Forgiveness is often touted as a solid and positive plank in the otherwise often negative platform of Christianity. To our jaundiced view, though, it is one of the most negative (and in some ways despicable) elements of an often dangerous and negative set of teachings.
We all know and recognize most of those teachings. The ironic thing is that in this nation’s “red” states–where fundamentalist Christianity may be at its densest–such patterns as repeat pregnancies among unmarried teens are at their highest. You see, the girls often find Jesus; at least they profess to find him when they learn they’re pregnant. Then they’re forgiven. And then, of course, once they’re washed in the blood of the lamb, they can go out and “sin” again … all on the tax dollars that you, and we, work so hard to pay.
Some questions occur.
1. Who decided that sex between consenting people was a “sin”? A search of their black book reveals no prohibition against copulation between consenting people who are not otherwise under contract.
2. Are we to believe in parthenogenesis, or are we to trust the word of a smart Jewish girl who found herself in trouble? Was Jesus simply a bastard, born out of wedlock?
We would probably all agree that it’s not nice to cause death and mayhem; however, in the American justice system oftentimes death sentences are commuted and even paroles granted to those who claim with gasping to have “found Jesus”, especially if the gaspers make noises signifying remorse. The forgiveness gene is switched on–and now that same criminal can go out and kill with impunity.
Can there be a little bit of forgiveness, or is that like being a little bit pregnant? Where do we draw the line? Doesn’t that same old black book call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? Or is this just another anomaly? –just another of those squirming non sequiturs: “But that’s different!”?
Given a book purportedly written by “God” “himself” (note: him, never her) of which no word can be changed, Yvonne’s persistent question nags: Which god? I’ve got a list of gods reaching from here to the intersection. “God” is the conventional translation of HaShem, which means “The Name”. Remember what the Zohar says: “No created intelligence can know the name, so call It what you will. My god does too wear lipstick occasionally.”*
How do such guidelines as “forgive your enemy” and “turn the other cheek” sit with Celts–and for that matter, with Jews? These two groups among many others reflect, “If you turn the other cheek, you are likely to get clobbered again.”
That’s all for now. You know we’re weird and deviant; so don’t expect us to forgive if you insult us. We’re like the traditional Yorkshireman who has been said to carry a stone of insult in his pocket until he sees the opportunity to use it on the insulter. Just once in a while when things get beyond tolerable, we’re not above doing something … educational. And we encourage you: If you’re not angry now, get angry. Aren’t you paying attention?
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* The book God Wears Lipstick is free from the Kabbalist Center