Christianity’s Greatest Counterfeit

From the congressional prayer room.

There is now only one kind of Republican in Congress, Christian. And this is extremely dangerous for Christianity. Admittedly, there are a variety of Christians as there are a variety of Republicans, but in the most powerful government in the world and in the party that controls the House of Representatives that variety has been reduced to a frightening ideological similarity. The future of Christianity in the United States is at stake in this moment. Some could argue that because there are Christians on the Democratic side of Congress, this should allow people to see Christianity as a much wider, more diverse and inclusive faith that cannot be captured by either Republican or Democrat. But is that the case? I think not.

The Republican Christians who now inhabit Congress have in most cases assertively presented their Christian faith as the glue that binds together their public service, their connection to their constituencies, and their policy thinking. It also frames the way they understand both collegiality and political compromise or the lack thereof. Like it or not, the Republicans in Congress are now a kind of congregation, a reality of church, a particular church, but still a church. Inescapably, now they present a Christianity in total power.

This is a perfect storm for Christianity. We now have a political party that deeply dislikes the first African American president (who is also a Christian), clearly opposes significant cooperation with him or his party, is reactionary on most issues from taxes to the environment to women’s health to full equality for LGBTQ folks, is wedded to a neo-conservative economic fideism, and is unapologetically Christian. It will be difficult to convince anyone that this Republican Christianity is not authentic Christianity because a religion reveals itself when it has political and economic power.

Any historian or sociologist could legitimately ask whether Christianity in America by its actual nature (not by its lofty claims) moves inextricably toward what we now have on the Republican side of Congress. But there is another way to see this moment, as the exposure of Christianity’s greatest counterfeit. I am not saying that the Republicans in Congress are not real Christians. Nor am I questioning the importance, commitment or legitimacy of their faith in the public square. The counterfeit here is the collective spirit, the shared attitude they exhibit together (like a church). That collective spirit has very little to do with the worship of a marginalized Jew, named Jesus, who came to free the poor and oppressed. This counterfeit Christian community worships power, desires control, and imagines the world revolving around self-sufficient men (and a few women).

I call it “Mad Man Religion.” Mad Man Religion looks just like Christianity. It connects religious practices to free market practices like you would connect pieces from a Lego set. And it offers to young people, especially young white men, an image to live toward – that of a powerful winner who controls his own destiny and those around him, enabled to succeed by the very hand of God. Christianity in America has never been able to expose this counterfeit in all its glory, until now.

 

Willie James Jennings is Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke University Divinity School and is an ordained minister.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    This is an outstanding article and spot on. I’ll have more to say about it, once’ I’ve given it a good think.

  • Jim Reed

    I agree with Aravis, this article has a lot to think about. One little point,

    “Christianity in America has never been able to expose this counterfeit in all its glory, until now.”

    I think it did a pretty good job exposing itself when Bush was president. War supported by torture in the name of greed of the rich, and total disregard for anything but their desire to get more rich, and make every law that way, and establish a permanent majority supported by the propaganda to brainwash the intellectually lowest in our population (Evangelical Christians). I just hope until this Christianity disease breaks we don’t elect another Christian Republican president.

  • jfigdor

    Such a good piece!

    “This is a perfect storm for Christianity. We now have a political party that deeply dislikes the first African American president (who is also a Christian), clearly opposes significant cooperation with him or his party, is reactionary on most issues from taxes to the environment to women’s health to full equality for LGBTQ folks, is wedded to a neo-conservative economic fideism, and is unapologetically Christian. It will be difficult to convince anyone that this Republican Christianity is not authentic Christianity because a religion reveals itself when it has political and economic power.”

    So true and so dangerous.

  • NelsonRobison

    “This is a perfect storm for Christianity.” The conditions of who is president have no bearing on the current problem of the Far Right Christian Republican Party. The doctrinaire policy that makes the Far Right Christian Republican Party possibly is called “dominionism.” A teaching of a subset of evangelicalism that purports to instruct all Christians that they “are to be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, in charge of the whole world.”

    It is a teaching that has been roundly criticized by almost every Christian denomination and rational teacher of Christianity. It is in every sense of the word and every aspect just like the fundamentalist Jihadi’s of Islam. Their whole motivation is to take charge of the whole world through a system known as a caliphate. But this is built on the Christian ideal of Jesus taking control of everything, and just like every post-apocalyptic religious belief system, the Christian Dominionist belief system builds into it an end that shows them winning the fight against “the enemy,” those who are considered evil and a judgment that gives them, the dominionists complete control in the stead of Jesus.

    Whatever happens in the future is going to be up to people of conscience, those who are involved both politically and religiously. Speaking out against those who have diverted the discourse to their agenda, need a wake up call. We must counter their arguments of illogical nonsense with both logical and rational arguments, plus a counter that helps those who are “true believers” think for themselves. This is, with education the only way to change the way that people think and act. We must change this nation’s discourse, make it again a means of governing, one which thinks of “promoting the general welfare,” instead of promoting the welfare of one or another sector of society.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “[Dominionism] is a teaching that has been roundly criticized by almost every Christian denomination and rational teacher of Christianity.”

