…go and sin no more…
There is a group of people here in the United States, who I shall not name directly, that promotes hatred of a select group of people, who target moments of profound grief to spew their opinions, who picket children in high schools for NOT bullying their classmates, who hide behind religious freedom and deride others for their religious beliefs when in fact, what they are is a hate group that is only one death away from being terrorists.
Pardon the Pagan for going off on a biblical argument for a moment.
Now, Christians are fond of saying “Love the sinner, hate the sin” among other platitudes. Yet, this group seems to forget that first bit. They’re too busy pointing out what their god hates.
He apparently hates gay people, people who like gay people, people who live in the general vicinity of gay people, people who maybe sat next to a gay person on a bus one time, soldiers who die defending the country in which gay people live, children who aren’t even really old enough to understand that gay people are different…and any number of other kinds of people.
They are happy to express this information to the grieving parents of a man beaten to death because he was gay, or who killed himself because he couldn’t take the bullying and pressure any more, or a community grieving over a senseless act of violence.
They will tell you that they are doing this to save others. They are willing to tear open the grieving heart of a mother and pour salt and vinegar into the wound in order that someone, somewhere might think to themselves “Oh, I don’t want their god to hate me, I better join up”.
That isn’t salvation. It’s little more than religious terrorism.
I am reminded of the story of the adultress. By Jewish law, she was guilty and the penalty for her crime was death by stoning. It says so in that part of the bible that is actually stolen from the Jews (that same part they use to justify so much of their hate, but we’ll get to that in a minute).
Now, Jesus, when asked what they should do with her responded, “Let he who is among you without sin, cast the first stone.” Famously, they all searched their hearts, realized they too were terrible, evil souls in the eyes of their god and walked away.
Now, I’m sure, these folks I’m talking about (and to be fair, a good number of others) focus on his next words, the ones said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”
I think the message here is in the notion that you need to see to your own and stop worrying about the sin of others. I could be wrong, but it wasn’t the woman he condemned. It was the ones who wished to punish her, the ones who thought, in their own self righteousness, that they had the right to mete out what they believed was justice for their god.
Sort of echoes another quote attributed to the man, “judge not, lest you be judged, for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged.”
Which tells me that if you claim Christianity, and you use the bible to justify your hatred, you’re maybe missing something.
I might also make the point that in Tucson, they let it be known that they would be picketing the funeral of a little girl who died during the recent tragedy, but when a local radio station promised them air time in return for not picketing, they took the deal. This reminds me of a serial bomber who threatens to blow up a school/church/government building unless his manifesto is published in the New York Times.
Now I’m not saying they don’t have the right to believe what they want, or even to speak their piece. I full support the freedom of speech in this country.
What I am saying is that by their own book, by their own savior’s words, they best be living according to every single law, every single word of their god’s laws before they start pointing fingers…or come judgment day (provided of course that judgment day actually comes about) they might be surprised that their god rejects them too.
I’m going to put down my stones now, and see to my own failings for a bit. May others be inspired to do the same…