The Christian Right: Having their cake and eating it too

You can easily go to a search engine and look up Bible contradictions, inconsistencies and absurdities, it can be a very confusing book indeed. I ran across this letter (first post) several years ago and got a good laugh but more importantly it made the same point as some other humorous media that has been surfacing around the internet a lot lately:

Like this one which points out that even though  Rick Santorum is homophobic because the bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong  (Leviticus 18:2222Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination). But only 8 chapters earlier in the same book of the bible it says not to eat pork “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.’ Leviticus 7-8 yet there he is disobeying the same book which he claims he lives by.

Or this gem:

This picture of a bigot showing off his tattoo made the rounds on the internet and was widely ridiculed. It says “Thou shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22” But in the very next chapter, tattoos are forbidden.Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28″

Just today the Huffington post ran this great article: 13 Things The Bible Forbids Other Than Homosexuality (That You’re Probably Guilty Of Doing)

All of these things begs the question “Does cherry picking the Bible make a person a hypocrite?”

Cherry Picking: Cherry picking is the common term for the fallacy of incomplete or suppressed evidence. This is when someone uses evidence, reasoning…etc. to support their position while ignoring whatever contradicts it. In the case of Christians who use certain passages while ignoring others such as using Leviticus 19:28 to support the homophobia but at the same time disobey one or many other things that the Bible also says is wrong. Sometimes even within the same chapter.

Hypocrite: A hypocrite is a person who engages in the behaviors or attitudes that they say a person should not be. A hypocrite is putting on false appearances of virtue. This is a dishonest and potentially manipulative position and so is therefore unethical and widely considered an unacceptable position.

It stands to reason that someone who claims the moral superiority of a book and the importance of its teachings that they would follow all of its teachings but that is not the case for some Christians, the right wing especially. By and large the cherry picking of the bible is perfectly innocent and represents a slow ethical evolution on their part.

The kind of cherry picking that I take issue with is the kind that uses a 2000+ year old text written by desert dwelling sheep headers to support their hate and political agenda to suppress human rights and trounce on the love and happiness of total strangers. How they can feel good about this is beyond me, although indoctrination comes to mind. It is these kinds of Christians that are rightly called hypocrites.

They are hypocrites because they claim love while hating.  They are hypocrites because they claim persecution while persecuting, claim family values while destroying families, they claim peace while on the assault , they claim moral superiority while still morally inferior, they claim to be champions of freedom while trying to suppress the freedoms of others…the list of the hypocrisies of the Christian right is long and, quite frankly, pretty disgusting.

Hate, however, is not put to an end with more hate. I will never hate the Christian right for their hypocrisy but they will never have my respect. Nor is their attitude welcome in a just and civil society. We only ever truly be rid of threats like hate-filled politicians and other role-models by making their attitudes and behaviors socially unacceptable. Don’t have anything to do with these people, don’t accommodate them and certainly never vote for them but never, ever hate them. Hypocrites or not only through peacefully refusing their acceptance in our lives will we ever be free of the hypocrisy of religious fundamentalism.

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9 Responses to The Christian Right: Having their cake and eating it too

  1. You are very articulate. Well said!

  2. keldrath says:

    Very nice article. One thing that really stood out to me though was when you said “by enlarge” I think you meant “by and large” which means “generally” sorry to be a grammar Nazi but thought you would like to know, I would have sent it privately but I don’t know how. I shared this with my friends, I hope they will read it. xD

  3. I found this sentence extremely hypocritical, “Don’t have anything to do with these people, don’t accommodate them and certainly never vote for them but never, ever hate them.”

    I’m sure you mean well but please remember that ideas such as human rights, charity, law and order, consent, etc. became popular because of Christians, i. e. William Wilberforce and many others. Sure there are things that Christians and non-Christians may disagree on but also remember what you may owe to them as well. By the way, you quoted the old testament so you should be fair to accuse the Jews as well.

    On the other hand I thought the excerpt on “cherry picking” to be very insightful. Many people don’t read the bible in its entirety and its a problem in churches were entire passages are taken out of context. Personally I’ve been reading through and I’ve nearly finished and to be honest its an amazing book. Whether you believe in it or not you have to understand the differences between precepts, promises and principles. Its very easy to take something out of context, especially if the context itself is neglected by the reader.

    Keep on thinking! 🙂

    • bryanbr says:

      Human rights, charity, law and order, consent etc. didn’t become popular because of Christianity and no one religion or philosophy deserves to take take credit for that. There are many, many sources going all the way back to the presocratics (i.e. Plato) and even ancient Chinese philosophies like Taoism and Buddhism all contributed. I don’t owe Christianity anything, in fact I could easily argue Christianity owes the world quite a bit Take homophobia for example, we can thank Christianity for that one too. Remember there was a time by saying this I would be risking my life (still sometimes the case for Islam), no one owes religion anything.

      • In your response you have made many sweeping generalizations. Remember, although the bible doesn’t condone homosexuality it does profess “love thy enemy.” Its our human duty to live well with people who we diagree with. Its our responsibility. If one finds it impossible to coexist with religious nuts then their no better the preacher who makes every effort to slam homosexuals. Jesus spent his entire ministry with prostitutes and tax collectors. Which man is obeying the commandments? The one who ‘purges’ the world of sinners? Or the one who loves sinners? In regards to the comments on religion I would recommend reading “A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes of This Country Contrasted With Real Christianity,” by William Wilberforce. Religion has played a vital role in our society. I would be careful to neglect its impact.

        Good discussion!

  4. archdragon87 says:

    A particularly well written post. I hadn’t read “An open letter to Jerry Falwell” before so that gave me the best laugh I’ve had all week. I think I’ll be reposting it 😛

    And thanks for the other links too. Havne’t read through them yet but I’ve been wanting a couple of easy to read, comprehensive sources that show Biblical contradictions for a while now. Cheers.

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