The Old Testament Is Not A Christian Book

The Old Testament Is Not Christian Book

We must be careful when accepting the dogma of a group that seems to have a confused understanding of the message of Jesus.

OPINION:

The Old Testament Is Not A Christian Book

By I.B. Freely

God Hates You

There seems to be a particular reputation which Christians have gotten over the last few decades. One that has lead several disaffected youth to “go atheist.” Nothing wrong with being atheist if that is what you want, but going against “The Rules” because they are there is just another kind of conformity. Particularly considering that anyone who would claim to be Christian and then judge, let alone hate, anyone for “religious reasons” are doing it wrong.

Thou Shalt Not

Christian Conservatives can quote the Old Testament chapter and verse all they like, a bit ironic considering their general attitude to our Jewish friends, but it won’t make a lot of difference. Not least because, stay with me here, THE OLD TESTAMENT IS NOT A CHRISTIAN BOOK! Forgive me the shouting but few things bend my wand like so-called “Christians” who don’t seem to realize that the Old Testament (otherwise known as the Torah), was mostly the Bible as background for Jesus. It is part of the Christian story but not the main plot. Including that bit in Exodus, 22:18 to be exact, about not suffering a witch to live.

Cool Guy Christ

Jesus was nothing but clear on his opinion when it came to accepting others. Unafraid to sit with outsiders he made friends and disciples of the dregs of society at the time. Lepers, both social and literal, accepted by him. Jesus making friends and even disciples  of prostitutes and tax collectors. He is mostly known for driving money changers from the temple but that was a special case.

Choice Quotes

Some of J-man’s most famous and memorable quotes are on this theme.  “Judge not lest ye be judged” could not be any clearer.  The “treat thy neighbor as they self” also seems pretty cut and dry.  Apparently the judgmental and pious among us are just as open to the same sort of treatment. Otherwise they would be massive hypocrites.  The clearest indication of what Jesus really meant, particularly for those who take the bit about being made in God’s image to mean they are literally God, is the bit about stones.

Sticks & Stones

The clearest indication that the rules had changed between Testaments is “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  Stoning was a popular mode of punishment before the arrival of Christ, used for “infractions against the lord” from adultery to working on the Sabbath and mixing fabrics.  What Jesus was helpfully pointing out is none of us are perfect.  So if you are going to punish someone for their sins, you’d better make darn sure you don’t have any yourself. The general idea being that judgement properly lies with God.  As does vengeance as it turns out.  The full quote on which the phrase vengeance is based is “vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”  Judgement, punishment and vengeance are not for humans to take.  At least for those who call themselves Christians.

Wise Words

Someone who laid things out in a cogent, and funny, way was Frank Zappa. In reaction to the attempts by the Christian Republicans at the Parent’s Music Resource Center to label records they didn’t like, Zappa opted to apply his own warning sticker to his 1985 album Frank Zappa Meets the Mother of Prevention:

“WARNING GUARANTEE: This album contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress. In some socially retarded areas, religious fanatics and ultra-conservative political organizations violate your First Amendment Rights by attempting to censor rock & roll albums. We feel that this is Un-Constitutional and Un-American. As an alternative to these government-supported programs (designed to keep you docile and ignorant). Barking Pumpkin is pleased to provide stimulating digital audio entertainment for those of you who have outgrown the ordinary.

The language and concepts contained herein are GUARANTEED NOT TO CAUSE ETERNAL TORMENT IN THE PLACE WHERE THE GUY WITH THE HORNS AND POINTED STIK CONDUCTS HIS BUSINESS.

This guarantee is as real as the threat of the video fundamentalists who use attacks on rock music in their attempt to transform America into a nation of check-mailing nincompoops (in the name of Jesus Christ). If there is a hell, its fires wait for them, not us.”

The Loudest Voices

That’s it. Don’t let religious fundamentalists take away the right of free speech (guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) in the name of Jesus, when those folks keep proving they are taking their message from the wrong book.

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/category/more-topics/brexit/

 

Government Censorship: Trump Threats To Censor SNL Threatens Us All

OPINION:

Censoring SNL Threatens Us All

By David L. Shadrick

Trump’s Legacy

It has been my position to let things unfold as they will and allow history to be the final judge of the Donald Trump legacy. I find it hard to criticize the splinter in his eye with the log in my own bulging out so obviously.  However, the suggestion by Trump, that Saturday Night Live scripts should be subjected to government censorship because they are “lobbying efforts” by the Democratic Party has to be addressed. He has gone too far.

