Class Warfare Blog

April 24, 2016

A Definition of Christian Morality … Finally

Filed under: Morality,Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:59 am
Tags: , ,

I have asked for anyone to make a clear statement of what Christian Morality is (please). Finally, I found one myself. According to the website http://www.christianityetc.org:

Morality for a Christian is the application of God’s laws regarding a person’s private and public behavior. In his or her seeking to live a moral life, a Christian tries to obey the rules for his or her personal behavior that have been decreed by God and recorded in the Bible. Throughout centuries of history these rules have been proclaimed by God’s prophets, like Moses and Isaiah and Jeremiah, taught by Jesus, interpreted by the apostles, like Peter and Paul, established by Emperor Constantine, and proclaimed by various popes, theologians, and preachers, like St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jacob Arminus, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, Billy Graham, and other contemporary preacher/teachers within the Jewish-Christian traditional understandings of what is right and what is wrong.”

Wait, Christian morality requires interpretation? I thought … never mind, let’s get back to the main topic.

This makes Christian morality easier to understand. Let’s see how well it is embraced by Christians. Here are some direct quotes from their god, albeit translated multiple times in multiple ways, and my comments on how well U.S. Christians seem carry out these recommendations from their god:

  1. If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.
    Uh, I don’t see this happening, do you? I do see the antithesis in “prosperity gospels” which basically say “God wants you to be rich” which seems to contradict this.
    2. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
    Does that love include carpet bombing Muslims? It seems that the more Christian your political candidate or state is, the greater the support for war.
    3. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
    He didn’t mean to include Muslims, did he? Or illegal immigrants? Or, shudder, atheists and liberals?
    4. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.
    I’m voting for Trump, how about you? Then I am going to send another check into that mega-preacher so he can afford the rent on that mega-church.
    5. I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
    This is why all of those folks in the Top 0.1% are heathens and Jews, I’ll bet. Actually I think they are all atheists. What, you say they are devout Christians? Well they must be doing good with their money because they are just throwing away Heaven for nothing otherwise.
    6. Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
    Welfare? We’re talking about welfare? What, food stamps for the poor? Those lazy shiftless bastards need to go get a job.
    7. Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve….
    The only person I am a slave to is my boss. He just keeps getting richer and I haven’t had a raise in forever. He must not be a Christian. What? He is? Really?
    8. It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    He surely wasn’t talking about Medicaid and Obamacare was he? That’s socialist, un-American and un-Christian.

Doesn’t sound very Christian or moral, now does it? Usually I want to follow-up by asking Christians if they believe in the Ten Commandments. Almost all do, so they are accepting the Old Testament as the word of God also, and there are over 600 commandments directly from God in the OT, now let me see, on page …

I hope you can see that for many Christians, “Christian Morality” is defined as “what I stand for and against, even if I change my mind” and it has nothing to do the Jesus or the Bible or Billy Graham or, for that matter, decent morality.

Note
For those of you who may be wondering why I write about Christianity on a Class Warfare blog, it is because religion is being used as a weapon by our economic oppressors in this war. For example, conservatives have voted to restrict food stamps for the very poor in the name of “family values.”

 

 

Advertisements

13 Comments »

  1. EXCELLENT post! You truly hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    Comment by Nan — April 24, 2016 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

    • Praise from the praiseworthy always delights.

      It comes down to hypocrisy. If you say you believe something and act otherwise …

      If you really believe the meek will inherit the Earth, should you not be cultivating meekness.

      And how does one reconcile “an eye for an eye” and “turn the other cheek” from the same god, a god who changes His mind and is unchangeable …

      On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 12:05 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 24, 2016 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

      • It’s quite the conundrum that the evangelicals and religious-minded support the Republican Party … yet this is the party that tends to ignore the “recommendations from their god.”

        Comment by Nan — April 24, 2016 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

        • Naw, their form of Christianity is wedded to the Republican party and social conservatism. The GOP is already under the Big Tent and so is part of their faith.

