The Gospel of Hatred

nasty

You might have seen the disturbing BBC documentary America’s Hate Preachers this week, featuring hunky Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church’ in Tempe, Arizona, and chunky street preacher Ruben Israel (above). If not, it’s available here for the next few months (and also, I understand, on YouTube, but of course I couldn’t possibly endorse that.)

Both Men of God™ claim they’re preaching the gospel, which is strange when all they have to offer is bile, hatred and self-aggrandisment. Anderson actually says at the end of the programme that he does what he does – mainly reviling gay people – because he wants to ‘do something big with (his) life.’ Maybe that’s what the gospel is – bile and hatred mixed with self-promotion. There’s nothing of the good news attributed to Jesus or Paul’s ‘love-is-all’ message in the vitriol spewed forth by these two sorry individuals and their various acolytes.

The gospel they preach and the Jesus they convey is spiteful, judgemental and unforgiving. Who knows, maybe that’s what he was. But if you claim to believe in Jesus, all you self-righteous souls, all you grandstanding screwballs, then fine, so long as you do as he tells you: sell all you have and give to the poor; hate your father and mother; remain unmarried; tend to the sick, the needy and the imprisoned; give to anyone who asks; turn the other cheek, go the extra mile and be perfect. Do you do these things? Are you faithful to these words? If not, then you don’t really believe in him either.

People like Anderson and Israel take what little good there is in the Bible and poison it all the more with their own prejudices, their own putrification, their own sour self-hatred. This is the fruit we see in them and in others like them, which would also be fine if they kept it to themselves. But they can’t. They are compelled to try to infect the rest of us with their nasty perversion of a gospel.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Gospel of Hatred

  1. Bile, hatred and self-aggrandizement is the nature of man.

    People for time immemorial have used religion for such purposes.

    But that is the problem with man, not religion.

    Since every civilization in human history grew up with religion as its cultural and political foundation, history proves that religion is good, not evil.

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  2. You speak of religion as if it exists independently from ‘man’. It doesn’t; it is human through and through. But yes, if you discount its pogroms, massacres, inquisitions, crusades, executions, suppression (of truth and minorities), marginalising, vilifying, bullying, greed, abuse, mutilations, terrorism and general irrationality, I guess you could say it has been a good thing.

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  3. Neil,

    The great religions Islam, Christianity and Judaism had their rules and values written down.

    This is a great step in the development of civilization since it codifies rules and moral value.

    Also, the religion of ancient Egypt was stable for literally thousands of years.

    King Tutankhamun’s father tried to introduce a monotheistic religion into the culture and there was hell to pay (it was very destabilizing).

    Religion is a way that man uses to overcome inherent personal bias by introducing a bias that is objective.

    The ancient Greeks reasoned their way to systematic thinking and natural law theory which are modes of thought that address personal bias.

    This way of Greek thought was incorporated into Christianity starting with the Apostles. But it was Saint Thomas Aquinas during the Middle Ages, who did the heavy lifting on that one.

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    • 1) Perhaps you could direct me to the evidence that all of the cultures you mention codified their laws as a direct result of religion. Rules about specifically religious practices may well have been, but where is the evidence secular laws were? There’s none as far as I can see in the case, for example, of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Moreover, the development of ‘systematic thinking’ in Greece seems to have had little to do with any belief in imaginary gods; it’s unlikely these gods were ‘believed in’ in quite the same way today’s deities are.

      2) How does your theory account for the numerous civilisations that codified their laws without recourse to religion? The Chinese for example, or your own country (I’m assuming from your spelling that you’re American) whose constitution makes no mention of religion?

      3) Are you seriously proposing that religion has helped mankind overcome its natural biases (whatever those are) when the evidence suggests just the opposite? See the post above for one small, contemporary example.

      SoM, your proposals both here and on your own blog need substantiated with evidence and reasoned argument. As I’ve said before, made up assertions just don’t cut it; they merely point up your own ‘personal biases’.

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