Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Pat Robertson advocated...ON THE AIR...the murder of a human being.
(Click title to read article)
This is a "man of God" who represents the conservative Christians of this nation?
I am at a complete and utter loss for words.
[via Yahoo News]
Not to get in the way of a good rant, but to say that Robertson represents all Christian conservatives is a bit like saying Michael Salla represents all ufologists, or Howard Dean all Democrats. It's an oversimplification of a movement that is more complex than people (usually on the left, but not always) give it credit for.
If there is any one "representative" figure of the conservative Christian movement, Billy Graham is a far more logical choice, given his much greater popularity.
And, yes, Robertson has been a wing-nut for years now.
Pat's tirade against UFO researchers wasn't specific in targeting a single human for assassination, but your point is taken. The guy is anything but a man of God.
Where did I say he represented ALL conservative Christians?
I don't think it is a generalization when you consider that he is the primary "political activist" among conservative Christians.
According to Wikipedia, he stands alone with Phyllis Schlafley as the two main conservative Christian POLITICAL ACTIVISTS.
Billy Graham didn't start a political group to change the face of government. Billy Graham believes that government should respect and reflect Christian morals, not be LED by them in an ideological way.
Robertson appeals to the worst in Christians, while Billy appeals to the best.
I think there are more of the "worst" variety, if the Bible is any authority.
Being a good Christian requires a level of work and commitment that is in woefully short supply here at the moment...especially among the adherents to Robertson's brand of "Christianity".
And I think Salla has a pretty good sized following...growing every day...except perhaps at UFO Updates.
He speaks to ignorance...like Robertson...and ignorance is very much in evidence here at the moment...especially between Leesburg and DC. :)
Robertson exists because of the financial support of hundreds of thousands of good American "Christians".
Witness intelligent design, Terry Schiavo, "freedom on the MARCH", ad nauseum.
And if you think my post was a rant, you've never read any of my rants. :)
Of all the phrases in the Bible, only a very few are suuposedly tha actual words of God. Among them are..."Thou shalt not kill".
I don't see wiggle room there for capital punishment, and yet most conservative Christians are for the death penalty.
However i am more focused on your use of "Thou Shalt not kill" argument. Although the bible says in english "thou shalt not kill." It does not in hebrew. In hebrew the word for kill, is more of a "murder", the word used in Hebrew does not have a common english word, and so when it comes to that command ment the dictation of the word was left to the translator. Most often it is translated kill, which does not justify the meaning of the commandment. I can offer tons of biblical stories where God commands his people to "kill." David kills Goliath, he commands his people to enter cities and kill all who are there. God himself destroys Soddam and Gamorra (sp?) and kills many. God cannot sin, He cannot break his own commandment. (These are just examples to show those who do not know hebrew that the word has to be different.) You see that through mis intepretation and lack of understanding that commandment can be read in complete falsehood.
Didn't do this to be argumentive, just to clarify.
You are obviously a very intelligent person! *LOL*
Thanks for writing!
First, the guy's name is Robertson. If you've never heard of him as a Christian leader, you've obviously never heard of the "700 Club" or CBN...check out the website here...
If I accept your interpretation of the commandment, then I can reasonably kill anyone I please, as long as I claim God told me to do it. No Christian can judge me lest they be judged, so I am exonerated of any wrongdoing, as it was "God's work" according to me...the only person who can say, right?
The killing done in God's name on this earth is the best example of why I think we created God in our image rather than the other way around.
To assert that "Thou shalt not kill" really means "thou shalt not kill unless I say so" is such a ludicrous assertion that I would have to renounce my assocaition with Christianity altogether if I accepted it.
My firm belief is that the stories to which you refer were invented to JUSTIFY killing when it's in God's name. The Commandments are pretty clear and simple. Adding complexity or "nuance" is completely unsupportable, and only aids the rationalization for breaking them, IMO.
I appreciate your comments! Thanks for writing!
Revisiting: “Thou shalt not kill.”
Interpretation of: “Thou shalt not kill.” Ex. 20.13.
Biblical presentations - David with premeditation killed Goliath. Israelites upon entering the promised land, at instructions from God (with foreknowledge/premeditation) were to kill every man, woman, and child.
Kill, in the context of the commandment, would refer to the premeditated taking of the life of one or more innocent persons. Innocent in the context of the commandment “thou shalt not kill” would refer to someone not guilty of a Biblical capital crime. The concept of capital crime could reasonably be extended to cover certain criminal activities which commonly result in the unwarranted premature deaths of otherwise innocent persons such as drug lords and crime bosses. In common parlance it is understood that guilty could refer to everyone --in the sense that all have sinned-- but under the commandment it is limited to circumstances involving innocent deaths and/or, as can be extended in grave circumstances, to defense of livelihood or to major properties.
NOTATION: The Bible is a "CONDENSED" compilation of the word of God which is to be expounded upon by those who are living in the "Word of God" and who have the training and capacity to do so.
The commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," in uncompressed format states:
"No one with premeditation may kill any innocent human being from the instant of conception to natural death." (In the context of war and extraordinary conditions this requires additional definition.) In regard to this statement the word "innocent" refers to any person not guilty of a capital crime or to one who is not in the process of committing a harmful act of major proportion. Abortionists and their accomplices are not innocent persons.
It should be noted that places of multiple procured abortions are, effectively speaking, war zones (places of war against the unborn as approved by the supreme court of the United States of America – abortion facilities may also be compared to legalized death camps such as Auschwitz).
Innocent persons who enter into war zones would be at risk along with those who are associated with atrocities against the innocent. Traffic signs should be posted at the approaches to all offices, clinics and hospitals performing abortions which warn against entering the designated area of imminent danger. Similar signs should also be posted in the neighborhoods of abortionists and their staffs (accomplices).
If this is what most Christians believe, then I was taught wrong my whole life, and being a Christian is a very different thing from what I was taught. And Kiel was absolutely right.
And I am most definitely NOT such a Christian.
I always figured it sounded too good to be true anyway... :)
I like that spelling of (our) name.
I've seen people write it that way on hearing me say my name. :)
Please don't take offense. As I gathered (yet again) from that odd essay, the interpretation of the Bible is a movable feast.
When you say that our (English) translation of the Bible is flawed, it is exactly the same as what I have thought and written on for years.
I am forced yet again to review just how accurate "the Bible" is, and it begins to break down pretty quickly.
The example in this thread is the most blatant of all.
If we (English-speakers) have taken the "literal word of God" too literally, then a reinvestigation of the entire idea of how "Western culture views Christianity" is not only in order...it is imperative.
AND it means that we must be in deeeeep Kim Chee with God for placing our faith in a flawed translation of His word.
Of course, since all the Bible's writings were not originally written in Hebrew, the same would apply to ALL translations, and ALL faiths based on such translations, although since Hebrew and Greek are closer chronologically with the source they might be given more weight.
But a translation (say from Aramaic) is still a translation, and no translation can effectively "recreate" the original Holy words.
Here's a quote on this...
Unique characteristics such as idioms and colloquialisms make it impossible for an accurate translation of the meaning of the original Language. Therefore, the translations should be used for, the spiritual guidance of the believers, but not for the formulation of dogmatical teaching of the Church. [emphasis mine...]
[from this link]
So, if I am to fully comprehend the dogma of the Bible, I must learn Aramaic from the perspective of someone living in the world of that time. Only then can I fully appreciate the complexity...the "nuance"...of the Word.
Unfortunately, my life does not afford the time, and the need for the comfort of denominational religion
has never been particularly strong in me.
I choose the path that in my heart leads to maximum happiness for everyone around me, and I reap the benefits in this life, and hopefully beyond.
Put simply, if the Commandment... against KILLING, of all things...was originally intended to have conditions and provisos, then Christianity is worthless to me. THAT kind of "God" is a complete failure in setting an example, and has no place in my life.
As you said, while you may disagree with the specifics of the linked essay you read, you concede that it is a far more accurate reading of the original Word than I was led to believe. :)
I honestly appreciate your comments.
There are many other examples of mistranslation in the King James bible (apon which the majority of modern bibles are based), eg the term "virgin", "harlot" (in reference to Mary Magdalene) and others. Some were accidental (from the Aramaic to Greek to English) and some perhaps not so innocent :-)
The fact that Robertson may have a constituency of hundreds of thousands of Americans doesn't impress me. That's a drop in the ocean.
And, yes, you did say that Robertson "represents the Christian conservatives of this nation," when, as I pointed out, he represents a fraction of them (and a smaller fraction now than ten or fifteen years ago, even if they may seem more vocal).
I think you misunderstand Christian conservatives a bit, or have bought into the hyperbole that the media feeds on a daily basis (I'm not accusing the media of left-wing bias - I'm just stating that they have a vested interest in formenting conflict, and highlighting the worst on all sides, because it's good for ratings). Yes, they have a political agenda (that's nothing new - the turn of the century temperance movement wasn't founded by atheists, after all). But at the end of the day, for the vast majority of them, a guy like Graham IS more important, because the central focus of their faith is... well, their faith.
There are many more of what you call the "good" Christians than the "bad" ones.
P.S. I'm not sure Wikipedia is exactly the best source for information, on this or anything. It's useful, but hardly authoritative.
P.P.S. One last point. A question for you - take Iraq. If you had the choice between the current mess, and an assassination that would have removed Hussein, which would you choose? I know, you wouldn't choose either, I guess. But sometimes that's not an option. I know which way I'd go - I'd take out the leader, every time. I think I'd manage to live with my conscience, given the alternative.
I'm not saying that this is the case with Chavez, at least not yet, but Venezuela under his leadership IS NOT headed in the right direction. He appeals to the very ignorance that you decry, and threatens to turn the country into a basket-case that could destabilize the entire region.
Still, Robertson was dead-wrong (no pun intended) to say that we should take Chavez out.
You're supposed to keep stuff like that quiet, Pat! :-)