          On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 12:40 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Comment by Steve Ruis — April 24, 2016 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

  2. Well, just like being conservative isn’t monolithic and ubiquitous, neither is identifying as a Christian. All the other major religions have varieties of interpretation too, not just Christianity. Moral absolutism/scriptural inerrantism is only one of many choices in operation. There are also pragmatic and inclusive Christians, and a wide range between the most and least exclusive types. The closest thing I can think of as an ethical structure that can’t function properly if varied in practice is the scientific method, which uses a built-in change mechanism based on replicable experimentation and observation. All other philosophies that I know of vary through trial & examination filtered through changes in culture; politics, religion, historical interpretation, class theory, game theory, string theory; chaos theory etc. Change over time IS the constant.

    If you want to concentrate on the misuse of religion, fine. All sources of power can be employed for selfish or unselfish purposes, equally capable of good and bad; religion, politics, money, love, art. Improving the quality of one’s behavioral choices is a ceaseless process of gaining the wisdom and experience to do it.

    Comment by Invisible Mikey — April 24, 2016 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

    • I have no problem with making it up as you go, I just have a problem when so many characterize what they are doing as being based in “timeless wisdom” or some other such bilge. Most Christians either accept what they are told regarding “what it means to be a Christian” or they make it up themselves. If one truly believed on had a book authored by a god, would you not think they they might actually study it? The primary occupation of all male Jews is to study Torah, to the point that the government subsidizes all that do. At least they are taking their religion seriously. We, on the other hand, get pandering, ignorant clerics, and a great deal more that does no good for anyone. And in a ceaseless process of gaining wisdom and the experience to do it, how about copy the one who claims to be a god and which they believe is? Instead we get the likes of Rafael Cruz and his son Ted who just can’t wait until the End Times to be able to sit in Heaven and listen to the moans of the damned wafting up on celestial zephyrs.

      On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 12:28 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 24, 2016 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

      • Again, you’re stuck on the assumption that the Cruzes, examples of the most extreme kind of conservative Christian, characterize the whole. They don’t. Southern Baptists are one sect of orthodox evangelical. Evangelicals as a whole comprise only 1/3 of Christians, with Southern Baptists representing about 20% of those.

        “Most Christians”, though only by number of global adherents, are Roman Catholics. But North American Catholics interpret the exact same scriptures differently from Latin American Catholics, who interpret it differently from African Catholics.

        It’s not “making it up as you go”. The scriptures are read in a variety of translations, and most of them are allegorical, intentionally ambiguous, able to be seen more than one way, part of an oral teaching tradition, not codified through writing into a single language all can read or understand. It just isn’t true that “most Christians” see their Bible as immutable, only open to a single interpretation.

        Comment by Invisible Mikey — April 24, 2016 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

        • Obviously I am painting with a broad brush and speaking to mostly the bad parts but if you look at public Christianity in the U.S. it is almost entirely Protestant and evangelical to boot. Off to the side you have the Russ Douhats and others talking fine points of U.S. vs. other catholicisms, conservative v. liberal, etc. and what not. So, while Catholics are in the majority, evangelicals are in the political driver’s seat.

          Since there are thousands and thousands of sects of Christianity, it is obvious interpretation comes into play; each of those sects involving a significant interpretation they can’t reconcile with the others. And so it has been. The hypocrisy is very deep though as many a statement of evangelical faith contains the claim that scripture in its original version is inerrant. Not only are they making the mistake of assumed inerrancy (and I do know that this form of fundamentalism is largely confined to the U.S.) they are making the mistake that they know what the original forms of scripture are. None of the NT books have ever been found in its original form. The need for inerrant scripture was fueled by a desire to rid their faith of clerical leaders (popes and bishops, who were obviously corrupt at the beginning of the Protestant Revolution. Who was to lead if not the literate churchmen who could read the scriptures. Well, getting scripture into native languages was the first step, and the second was to insist that ordinary people could read the Bible and get the Good news for themselves. In order to bolster that idea, they had to have scripture that was trustworthy. The fact that there are more versions of the Bible than you can shake a stick at makes a joke out of that claim as is the desire of many to use the “King James” version, that was commished by a monarch (without being asked) specifically to bolster and support the role of monarchs in scripture.