Satire as Tradition

The idea that anyone who disagrees with Trump’s position must be silenced is so anti-American that I feel I must  speak out.  Satire should never be the target of government censorship, it is a tradition of protest as old as government itself.

Bits and Pieces

Trump spends more time attacking the press and the media than he does the world’s worst autocrats; men known to kill and torture reporters and citizens alike. In fact, recently a Washington Post reporter, Jamal Khashoggi, was lured by Saudi Arabian officials into  a Turkish embassy where he was attacked and sawed into disposable pieces while alive, and distributed all across Turkey. If it’s okay to kill a reporter, how far are we away for killing a comedian?

My Complaint

What I’m complaining about here isn’t Trump’s politics, it’s the idea that a leader should never have to listen to criticism.  No president, conservative or liberal, should have any say in what comedians do to exercise their free speech. Yes, Trump’s attacks on Alec Baldwin are childish and moronic. But Trump has learned to weaponize his attacks and since he has become president he brandishes the power of the presidency with unrestrained hate and anger. Trump’s constant incendiary rhetoric against the media and the press are doing real damage to the country. Now his attacks are creating a new threat, government censorship of a comedy show.

Trump is a Crybaby

The threats and tantrums coming from President Trump over an SNL skit prove he can’t take a joke.  This isn’t a Conservative phenomenon, it’s a Trump thing.  Both Bushes loved the lampooning, the elder Bush even invited Dana Carvey to the White House, specifically to make fun of him!  Only Trump feels he should use government censorship to stop the mean kids from teasing him.

Only The Good

Trump now wants to pressure and censor networks into saying only good things about him.  Using Presidential power to threaten free speech and practice government censorship because you are thinned thin skin is unsettling. It is just part of a long pattern of attacks on the press by Trump. His twitter attacks against the media as the “enemy of the people” and propagators of “fake news” is dangerous.

Political Leaning

I just wonder if Donald Trump understands how government censorship could affect FOX News.  If SNL can’t promote Liberal views it follows that FOX can’t promote Conservative views.  It doesn’t matter how you lean politically, everyone has the First Amendment to the Constitution to protect expression of their opinion, no matter how stupid or funny.  In reverse, everyone has the right to respond to stupidity.

A Wall Across The Border Of Criticism

To President Trump everything is an attack.  If the message doesn’t follow the Trump line, an overblown and inappropriate response is all Trump seems to have as a plan.   That plan of attack includes use of government censorship.

The Influence of Roy Cohn

The strategy was one advanced by old Trump ally and personal attorney, Roy Cohn. Cohn was a nasty, vile, attack dog  of an attorney. For twenty years Cohn was That Trump’s chief hatchet man. Cohn’s motto was “attack, counter attack, and never apologize”. This philosophy would include government censorship and might work for a pugnacious casino owner, but as president of the United States it is a failed strategy.

Just Spell My Name Right

Another Cohn fundamental belief embraced by Trump to this day is the belief that all publicity is good. Put those beliefs together, and we have potential dynamite. It is all about the moment. Of course, Trump’s overblown and inappropriate response is Roy Cohn theatrics at its best. Threaten  potential government censorship enough times loudly enough and he is likely to garner loud support from his hypnotized supporters.

Grow A Pair!

Finally, grow up, Donny!  If you don’t want to hear negative comments you shouldn’t look for them.  Don’t watch SNL. It is not required. If you don’t want to have your feelings hurt, don’t watch the show. But, if you decide to watch, laugh and learn. If you don’t like what the New York Times writes, don’t read it. It’s time for you to man up, grow some grapefruits and leave your threats of government censorship in the back of your head instead of the tip of your tongue, or your tiny twitter fingers.

 

Poison Candy: The Politics of Black Comedy

POISON CANDY:

THE POLITICS OF BLACK COMEDY

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Laughing Matter

Life can be really rough. Precious few people really have an easy go of it and even those who do don’t tend to recognize it at the time.  A situation which can lead to what social-psychologists call “anomie.” This odd little word, which sounds a bit like a fringe French filmmaker, refers to a low-level anxiety and depression brought about by societal conditions. Fortunately we have a way to fight back. To “kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight”, as Bruce Cockburn once put it.

It Comes Naturally

Humor, is one of the most powerful forces known to humanity. It can comfort as well as cut and heal as well as destroy. It was one of the first things humans learned how to do. There is now research that suggests that early humans were able to laugh before they could speak. It is little wonder then that people have used humor to deal with their lot in society since the concept of society was conceived. Particularly in terms of Black Comedy and its partner Gallows Humor.

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