exterminated or when blacks were lynched and beaten to death on the street by police. The only difference is that people like Warren and the Pope are now advocating for the extermination of gays. When will people stop listening to these hate mongers who use religion as an excuse for violence and hate and start using common sense?

  10. Here is one of my favorite sections of the bible. It is by the hated (by liberals) Paul who could be an old crank, but managed to state as clearly as anyone what it means to follow Christ.

    3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
    9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

    14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

    17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d]says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e] 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  11. Heh, me too, angelasmith.

    There’s some pretty cool stuff in the Bible. Sometimes, I wonder if people like the Pope and Rick Warren have even read it?


  12. That’s lovely, Teresa. Thank you.

  13. BB – You could never offend me. Just setting the record straight, because I don’t think the fight for the ERA is limited to just one person or group.


  14. Teresa – that was beautiful.

    Did you ever figure out the Paypal thing? We are in the spirit here today…

  15. madamab,

    I had to create a new account and it will not be ready to go for several days. Thank you for asking.

  16. …if obama wants to reach out to unrepentant homophobes I want him to reach out to unrepentant r@cists to it is only fair….

    I love my homophobic brothers and sisters but that does not mean I have to let them walk over me!

  17. madamab,

    That wasn’t what I said. My own mother spent years of her life working with an organization dedicated to fighting for the ERA. I was trying to make the point that women’s organizations ought to be inclusive of all kinds of women–working class and middle-class women as well as wealthy women like Gloria Steinem and Melissa Etheridge. That was the point of my post too.

  18. Amen, brother Fuzzybear!

    Nor do we have to let them dictate public policy, as they have been doing for the past 8 years under fundiegelical born-again Bush.

    Yet another “change” we can’t believe in!!!

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  19. Madamab, I’m thinking they read the “Reader’s Digest Condensed Version For Homophobes” and as for hating the Jews? I guess you just pretend there was never an old testament. And as for hating women, I’m guessing you forget that Jesus asked Martha (?) to come out of the kitchen and join the conversation.

  20. TheresainPa
    I add my thanks to bb’s
    What wonderful words to try and live by.



  21. angelasmith,

    Not to mention that Mary Magdalene was actually one of the Apostles, according to the original scrolls.

  22. Does Rick Warren want women to go back to covering their heads in church too?

  23. bb – Aha, I see I have offended you! I’m sorry! I totally agree with the point of your comment.

    I am very uncomfortable with what’s going on with the New Agenda. I would like to hear from them personally that they do not want working-class PUMAs in the group, since they asked me to contribute their blog, and I consider myself a working-class PUMA!

    We will have to see what happens, but I think the New Agenda should do everything it can to repair the rift. I am very supportive of all the groups who are working towards gender equity, and I would hate for this schism to become irreparable.


  24. the story that always slays me at Christmas time is the one about the German and American soldiers who called a truce and sang carols together on Christmas Eve. I am crying right now just typing this.
    The trans formative power of love is certainly not exclusive to any group of people, but the fact that Carols can bring people together…. that alone makes the season worth it.

    I have had a semi/stalker for several months and he has even been harassing my son and told him one time that he knew where I went to church. So I have been chased away from church and that is the only thing that makes this season bearable when I am broke.
    I am going to try to go to the service tonight, but I am nervous and feel a bit guilty because I have not been there for several months and have not been to Choir.
    I don’t know, maybe I will go to another church tonight.

    Anyway, I love that Paul who is vilified by the Christian Lefties (of whom I am one) wrote some of the most inspiring words about how we should treat each other… love your ememies, repay evil with good. Let God judge

  25. Happy Holidays!

    (I have no idea what she really meant, but hey, ’tis the season.)


  26. BB,
    I didn’t know that about Mary Magdalene!

  27. hey boomer, long before the scrolls there has been talk in some of the more mainline congregations that Mary M. was one of the apostles due to Jesus’s pretty radical (for the time) views on women’s rights and his appearing to Mary first…. well if you believe the whole resurrection story.

  28. Teresa, here’s that song performed by John McCutcheon, who wrote it. It’s beautiful, thank you for reminding me of it.

  29. wow, I’m at work and they just told us to go home! uncharacteristically thoughtful of them 🙂 later…

  30. I just turned on the history channel and what is on but
    “Banned from the Bible” 18 books banned from the bible.
    Could not believe the timng.



