Not at ALL What You Thought

Monday, April 21, 2008

Money Changers and Whores

A new friend of mine* suggested I say a little somethin about this (though not necessarily this quote specifically):

While this isn't directly related to the topic at hand, I'd like to take the opportunity to point something out. There are people like LaVern Jordan who run around with a bible in their hand and require political candidates to have religious beliefs that align with their own. They even go so far as to demean atheists as being amoral, and that they should not have a voice in this country.

Well, let me say this: I think you'd be hard pressed to find an atheist who would think that soliciting sex for education is appropriate. If you choose to be stubborn and feel otherwise, then read this story again and comprehend who's doing what.

Thing is, I don’t like the title to my little essay this time because I think it’s misleading. I know it’s gonna put that picture of Jesus, His sweet guns showin and all, wavin that homemade whip around in the Temple (and God, He knows folk like LaVern Jordan need a good whippin).

But moneychangers and whores, qua moneychangers and whores, are not the people Jesus had Issues with. The Gospel, in fact, describes The Man, more than once, more than twice, as hangin out with moneychangers, invitin Himself to they houses, feet all up under they tables, usin Those People in parables as object lessons, wildly invitin ‘em into the Kingdom. Refusing, even, to stone, accuse, condemn, or even avoid adulteresses and whores and what not. Including The Least of These, I’m sayin, at the drop of a yarmulke.

This is the Christ I know and love, the Christ my pastor preaches from Sunday to Sunday. But “people like LaVern Jordan*** who run around with a bible in their hand” are the kind of people who make moneychangers and whores (not to mention Kingdom people**) look bad. People like LaVern Jordan make, not only Christians, but also principals and financial-aid officers, and even do-gooding atheists look bad. Yeah, I said it. I need, like my pastor, to make a stark differentiation between LaVern Jordan and his ilk and people who actually hunger and thirst for the living God (even those who desire to do the right thing, without the hunger and thirst).

Of course it’s easier to claim that this reprehensible behavior shows up more obviously among the loudly fundamentalist, the priests and televangelists. They’re our favorite whipping boys, ain they? Ain they all over the television and newspapers? And it’s certainly easier to throw that “no true Scotsman” rebuttal at anybody who argues, “He’s not a Christian; he’s just in religion for the money (and/or sex).” It’s just easier to claim that, because there are no stings currently and publicly being applied to atheists qua atheists, therefore, atheism is just The Way To Go, honey.

If you read for comprehension, then you see that I refuse to make excuses for LaVern; but I can’t call him a Christian, either. Neither can you. Best any of us can come up with is "hypocrite". It’s easy for y'all on the outside to point fingers, to attack those of us who malign Christianity with our very behavior, and so despise Christianity itself, but you can’t attack pretend Christians without referring to The Plumb Line. No, we will not fail to point out that there are plenty of atheists and agnostics who reach out and love on the Least of These His Children; however, we also cannot ignore (as convenient as it may be to do so) what The Son of Man Himself said: That folks’ fruit identify them. That whitewashing only makes a rotten place a whitewashed place of rottenness. That thieves and whores who hunger and thirst, not after Him, but after money and debauchery (I’m looking at you, LaVern) are none of His.

So, no, (theoretical and/or pending) forgiveness notwithstanding, I don't claim LaVern Jordan. He's just not part of A Certain Family. If you choose to feel otherwise, Space Cowboy, then think on the dubious merits of any kind of sweeping intolerance, please, and comprehend who’s doing what.

Dear Jesus, my Brother, help us to resemble You in our thoughts, words and actions. Help us.

*not A Religious; just A Great Soul

**Because my pastor maligns traditional “religious people” and “church folk,” who can’t be bothered to love and help those who need love and help, those for whom Christ died, because they’re too busy tryin to avoid the Cross.

***Can you believe this name? Can we blame his proclivities on it?


  • At 9:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think that religion, because of our very American tendency not to look too closely or question a person's belief, attracts the sort of people who want to do this kind of stuff and not be looked at too closely. For many people, a Religious Person is automatically trustworthy until proven otherwise. It's always dangerous to offer someone trust they haven't earned simply b/c of what they say they are.

  • At 10:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Oh, and I told you not to click. you were #4. Tagged

  • At 7:07 AM , Blogger Gine said...

    'm glad I grew out of that tendency. There's something about spending years of one's life around Religious People that innoculates one from that kind of blind trust.

    I guess that's an advantage.

  • At 9:38 AM , Blogger Bob said...

    Excellent post, just as I knew it would be. ;)

    Thank you!

  • At 6:05 PM , Blogger Ranuel said...

    Well said.

    So, every time I turn around I see somebody going "goodie goodie there are no atheists who did evil things BECAUSE they are atheists, you God people are losers" and it's really getting on my last nerve.

    We really need to work on coming up with some sort of consistent and organized rebuttal.

  • At 7:47 PM , Blogger Gine said...

    Anne, You draft out somethin, and I'll sign it.

  • At 8:09 PM , Blogger Ranuel said...

    I don't know how to word it. I keep hoping Father Greeley will cover it somewhere and I can steal from him.


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