It is easy to reproach Christianity based on a believer’s self-proclaimed exclusive guidance from biblical text. If one surveys the whole of the bible, both Jewish and New Testament, then it unfolds– laid out in black and white, countless irrationalities and social horrors committed by God, God’s followers, and God’s enemies. So, it would be in one’s favor to read the bible as a historical book if one wishes to make claims against the bible. If one wishes to high light the genocide, the punishments, the absurd rules, the justification of slavery and subjection of women, then one will definitely have a wealth of examples to chose from. It’s a wonderful reduction. For the enlightened humanist who praises and encourages a relative understanding of the world and her cultures and practices which are different all over the world, it would seem odd that this approach to history and existence would be neglected in a reading of the bible. To attack the reception and influence of the book would be an attack on the psychology of the believer, which is misguided and most like hypocritical. So, we have a standing historical text that has been the crutch of a seemingly endless influence on the world in all sorts of capacities. The bible’s influence has motivated an entire spectrum of psychology, from the notion of evil to the notion of good. You inspired and eager skeptic, you’re not informing anyone of anything previously unknown when you recall to mind such difficult texts. They’ve been there for centuries. To reduce it to a level which is reflective of your own existential limitations only works for your own context. This post is not to bring defense to the number of great thinkers who employed the bible as a text which gave them guidance. They don’t need me. What I would like to do is turn the table a bit and ask you to recall your own history. You, the well-adjusted, socially concerned, supporter of all that is good for humanity, I ask you to recall all of your claims, your dis-likes, your insults, your sins (those mistakes you make that don’t offend a God you dismiss, but mistakes that offend those you care about, those mistakes that grate at whatever you believe is inside you, those mistakes that you must apologize for), yes all of that which has either been forgiven by others, or perhaps have never been revealed as they truly occurred. Write down your own book (a book which will be confined to your own life span, rather than the centuries spanned in the bible), and then I will read it and choose to make a banner which reflects only the incriminating actions which were done in full autonomy and understanding. I will chose to ignore your call to give to the needy, I will ignore your wealth of good deeds, and instead judge you solely on your heart breaks, I will adhere to the damning rumors which circle about your behavior and not look to deep into the larger context of each event. In order to give a romantic cause to my own autonomy, I’ll poeticize your wrong doings and relate them to my own understandings of the world, and judge you based on those understandings. And then I will damn all of your friends, those who chose to associate with you based on my own readings of your life story. I will ignore your displays of love towards strangers, your charity, your message of non-violence. I will ignore one half of your life so I can ignore the difficulty. I will cherry pick your life and draw your image with the ink of my own vulnerabilities. My own drawing, since it is based on a book, reflects more of my own psychology than it does any of your truth. It is easy to assault those who hold stake in the bible, either genuinely or as a facade. Your critiques reveal your own limits, and when you define your own attitude by those limited critiques and proclaim your own enlightenment, those who have suffered in your wake will dismiss you as a hypocrite. It is fine to not subscribe, but it is a waste of breath to insult and damn those who do. The evils of the world, in the absence of God, fall squarely on your own humanity, a humanity of which you are a proud participant. You should desire to keep God around as your scapegoat so you can keep calling people fools, you can keep feeding off of God and nourishing your own vanity and foolishness. The point is…we’re all guilty of sin, both spiritual and secular. A soap box is still a soap box, whether it’s made of your own ego, or an understanding of God. It is thoroughly exhausting isn’t it? Heaping attacks onto a collective requires neglect. Just as the Christian should never venture too far from a mirror, I would recommend you do the same. Withdraw into your own world before you blindly stomp about the world at large. The bible was never written in the collective form of scripts which is how it is now presented. The bible was fragmented by time and authors, and this must be taken into account before one launches into polemics. To the Christian and the oxymoronical atheist, it is an error to blanket the patchwork quilt of biblical scripture over the unified whole of your small world. It is an error to make the bible easy enough to brazenly support or denounce. It is there, resting for everyone to puke their insides all over, and then take that smelly book and fling it all over the spectators. The bible is a passive text which is given its color by the reader.
I don’t care. To say I care about something should indicate something about the way I live my life. To care about something has to manifest itself in some way, and if it didn’t, then it would be understandable for someone to say that I don’t truly care about it. It seems as though it has become such that if one hears another proudly claim care or concern for something, some cause, some person, some movement, then it is entirely fair for one to receive that claim with skepticism, or reluctance. How unfortunate! I should correct myself, I just stated that “it has become such,” as though this were a recent development. I can’t speak to prior generations, I can only speak to mine, although, I can’t give this generation so much credit as to attach this critique exclusively. It would be a wonder as to what we owe this unfortunate habit. We’ve developed a sympathy for a new disposition-the skeptic. Not a skeptic in relation to metaphysical claims, but a skeptic in our social relations. Am I projecting? Surely! Am I projecting my own experience? Or am I projecting my own behavior? Well, I can’t advise you to give me any benefit of the doubt. I care about the environment, but only in so much as I don’t have to change my routine. I care about human rights, I do! But I’ll continue to shop for the cheapest clothes and I’ll continue to buy my Apple products. Do I care about art? Yes I do, as a hobby I suppose. I enjoy being assigned to that typical mentality by friends and strangers alike. So it becomes clear that when I tell you I care, I only care conditionally. Do I care about God? Surely, as a poetic device. I thank him for allowing me to use his controversy as a creative vehicle. Don’t mistake self-expression for devotion. If my family remains intact, then my devotion to God is always vulnerable to a justified scrutiny. Forgive me dear Lord for putting my true care into my earthly relationships, my tangible loved ones. Forgive me for allocating my poetic care for your figure. My care and concern for things outside of myself arrives to that convenient degree that justifies my discussions, my opinions, my creative fits, my protests and complaints, yes it all fits neatly inside my existence. I’ll care about it all until it arrives at my door step, and then I’ll become indignant at it’s irrational presumption that I should truly care about it. How can you not understand that I have priorities! I should restate my dramatic shows of social, ethical, and religious concerns. I don’t care, I merely posture. I suppose that all my lofty enlightened concerns merely answer to my existential concerns. I’ve managed to lay the plight of the world at my feet and appropriate it as I wish. Existence precedes essence, psychology appropriates essence.
We don’t care about anything, we merely posture.
I don’t care about anything, I merely posture.