  31. Long ago there was a heresy defined by the Catholic church (I cannot recall its name) in which mortals are inclined to rob Jesus of his human attributes and perceive him as exclusively divine. The definers of this heresy saw it as immoral to negate Jesus’ mortal trials and tribulations, presumably because his ultimate suffering would thereby be rendered meaningless.

    Following this logic, then, it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus very likely DID feel hatred from time to time, as he must have felt any and everything else that we mortals experience.

    Perhaps the lesson for us is to be careful of what we DO with our hatred when it bubbles up.

    Just a thought.

  32. MadamaB,

    I wish we would hear something from Amy, too. I didn’t want to believe it at first. I didn’t want to have that e-mail from Harriet be the only thing we heard. But since she sent the letter to Amy, I have to assume at this point that there won’t be a response. It’s remarkably like Obama’s response to the Favreau incident–especially since Murphy wrote an angry post about it.

  33. Angela Smith,

    Mary Magdalene has her own gospel.


  34. HelenK,

    ooooooooh! Synchonicity. I love it.

  35. If they don’t want working class PUMAs they can count me out too. I was raised by a working class momma and I myself was aworking class momma at one time. I won’t turn my back on the working class.

  36. two of my favorite Christmas songs/carols

    In the bleak midwinter (judy collins and tyne daley)

    and noel: Christmas Eve 1913

  37. bradmaysfilmmaker, on December 24th, 2008 at 2:16 pm Said:

    Long ago there was a heresy defined by the Catholic church (I cannot recall its name) in which mortals are inclined to rob Jesus of his human attributes and perceive him as exclusively divine.
    The history of the early “Church” and the political infighting about the “nature” of Jesus, what scripture was or was not included in the
    Christian Bible, is quite interesting. The losers in those political fights often ended up dead. Just looked at my bookshelf and saw “Lost Christianities” by Ehrman.

  38. For Teresa -choir music: Away in the Manger

    My son used to sing in a children’s and adult choir b4 his voice broke, I used to love following them around. Tonight I shall go to midnight choir.

  39. TeresainPA,

    I didn’t know that. That’s very interesting. What do you think of the theory that Mary M. is sitting next to Jesus in daVinci’s
    The Last Supper?


  40. Madamab:

    You Joos just don’t understand the Bible.

    When Jeebus said “Love thy neighbor as thyself” he meant “Kill all the gays and lesbians”

  41. BB:

    Thjere’s a pretty good chance that Jeebus was married, to Mary M or some other woman.

    No respectable Rabbi in his 30’s would still be single.

  42. laurie, long ago when I was little my older brother sang Amahl several years in a row. To me he was a star, blond handsome and a boy soprano. When his voice broke he sang in his HS choir, but never quite adjusted to his new voice.
    Several years ago, as man in his mid fifties he started singing again and he is a bass. He LOVES it and I love that some other member of the family besides me is singing again. I never gave it up and still sing in several different organizations and in the theater. It is hard to express the joy I felt seeing my brother embrace singing again and being so excited about it,
    Encourage you son to keep singing no matter where his voice settled,

  43. I see lots of noisy gongs and clanging cymbals!

  44. BB, I have long thought Mary was his favorite and the person sitting by him in the painting, Of course it is only speculation. But it makes sense. Jesus was in many ways the first feminist.

  45. Teresa-now he’s into composing electronic music on the computer. Maybe when he’s 50 he’ll go back there. But he still has music in his veins…

  46. Jeebus said:

    Matthew 6-5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.

    6-6 But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.

    Jeebus obviously wants prayer in schools

  47. Here’s another classic version of O Holy Night

  48. SOD-you got it.

  49. myiq2xu, on December 24th, 2008 at 2:35 pm Said:
    You Joos just don’t understand the Bible.
    When Jeebus said “Love thy neighbor as thyself” he meant “Kill all the gays and lesbians”
    That is the hypocrisy of the “literal bible” fundies, the Dominionists, The Christian Reconstructionists, etc. They also “cherry pick”. They want Christian law to be literal Bronze age legal code in the OT but eliminate those inconvenient “Temple and dietary laws”. Basically they want to stone women and Gays but don’t want to give up their Pork BBQ while they are doing it.

