Views on politics and current events

Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Irritating Email

Below is one of those forwarded emails that I get on a regular basis. It's like these things have a mind, a life of their own. Also, it is amazing how so many folks seem to have the time to forward so much garbage, but don't have the time to go to their elected Representative's website and give their opinion, or get off their butts and at least register to vote.But I digress. The email:

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency
This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think "where are my priorities?"
And no dropped calls!

This email has me irritated and flummoxed. I've got my own ideas about all this bible stuff (don't we all, at least I think we should), and I try to live and let live as best I can with others and their beliefs. But this particular forward has set me off.

Perhaps I've reached the saturation point with this kind of thing. So many hold the bible sacred, but I've found that there's not a whole lot of people know much what's in it, let alone have actually read it. I'm no authority on comparative religions, and knowing what little I know about human nature it's probably true across the board, but it sure seems like so many Christians base their belief on hearsay evidence. That is, they don't know much about the history of their faith, what is contained in their holy scriptures, so they swallow what someone else tells them about it.

It doesn't help matters that I vaguely know the guy that sent me this email. Does his knowledge of his holy book amount to a handful of parsed-out platitudes that he pulls out with incredible timing at the most appropriate moments? Or does he truly know the book. Does he also know that the Qu'ran is the epitome of evil because he's heard a few verses from it that promote 'death against the infidels'. Perhaps, but you can't expect someone to know any more about a different religion than they do about their own. And what I've said above pretty much reveals what I know about the sender. It's not the first time this type of email has come my way, courtesy of him.

So I guess it's a combination of the things mentioned above, and the incredible amount of the Internet that is taken up with pure unadulterated BS, and the amount of susceptibility all of us have to that BS. Not that everything I do on the 'net is of earth-shattering importance. But c'mon, gimme a break. Is it necessary to have the most up-to-date computer system and broadband Internet service to do what our ancestors used to do across the fence post; talk, swap gossip, and spread BS?

To imply that just having a bible in your pocket like a cell phone makes you a better person is rubbish. If you do not know what is in it, if you do not ponder and discuss with others in a non-condemning way its meaning, what's the point? The bible is God's story book, man's thoughts about God (the definition of theology). It is full of myth, wonder, violence, love, and wisdom. Truly a book for the ages.

I am not a bible scholar, not even a mainline christian, but I have read it enough to know that much of what right-wing fundamentalists believe is not even in the bible, but basically comes from a fire and brimstone preacher from the 19th century named Darby. And even his preaching has been distorted somewhat to fit the beliefs of the modern fundamentalist.

So I guess that's my beef. A book in your pocket is just a book in your pocket. If you have no clue what is in it, and you take someone elses word for it without question, you're just as well off keeping the cell phone in your pocket and your bible on the shelf. You'll do less harm with the cell phone, and you'll know more about it.

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