Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
Blasphemy is a really big sin


Don't know if this is appropriate but as a person to whom spirituality is important, I have a few comments on blasphemy that might -- just possibly -- be useful in discussion with Dominionists who are waivering.

"Blasphemy" is an old-fashioned word that probably means nothing to the atheists in this group but it means quite a lot to a religious person, particularly a fundamentalist. It is the worst sin of all because it is the act of directly demeaning God. Blasphemy cheapens and corrupts ideas that are meant to be preserved intact and reverenced as holy.

I think you will find that, across religions, people agree that God Himself (or Herself) is to be treated in a way that is different than we treat a good sports game or a work project. In Christianity and Judaism and Islam, for instance, this reaches overwhelming priority. You don't dis God. Ever. Period.

Yet it seems to me that many Dominionist sects blaspheme on a regular basis; their very dogma is blasphemous. Why? Because they worship the Bible. They don't just respect it, or reverence its lessons, or treat it as a special book with special information. They worship it, flat out, as though those scraps of paper and print were God Himself.

This is called idolatry; something the Jews have hearty strictures against and, as a devout Jew, it's something Jesus himself would disapproved. You don't worship graven images because God is an infinite, omnipotent spirit and any three-dimensional representation of Him leads to error.

If you're an atheist and someone accused you of blasphemy, I'm sure you'd just shrug. But if you believe God judges your actions according to their rightness, then being blasphemous is something you really, really want to avoid. That's why I wonder if discussion on this point might cause one or two fundies to at least consider their position.

Do they worship God or do they worship a book? (Jesus made it utterly clear we are to pray to and worship God. He certainly did.)

Do they think that God has existed from the beginning of time and spans all material existence? Does God predate the Bible? Does He still exist today? (In Christianity, as many other religions, the answer to that is "Yes.")

In that case, it is blasphemous to deny God's actual creation in order to adhere to a story told on a few pages of a mundane book, no matter how special that book may be. It demeans God and *nothing* is more special than God -- or that's what a Christian is supposed to believe.

I'm not sure if redirecting someone's attention from the Bible to God will be helpful. Maybe some are so brainwashed they literally cannot see the difference between the two but they are different things, though related. If a book says the Earth was created yesterday, yet the natural evidence in God's creation says it is billions of years old, it is blasphemous to lessen God in an attempt to force Him to fit the book. It's not His job to be easily contained. It's a religious person's job to worship Him as He is.

I guess the Dominionists hang on to their pick-and-choose Biblical literalism for many reasons. It is comforting to think the complexities of life have been reduced to a simple set of unbending rules, and you've got 'em. I can see how that could be hard to let go. But when God Himself reveals His mechanisms to the scientists, a religious person has only two choices: worship God or worship the book. Maybe if folks see that is the choice they're making, it might open a mind to new thought.

It really doesn't affect the lessons of the Bible. Whether the Earth is a billion years old or created yesterday, Jesus still taught we are to love our enemies, feed the hungry, and visit the prisoners. If folks worship God, they focus on those lessons for life and they can deal with scienctific discoveries about the material universe without a skip in their faith. If they err and worship the book, instead, then they're in for all kinds of stumbling every time humanity's knowledge expands. The idea our government would kowtow to this error by denying scientific discovery horrifies me.

I think trashing the Bible is not helpful but pointing out that it can be misused might be. Has anyone here ever covered this point with Dominionists or fundamentalists? Does it reach them at all or do they just keep repeating the bit about the Bible being God's infallible, literal, and only word to mankind? I keep looking for a path to reach them in discussion and the recent post about the park services being pressured to deny geology brought it freshly to mind.