Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Good Book

I had a thought this morning as I browsed my Sunday social media.  I may have discovered why it is that the religious people around me still believe a particular idea even though anyone can see it's not at all accurate.

I think that what I see happening around me is the result of children's Bibles.

No.  Seriously.

Bear with me on this...

If you grew up in the South, as I did in Arkansas, you were more than likely given a sugarcoated, tranquil, butterflies and rainbows, Super Friends version of the Bible.  I know I had at least three.  Those bibles had all the great heroes, all the great battles, all the great stories about Moses, Jacob, Noah, Jonah, David, Solomon, and Jesus... But what they didn't have were all the icky, nasty, savage, misogynistic, bloodthirsty and sacrificial details - save for the nails in Jesus, of course.

Those things read a lot like comic books, to be honest.  Each story was depicted with a lovely image of a ripped, zero body fat character surrounded by flowers, butterflies, well-groomed white lambs, people cheering, people playing trumpets, and topped off with a heavy smattering of light rays slicing through clouds in the distance.  Save for the single, dark and solemn image of a dying Jesus, of course.

I mean, they had to show the hole-in-the-hands Jesus thing to the kids.  I'll give them that.  Because let's be honest, that's the whole point of the Christian gambit...

But anyway, back to those Sesame Street Bibles.  WOW!  Those versions of the Bible were absolutely great!  A kid can really eat that stuff up, right?  Universal good against universal evil...  Chariots, swords, lions, snakes, epic battles, evil kings, righteous heroes, and a bad ass pacifist dude that walks on water and rises from the grave.

Am I right?!?!?

But what happened to these kids 20 to 40 years ago when they became adults?  One would hope that they would take the time to study, analyze, and discover how the Bible truly reads.  One would think that they would yearn to get to know the true nature of the people that wrote the Bible.  But judging by what I read, I don't think that is what happened at all.  I think people my age (and a bit older) still cling to the children's version of that book.  They won't acknowledge when their Bible is wrong.  They continue to put forth messages supposedly attributed to the Bible, but are demonstrably false.  They will not accept that their view of the Bible has been manipulated by the church under pressure from our modern societal norms.

The barrage of messages I see today scrolling across my Facebook and Twitter feeds regarding "Biblical marriage" is the most recent example.

Many of you that already know me will understand when I say that I blame Evangelical Pastors.  Given what I used to hear on Sunday morning from just about every Pastor in the area, those guys are not only aware that this current generation of religious people cling to the children's version, they're counting on it.

My point is this.  I have read over and over again how many religious people are doing us all a favor by just, "... agreeing to disagree" and, "... still loving all of you, even though I do not recognize 'gay marriage'".  (The extra quotes are theirs, not mine.)  But who are all of you kidding besides yourselves?  It really is disappointing to me that it doesn't matter how many verses I give to you to refute your argument, you still refuse to accept nothing more than the children's version of your religious text.

Why?

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And one last thing.  I want to note what a wonderful week this was for me.  In light of the two SCOTUS rulings on the Affordable Heathcare Act and same sex marriage, I am starting to feel just a bit more hope than I've felt in a very, very long time.  I have never been so moved by so many people as I was on Friday.

Remember everyone, we are more alike than we are different.

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