  50. “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead with no clothes. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Jeebus hates socialized medicine too

  51. Oh geez…eveeryone wants a bailout now!


  52. I thought it was Moses who delivered “thou shalt love thy neighbor” and all the rest on stone tablets carried down from the mountain, and Jesus who said “he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    A favorite Jewish bumper sticker: JESUS SAVES, but MOSES INVESTS!

  53. Folks, it’s been real. I’m headed for northern New England, and an Obot household. If you don’t hear from me, it’s because I can’t sneak away long enough to check in here. I hope I can! I’ll be back tomorrow, so you won’t have time to miss me. I love you all!

  54. Merry Xmas BB-keep safe!!!

  55. Merry Christmas BB – come home safe!

  56. S.O.D. Everyone should get a bailout for whatever reasons we need. After all, Obama is going to pay the mortgage and put gas in the tank of the car.

    Wonderful!!! Counselor! (I’m not going any further with that line!)

  57. Bye BB! Love you and happy holidays!

    Yes, myiq – I must say I think about that exhortation of Jesus’ to pray in silence quite often, whenever I see people screaming about the “war on Christmas.”

    I wasn’t aware that not broadcasting Christmas carols 24/7 from Thanksgiving to December 31st would cause people to somehow lose their Christianity.

  58. Fredster – you are making me LOL!


  59. Fredster! How hilarious!!

  60. If you ask me when the world decided to run after monotheistic religions-it took a wrong turning.

    “Holier than thou” started then, and never looked back.

  61. Well madamab, I wasn’t going any further with that Messiah line…no way!

  62. Laurie – Hee!

    I love this place.

  63. Fredster – Good call! No matter what Obama thinks of himself, he has not ascended into divinity yet!

  64. Wow- christmas carols 24/7 … over here you never hear Carols unless you go specifically to hear a choir sing them.
    And Italy considers itself to be the hub of Christianity.

  65. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels is a good place to start. Scholarly but but designed for the thinking layperson. Early Xianity appears to have been very different from most of what’s out under that name now.

  66. Oh well…gotta go pickup the Christmas Dinner. It puts me sooo in the Christmas spirit-being jostled around to get food I can’t have until tomorrow. Humbug!!

  67. I think the Muricans make much more of Xmas than do many other countries. Let’s hope Italy and other countries don’t end up with Jingle Bell Rock or Silent Night musak everywhere.

  68. Happy Yule to all! ….off to make flan.

  69. Oh madamab he hasn’t ascended enough to kiss my right (or left) testicle!

  70. Hi All, New (soft-core) post up top! xo LBNYC.

  71. It’s fiction, but I heartily recommend Elizabeth Cunningham’s Magdalene trilogy to anyone interested her. The first two books, Magdalen Rising and The Passion of Mary Magdalen are out now, with the third due in March or April of next year. If this were the official version, I’d still be a Christian.

    Re: Jesus and teh gay–it’s not true that Jesus never had anything to say about gay relationships. He might never have put it into words, but one incident in the gospels makes absolutely clear how he felt. (Or maybe, didn’t feel; sorry, Rev. Rick.)

    Most of us who grew up Christian grew up knowing the story of how Jesus healed the Roman Centurion’s servant “who was dear to him.” When I was taking a minor in Classics in undergraduate school, I read the actual Greek text for the first time. It wasn’t a “servant,” folks. The prissy translators cleaned up the text. The Greek says the Centurion came to Jesus for healing for his “beloved youth.” And Jesus not only healed the young man, he commended the great faith of the soldier who loved him.

    Liars, cheaters, oppressors of the poor, abusers of power–now those guys, Jesus had quite a lot to say about. And none of it was complimentary.

  72. Off to clean the kitchen…. Happy Holidays to all!!!

  73. okasha-good stuff-

  74. I just wanted to say I hope the best for all of you here at Riverdaughter’s safe place. I don’t get to post very much but I read all of the post and appreciate all the hard work that you guys do. After the year we all have had, The Confluence as saved me, so many times, I thank all of you. I can’t stay at the computer long peroids at a time (I’m a sole caregiver for my 91 yr. old father who has parkinson’s) I wish everyone of you Merry Christmas and I don’t know Betty Jean personally but I feel like I do. Bless you Betty Jean, you and your daughters have been in my thoughts every day. Please let everything be alright.

