Wouldn't Jesus Be
Pleased With You!
Bruce Miller

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To:
Subject: Re: Jesus
Date: Thursday, May 03, 2001 10:23 PM

How can you tell?

And can you make the case for yourself that warrants me going along with your claim? It's one thing for you to make bald assertions, but it's another thing altogether for you to present a convincing argument.
 

No.

First, the equating of the Pharisee sect with hypocrisy is pure slander: just study their history and see that it was the Pharisee who stood up for the little guy and softened the impact of the barbaric Mosaic law, nullifying, for example, the law in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 requiring parents to stone rebellious sons:

 

[18] If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
[19] Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
[20] And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
[21] And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

 

Christians and Jews are to do this to their wives, mothers, and children even if their only "crime" is having religious views that differ from yours:

 

[6] If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
[7] Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
[8] Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
[9] But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
[10] And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
[11] And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
     -- Deuteronomy 13

 

The Jesus character railed against the Pharisees for nullifying this code of butchery. The Bible Jesus states expressly that this tenet was designed by the Bible deity to be practiced to its fullest extent, and without mercy. It is not to be softened or nullified or abrogated in any way, says Jesus:

 

[1] Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
[2] Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
[3] But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
[4] For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
[5] But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
[6] And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
[7] Ye hypocrites...
     -- Matthew 15:1-7

 

So no, I don't think the Jesus character of the Bible tales would have been pleased with me for supporting the Pharisees in this respect, or for calling his followers slanderers.

And how could anybody be pleased with me for keeping everybody straight when this is not what I do, neither is it my intention? It is not my role to straighten anybody out or to teach people to read. I do not have the resources to help the downtrodden, and I don't know what you mean when you talk about the "scapegoated."

Finally, why do Christians so consistently come on to our Forum and misrepresent our position? Why!? Is this because the Christian religion teaches its followers to bear false witness for the sake of the Gospel? I'm beginning to suspect that this is what Paul had in mind when he asked, "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" (Romans 3:7). Is this what he was teaching, here?

Well did Martin Luther describe the mindset of many Christians who write to our Forum:

 

So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard.

 

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To:
Subject: Re: Pharisees Etc.
Date: Friday, May 04, 2001 12:58 AM

Of course you don't. To admit you do would be to admit that your position is untenable, that Jesus is no role model even if he were merely human. (Jesus certainly is no god!) I don't expect you to even try to understand. I suspect that you did not even read what I wrote to you all the way through.

Why did you completely ignore my point about the Bible Jesus character openly advocating the stoning of rebellious children according to biblical law?
 

My only point is to show that the dictionary definition of Pharisee as a synonym for hypocrite is slander. This is easily shown by studying their history, and comparing it with how they are represented in the New Testament.

I hold the Pharisee sect in high regard. As Jews who reformed their religion in a humanistic direction, I consider them, in at least one sense, my forebears.

I also wanted to show that the Bible portrays the Pharisees as the good guys (the humanists and the humanitarians) and that it portrays the Bible Jesus as a fundamentalist religious nut of the first order. If you want to believe and follow such a monster as your role model, that is your prerogative. And my prerogative is to point out what I see about this popular role model whose followers have heaped untold destruction upon the rest of us in obedience to his brutal commands.
 

What does the "shroud" prove? that a piece of cloth has existed for about a thousand years? that one of the countless pious frauds that were in circulation a thousand years ago is still being touted today?

What happened to the dozens of "authentic" foreskins of the baby Jesus that were once used to "prove" the validity of the Christian religion? the several "authentic" headless bodies of John the Baptist, the gallons of "authentic" milk from the breast of the Virgin Mary? her several "authentic" menstrual cloths? enough "authentic" wood and nails from the cross of Christ to build a modest home? These and many, many other pious frauds were discredited when transportation and communication improved to the point where the various communities could compare notes and see that they'd all been taken in by clever fakes. These discoveries were part of what sparked the cultural revolution known as the Enlightenment.

Even if the "shroud" were the actual burial cloth of a man named Jesus who lived in Palestine and was crucified during the administration of Pontius Pilate, this still says absolutely nothing about the validity of the New Testament's description of him. Unfortunately for your credibility in this discussion, the "shroud" cannot be shown to have existed during the times of Pilate (as is readily admitted even by many "shroud" adherents). Your use of the "shroud" proves only that some Christians will go to almost any lengths while trying to convince unbelievers that the Christian religion is one of truthfulness.
 

What do these three men prove? that Christians have a record of falsifying historical accounts (Josephus) in their attempts to convince others to join the Church? that people who lived and wrote 20 to 45 years after a document was published and circulated (in the case of Tacitus and Suetonius) knew what that document said?

Josephus was not alive when Christ is alleged to have lived. He said nothing about Messiah figure named Jesus, and his description of life in Palestine during the time of Pilate vastly contradict the description in the New Testament. The alleged Testimonium has been so thoroughly discredited as a Christian forgery of the fourth century that I am shocked that religious leaders still urge their "sheep" to use this argument. This fortifies my long-held opinion that fundamentalist Christianity is vacant when it comes to morals and is powerless to inspire its adherents to act morally. Your use of Josephus proves only that some Christians will still go to almost any length to convince others that the Christian religion is one of truthfulness.

Tacitus, writing in C.E. 112, said nothing about any Jesus, but briefly described Christians who had lived in Rome 50 years earlier. That Christians lived in Rome in C.E. 64 is not a point of dispute. Also, he wrote long after the Gospel tales had been published, and what he said could easily have come from them. He was not alive when Christ is alleged to have lived. Your use of Tacitus proves only that some Christians will still go to almost any length to convince others that the Christian religion is one of truthfulness.

Suetonius published his History in C.E. 110 -- again, long after the Gospel accounts had been in circulation. He could easily have used these documents. He was not alive when Christ is alleged to have lived. Your use of Suetonius proves only that some Christians will still go to almost any length to convince others that the Christian religion is one of truthfulness.
 

These only show me that deception and pious fraud is still alive and well despite the profound influence the Enlightenment has had upon Western culture. Can you come up with some real examples? something I can sink my teeth into?

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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