Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Neo-conservative Christianity: It's okay to kill

Just like Christmas, eh, Junior?
Back in the dark days of 2002, when Junior was beating his Iraq war drum like a new Christmas toy, I became engaged in many heated conversations with benighted Bush supporters who felt that the invasion was morally justified and imperative to the security of the United States.

Sprung a leak...
Never mind that the case being made by the administration was so full of holes that it made St. Sebastian's carcass look like a finely woven Kashmir carpet.

Some of the most vociferous of the war advocates professed to be "Christian," of course. They trusted that Junior was a "good man." They believed he was restoring "dignity" and "integrity" to the Oval Office. (One has to hope that nowadays, as the depth of the moral morass in which we find ourselves is revealed, these same people are just a tiny bit chastened. But probably, they are not.)

It has always puzzled me how supposed Christians can advocate war, but this was especially true in 2002, when I put forth the argument that "Your Bible commands that 'Thou shalt not kill.'"

Well, wouldn't you know it? "Christian" scholars have now "discovered" that the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," is actually a mistranslation. The "correct" interpretation of the original Hebrew (or is it Greek?) is "Thou shalt not murder." So, war is okay with Christ. Just don't "murder" anyone. (You can read all about this reinterpretation here.)

What about these Bible passages, Christians? How shall we interpret these? And how do they jibe with your justification for war?
You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:38:45 RSV)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)
Regardless of the pseudo-scholarly arguments that are used, this relatively recent discovery about the translation of the Sixth commandment seems somewhat convenient, no? Does this mean that all these hundreds of years since the invention of the printing press, the Christian holy book has been in error? And, if this translation was incorrect, dare we suspect that there may be other translation errors in today's Bible? In fact, does this not call all Biblical teaching into question?

One can hear these fake Christians, even now, saying "Hold on. Not so fast. Let's not go too far. We just wanted to feel good about our war, that's all."

Anyone who speaks more than one language can tell you that precise translation is nigh on impossible. That's true for modern, living languages and one has to assume that it is even more true when applied to the translation of ancient "dead" languages. But "Christians" don't want to know all that. It's better to just follow the leader and keep one's eyes shut tight.

Well, "Christians," I've got another ancient myth you should check into before you next go off and use fallacious logic to justify your hypocrisy. It's commonly referred to as Pandora's Box.

(Full disclosure: This post was inspired by Hopeful Muser's thoughtful post, Ignorance.)

1 comment:

Ridwan said...

Excellent post brother.

So if we can kill but not murder, what's the word on manslaughter (second degree murder in some places).

I have always believed that Jesus called for peace over violence.

But, since there was a meditated reason (mens rea) for unlawful war by Bush and company it would be murder, no?

What makes me even more sick is that the Russian-Georgian war is helping McCain gain on Obama (and I am not an Obama fan).

Point is that McCain will grow stronger because "he knows war".

Peace Dade,