          Speaking of Catholics, according to Catholic Church dogma, the use of artificial birth control methods is sinful, yet 92% of U.S. Catholic women admit to its use in their lifetime. The fact that the churches themselves cannot enforce their own dogmas doesn’t stop them from bringing court cases trying to get the secular U.S. government to enforce them.

          And, by the way, I do believe that the Vatican still has a stated goal of “conquering” Jerusalem (although at this stage I do not think it is by force) as the center of their faith and to be in place when the shit hits the fan.

          On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 1:08 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Comment by Steve Ruis — April 24, 2016 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  3. Not exactly “objective,” is it?

    Comment by john zande — April 24, 2016 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  4. But you’re only giving examples of some of the most socialist example of Christian commandments. The words that say that gays must be stoned, slavery is okay, and poor must earn their food are in the Bible, too. So these are also Christian values. The fact that some of the values contradict one another just makes it easier to cherry-pick the set of values a person already wants to uphold.
    To me, Christian values just means that the holder of these “values” uses the Bible as the source for cherry-picking, rather than the Koran, Torah, Book of Mormon, or Das Kapital.

    Comment by List of X — April 24, 2016 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

    • Don’t forget about forgiving one’s debts annually and letting fields lie fallow every seventh year. I have heard in Israel that there is a legal service that arranges to sell an Israeli’s land to a Goyim sharecropper for one year to be bought back at the end of the year as a workaround for this stricture. After all, it is not about the spirit of the law, but the letter that counts. (Sheesh!)

      Yeah, I guess you could say cheery-picking is hard wired in.

      On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 4:02 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 24, 2016 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

      • As a former banker, all I can say is that ‘god’ had no understanding of finance. The concept of forgiving debts sounds great in theory until you tell people it means they lose all their savings as a consequence. People who talk about debt forgiveness, invariably are talking about someone else taking the loss, not themselves.

        Comment by Peter — April 30, 2016 @ 9:03 am | Reply

        • The whole idea of debt forgiveness was loan regulation. Long term loans in those days was a path to debtor’s prison. So, people were told that a loan couldn’t last more than a year and you would have to be a fool for loaning more than you could afford to have defaulted away. When I was young, we had usury laws in the U.S. There were hard caps on how much interest could be charged. But the plutocrats want to burden everyone in the economy by turning everyting into rents, interest, or other ways to expand their wealth and shrink yours, so the usury laws went south, along with all kinds of other useful legislation.

          And before you say, “but …” as in “but what did people do to buy a house or, or or …?” ask yourself “There were tens of thousands of years of human history before that “invention”? Were we so bad off then? Are we better off now?” A great deal of the very inflated prices of homes is based upon the ability to lend large amounts of money, money the backs do not have. So, they borrow the money from the Fed at 2% and loan it out at 5%, at least they did when I was a child. They were limited in loaning out their own money (as S & Ls are). Consequently that money was “made up out of whole cloth” by the Fed. Because of this automatic money machine available to banks, more and more money got lent out, making house prices higher and higher, for no good reason, other than the loans were available. If those loan amounts were not available, the houses would have had much lower prices and people would still have bought them. But that was back when we were not expected to pay out more than 25% of income on housing! No wonder studies show that we had way more disposable income back in the 50’s than we do now, with only one income per family needed (and only one job). SO, this whole lending frenzy also increased the number of jobs needed to maintain a middle class lifestyle closer to 2 than the 1 it had been.

          Ock, laddie, you shouldna got me started!

          Comment by Steve Ruis — April 30, 2016 @ 2:27 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: