Greed, Altruism, Republicans, Conservatives, False Prophets, and the Words of Jesus

      I realize that this issue has been addressed a number of times in the pages of Another Perspective.  Nevertheless, I continue to get e-mails and entire web pages sent to me to "prove" that what I say about the two faces of religion is wrong.  With that silliness as prologue, allow me to confront some of these "corrections" directly using the book and the religion that so many of them profess to follow.

    The first and most often repeated claim is that any money taken from them by the government that is meant to assist those in need is simply a "transfer of wealth" or, in the minds of some, "promoting the creed of altruism", as if this is a very bad thing for any government to support.

    What, exactly, does "altruism" mean?  According to the Roget's Thesaurus, similar words are selflessness, self-sacrifice, humanity, philanthropy, unselfishness, charity, generosity, compassion, and the list goes on and on.

    MSN's dictionary defines it thus:

altruism  noun

1.  selflessness:  an attitude or way of behaving marked by unselfish concern for the welfare of others
2.  belief in acting for others' good:  the belief that acting for the benefit of others is right and good 

    Since the religion of the vast majority of Americans is supposedly based on the words of Jesus, whom they proclaim is God, how can their aversion to "altruism" be justified by his words?  Let's look at a short list of their God's demands, shall we?

Mat 19:21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.

Matthew 19:24  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 God."
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 19 In context: Matthew 19:23-25)

Luk 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(Whole Chapter: 1 Peter 4 In context: 1 Peter 4:7-9)

    So, at this point we can see that the most altruistic person ever to live on Earth is Jesus.  As I have so often pointed out, the reality is that Jesus was the first and greatest bleeding heart liberal to have ever walked the face of this Earth. 

    I've often spoken out against the habit of so-called Christian groups that spend vast amounts of money in their quest to erect a building more grand and beautiful than any other sect, an edifice through which they hope to show the world how righteous and holy they, alone, are.  Such insane edifices as the Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles or the cathedrals of Europe are intended to be testaments to the piety of the wealthy and the poor who created them but are, instead, evidence that these individuals are completely unaware of the words of Jesus.  I have often been told that these are monuments to Jesus but the reality, of course, is that Jesus desired no temples in his name, no mighty spires meant to show the world the power of that congregation's saintliness.  He taught and preached in the fields and on the hills.  He went to where the poor and lame and the children could most easily see him.  He ignored the enclaves of the wealthy and homes of powerful.

    Let these words prove my point.

Matthew 6:1  "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 6 In context: Matthew 6:1-2)

Matthew 6:2  "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

Matthew 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 6 In context: Matthew 6:5-7)
 

    How can the supposedly pious and righteous creatures such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell defend their attacks on those who do not follow their particular brand of superstition?  How can they blame the attacks on Sept. 11 on these same individuals that they have so long attempted to damn and to make pariahs?   

Matthew 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 7 In context: Matthew 7:1-2)
 
Luke 6:37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
(Whole Chapter: Luke 6 In context: Luke 6:36-38)
 
Luke 12:57  Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?
(Whole Chapter: Luke 12 In context: Luke 12:56-58

 John 7:24  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
(Whole Chapter: John 7 In context: John 7:23-25)

    Finally, how can someone like Pat Robertson proclaim that Islam is "A religion of violence, mayhem" when the history of Christianity is rife with murder and carnage and misery, all in the name of its "lord and savior"?  Has Islam ever produced an episode such as the Crusades?  Has Islam ever tortured and murdered anyone who does not accept their superstition like that which was done to Jews and Muslims during the Inquisition?  Has Islam ever burned innocent men, women, and children at the stake for the imagined sin of witchcraft?  Has Islam ever been involved in the genocide of a culture and people such as was done to the Incans and Mayans?  Has Islam ever been involved in such heinous acts as when Native American children were torn from their families and forced to convert to Christianity in schools hundreds and thousands of miles from their culture and their families and friends?  Does Islam sanction and support the murder of doctors and nurses when they go about the legal practice of providing abortions to those who desire them?

    Most assuredly, Islam, like all superstitions, has its dark and violent side.  The followers of Islam are as easily manipulated as any person so empty as to feel the need to accept the myths, magic, and miracles of one superstition over another and, in that, they are no different from their fellows in Christianity.  What war hasn't seen the representatives from Christianity and Judaism blessing the young men and women in their quest to inflict more death and destruction upon their fellow man than may be inflicted upon them?  What war hasn't had its "holy" side, a side that declares the enemy "heathens" and "pagans"?  What war, in fact, hasn't seen vermin like Robertson and Falwell and bin Laden creep out from under their rocks to proclaim the latest war to be a war sanctioned by their form of god?

    The words of Christ were words of love and peace and unity and forgiveness.  They never contained any acceptance of the vile and mean conflicts in which the supposed leaders of Christianity daily indulge themselves.  In fact, let's never for a moment forget that Jesus was a Jew from his birth to his death. 

    The reality that is too difficult for conservatives and Republicans to face is that everything that they stand for is the exact opposite of what Jesus stood for.  His was a loving, charitable, singular spiritual path.  He spoke against the cornerstones of the Republican Party; greed, materialism, power, hatred and schism between the rich and the poor, and all of the selfishness that conservatives seek but he so strongly spoke in opposition to.

    Remember, Jesus spoke of people like Robertson and Falwell and the so-called religious conservatives and, in fact, the entire Republican Party when he warned:   

Matthew 7:15  "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 7 In context: Matthew 7:14-16)

Matthew 24:11  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 24 In context: Matthew 24:10-12)

Matthew 24:24  For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 24 In context: Matthew 24:23-25)

Luk 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

 ( 1 & 2 )



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Copyright 3/1/02