Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Smells like...Victory (Updated)

Apparently the curriculum at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University is more varied than I thought:

'...A small group of protesters gathered near the funeral services to criticize the man who mobilized Christian evangelicals and made them a major force in American politics -- often by playing on social prejudices.

A group of students from Falwell's Liberty University staged a counterprotest.

And Campbell County authorities arrested a Liberty University student for having several homemade bombs in his car.

The student, 19-year-old Mark D. Uhl of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service. The devices were made of a combination of gasoline and detergent, a law enforcement official told ABC News' Pierre Thomas...'

Gasoline and Detergent. That's the problem with my studying the Bible at bedtime. You get sleepy and tired, and you nod off right before the part in the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus starts talking about Napalm.


Here is the myspace page of Mark D. Uhl, Soldier of Christ. Some deep thoughts:

'...When you are reading something or in a conversation with someone not everything is to be taken literally. If you are in a conversation with someone and they tell you to "Go f*ck yourself" do you go ahead and do it? No, for you know when they gave that command they did not mean it literally but they got their point acrossed [sic]. Instead you try to learn from what encouraged them to say that in order to make yourself a better person. If you translate that in this way why would you not do the same with the Bible?

EXAMPLE: Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."

Think about it...'

A meme that I've noticed developing lately is a reversal of the 'literal' interpretation of the Bible as a means of supporting the theology of fundamentalist Christians. I read more and more from people that are using what are traditionally more secular analytical approaches to analyze scripture in order to create interpretations that support any number of borderline insane theological views. This reminds me of what my brother posted earlier on the methods of the Christian Left and their (annoying) tendency to create a theology so devoid of any real base that it resembles warm oatmeal. Except now the Christian right is doing it to justify all sorts of wonderful craziness. I'll post more on this later.

But first, Glenn Greenwald posted yesterday, with a followup today, on the results of a poll released yesterday that found that 13% of American Muslims favor attacks on civilians during times of war. Needless to say many on the right are freaking out about this newly discovered danger in our midst. However, Glenn points out another poll taken back in 2006 of other American groups' reaction to the same question:

'Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified? [the same question asked to the American Muslim group]

Answers: (Total responses of Often and Sometimes)

Total Public: 46%
Total Catholic: 56%
Total White Protestant: 49%
Total White Evangelical: 49%
Secular: 35%'

So I guess I missed the part about 'torture' in the Sermon on the Mount as well. I really need to spend more time reading after I've had some coffee.