Re: virus: Faith and Works

Tim Rhodes (
Mon, 10 May 1999 17:08:53 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 10 May 1999, Snow Leopard wrote:

> But, when he preached and someone tried
> to stop him, he called them snakes. Why? Because they were using law
> and...
> WHAP!!!!
> Hitting the people over their heads with it, simply because they had always
> been taught, or would that be stated "Infected with a meme that reads..."
> The religious elders are right.

Good understanding of both memetics and Jesus teaching technique!

> I hate religion as much as you do, and as
> atheism begins to become general practice, and you begin setting your laws,
> is it much surprise that someone should come and say, "no"?

Not at all, in fact it's quite healthy.

But understand that an ~theist is going to say, "The cloth cuts both ways." And since Christianity is so much more established and prevalent than ~theism is in our culture (so far), they're going to conclude that they have a lot more to say "NO!" to than you do. And in many ways they'd be right.

I think one thing that sets the average "~theist in the street" off on a tirade, is the perception that not enough "NO!"s are coming from within the church. Remember, Jesus wasn't a Christian, he was a Jew. The Pharisees and Sadducees he rebuked weren't people practicing another religion. (Or not practicing any.) They were the leaders of _his_own_faith_! He was practicing public criticism of his own religion--nothing less--yet few who follow him seem willing to follow his example. Silence runs rampant.

Personally, I find it disgusting when religious leaders fail to step up and say "NO!" when a an abortion doctor is shot or after something like what happen to Matthew Shepard. The Christians should have been the first to stand up and say, "NO! This is wrong! This behavior is not in keeping with Christ's message and we will not tolerate it in any form!" But they failed this simple test. They weren't up to the task.

Maybe your generation will prove up to the challenge. Maybe yours will be one to stand up to your church elders and deacons and ministers and say out loud and from within the church, "Enough is enough! Our silence, our unquestioning obedience to what came before us is hurting others. It's fostering hate and getting people killed and that isn't what we're all about--and we're going to stop it right now!"

And I bet you'll be surprised how many ~theist will loose their antagonism for Christians if they see them addressing their own failings (publicly) and working on changing the cultural biases that accidently got left in the religion 2000 years ago. (When things were a little different than they are today--little things like slavery or womens rights or tolerance or... well, you get the idea.)

Just be prepared. Jesus wasn't well liked in his own temple after he started getting down on the Pharisees and scribes. In fact, it got him killed. So don't be surprised when you catch flack for challenging your own elders. The 'powers that be' don't take kindly to being told that they're not relevant any more.

And they hate being told "NO!" even more.

-Prof. Tim