  75. Since we’re on the subject, I got this a week or so ago
    and have been checking the skies ever since…

    Share Internaltional Magazine predicted Mandela’s release, Terry Wait ‘s release the non-reelection of GWB, the fall of the Berlin Wall, end of the Iran-Iraq war, etc, etc.

    Share International News Release No. 87,
    11 December 2008

    Christmas Miracle

    For years the world has been filled with miracles of all kinds. In April 1995 Time magazine devoted an eight-page spread to its cover story on miracles, and concluded: “People are hungry for signs.”

    Look now for the biggest miracle of all. In the very near future a large, bright star will appear in the sky visible to all throughout the world – night and day.

    Unbelievable? Fantasy? No, a simple fact. Around a week later Maitreya, the World Teacher for all humanity, will begin His open emergence and – though not yet using the name Maitreya – will be interviewed on major US television.

    In 1988 CNN and many other media reported on Maitreya’s miraculous appearance to 6,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday 11 June. A week before the event a remarkable sign occurred: “On Saturday 4 June a big, bright star was sighted, unusually brighter than ordinary stars,” reported Kenya Times editor Job Mutungi.

    For over 30 years artist, author and lecturer Benjamin Creme has been preparing the way for the biggest event in history – the emergence of Maitreya and His group, the Masters of Wisdom. In May 1982 Creme revealed at a packed press conference in Los Angeles that Maitreya had been living in the Asian community of London since 19 July 1977.

    Awaited by all faiths under different names, Maitreya is the Christ to Christians, the Imam Mahdi to Muslims, Krishna to Hindus, the Messiah to Jews, and Maitreya Buddha to Buddhists. He is the World Teacher for all, religious or not, an educator in the broadest sense.

    As a modern man concerned with today’s problems, Maitreya works behind the scenes of our changing world. The outpouring of His extraordinary energy has been the stimulus for dramatic developments on many fronts: the ending of the cold war; the break-up of the Soviet Union; the reunification of Germany; the ending of apartheid in South Africa; the growing power of the people’s voice, leading to demands for freedom and justice; and the worldwide focus on preserving the environment.

    Maitreya’s message can be summarized as “share and save the world”. He will seek to inspire humanity to see itself as one family, and to create world peace through sharing, economic justice and global co-operation.

    With Maitreya and His group working openly in the world, humanity is assured not only of survival but of the creation of a brilliant new civilization.

    For more information visit: http://www.share-international.org

  76. Oh my Gawd! The crowds out there are nuts!

    Got the Christmas food and the street I had to turn out onto had traffic backed up almost 1/2 a mile (there’s a Wal-Mart across the street) So….I did a right turn and went about 2 miles out of my way to avoid the damn traffic at the light. Even with that distance out of the way I think I probably still beat the traffic at that light.

    Right now I’m just inhaling the aromas of smoked ham. I’ll put it in the fridge to avoid temptation in a few minutes. 😦

  77. The thing that really angers me about organized religions/fundies & politicians like BO is the hypocrisy. The selective preaching. Peter Gomes, a Gay, Black, Republican minister/scholar from Harvard wrote a book, The Good Book, about the Bible & gays. He explains that the Leviticus always cited–and translated by MEN in a particular TIME & PLACE–was written by tribal peoples to perpetuate their clan in the face of innumerable natural, social, and political threats to their existence.Propagation was a matter of life and death in their minds, and same sex relationships endangered that survival.

    I was also thinking about Melissa Etheridge and her Kool Aid overdose, and I almost felt sorry for her LA/entertainment induced delusionary state: she actually BELIEVES that Obama means what he says about “unity” etc. Again–the hypocrisy. These people have not clearly evaluated his numerous actions over the months–and throughout his past–that vividly illustrate that he does not lead by example. As many have pointed out, it’s “just words.” There is a gaping chasm between what he says, and what he does. If I had ever seen him take a difficult, politically courageous stand for anything that did not involve his own political/personal career, I would have been open to viewing him differently. Now, however, I have seen far too many examples to the contrary.

    On a more positive note: this site is evidence of intelligent life in the universe, and I want to wish you all a happy, healthy holiday and new year once again. I will raise a glass to you all tonight!

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