    And yet … Christians from among all those denominations, which ostensibly condemn dominionism, are mostly all very happy to elect them to office and to repeat all their “Christian nation” canards. Clearly there is a breakdown here but I’m not sure where the failing lies. Is it because the denominations’ leaders aren’t being clear enough when discussing this topic with their congregants? Is it because those congregants have heard the condemnation, but dismiss it because they like the idea of an entitlement to be “in charge” of the planet solely because they’re Christians? Or is it because all those leaders are the ones who’ve been seduced by the potential for power, and while they feel an occasional impulse to mouth something in the direction of condemning dominionism, haven’t really been very clear or public about it?

    Whatever it is, something needs to be done. It needs to be done quickly, it needs to be done efficiently, it needs to be done vocally and as noticeably as possible, and people can’t just shrug it off or walk away because they think they’ve already said everything there is to say on the matter and that’s enough. Clearly it has NOT been “enough.”

  • Jim Reed

    There is a new book out showing Jesus was just a myth, from historical study of the times. Perhaps some will start to see, with no Jesus all of Christianity including dominionism fails. There will be a battle to fight over this, but maybe it can be the battle to end all battles. The end will have to be a more rational world.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “There is a new book out showing Jesus was just a myth, from historical study of the times.”

    Actually that book was written … and re-written and re-re-rewritten … quite some time ago. Christ mythicism is very old and there’s little novel about it. Many books making that, or similar, claims have been published over the last couple decades.

    While I find the position of fellows like G.A. Wells (i.e. there’s an element of a quite-possible historical Jesus behind things like the “lost gospel” Q, which got combined with … and then overwhelmed by … a mythical figure) provide a reasonable explanation for the evidence we have, I can’t really go in for all the conspiratorial bizarreness which underlies most of the “Christ myth” stuff going around.

    In any event, let’s be honest here: Christians aren’t having any of it. The strictest and most literal of them (i.e. fundamentalists) will rage and fume and bluster over the insolence of yet another “liberal elite scholar” who dared write another book dissing their precious Jesus, and accuse him/her of being in league with Satan or something, and of trying to kill off all Christians (or something). Some other Christians will just shrug and say, “Gee, maybe you have a point,” but then trot off and keep believing whatever they want to, without really understanding any of it. Still others, who are already familiar with this line of thinking about Jesus, will accuse the author of missing the point of Christianity completely, asserting that even if no Jesus had ever lived, their faith is still entirely valid (despite the fact that it would make no sense at all to believe in it if Jesus hadn’t lived and done all the things Christianity said he did).

    That book will do what every other book on the subject has done, which is to slam full-speed into the massive, impenetrable stone wall of reflexive, total resistance to anything new or different which is Christianity. In other words, it doesn’t matter if this book makes a compelling case: It will be vociferously and ferociously ignored.

  • Jim Reed

    You make a great case for reading it.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Having studied the historicity of Jesus at length … and having read many books on the subject (pro and con), I have absolutely no interest in reading any more them. Barring the possibility that one of them might describe and substantiate some astonishing new, compelling discovery (say, a newfound monument or manuscript), I can’t imagine how any more such books could possibly add anything of value to the field. I just can’t. (Again, this goes for books that both support and deny Jesus’ historicity.)

  • Jim Reed

    There is that first century hole in Christianity. Christianity is based on the gospel Jesus stories, and the theory is those stories were passed along as oral traditions through the middle of the first century until the gospels were written. The written record of Christianity in that period is Paul, and Paul’s writings show a Christianity with none of the gospel stories. If they were the oral tradition of Christianity when Paul was writing, they would have influenced his writings. So now we have the actual written record contradicting the supposed oral traditions. That means the oral tradition theory is wrong, and this makes sense because we can see the gospels were definitely making stuff up anyway. If they were making up some of it, and the actual written history of the time shows none of it was real, then it seems they were making up all of it. This is simple logic.

  • Sean MacDhai

    Fantastic post. Conservative Christians like to throw “religious freedom” into the fray to make anyone who opposes their ideology uncomfortable. But… what about moderate Christians who are pro-science and pro-equality? For some people, being loving, nonjudgmental, inclusive and tolerant is most certainly part of their faith, as they follow Christ. Some people do not have a hard time reconciling evolution and climate change with their Christian worldview. So, what about their religious freedom?

  • Jim Reed

    They have religious freedom just like anyone else, but what is the point of being that kind of Christian? Do they believe in heaven and hell? Do they believe Jesus is going to return soon and rapture them? Do they have any actual beliefs, or do they just like attending a church where beliefs are optional, and people just try to follow principles of general humanism to create a better world?

    This might sound harsh, but it is an honest question. If you are moderate and pro science and pro equality and loving and nonjudgmental and inclusive and tolerant, then what is the point of being Christian?

  • Sean MacDhai

    “If you are moderate and pro science and pro equality and loving and nonjudgmental and inclusive and tolerant, then what is the point of being Christian?”

    To live Christ’s example… to be charitable, and loving. To feed the sick, help the needly, care for the poor. To love your brother as yourself, not cast stones at others, turn the other cheek, and carry other’s burdens for an extra mile… :)

  • Jim Reed

    What do you know about Christ? Do you believe the Bible is totally true and the word of God? I think a lot of people want to be Christian because they grow up in a society where everyone believes Christian is good, and non-Christian if probably bad. If you really care about being charitable and loving, there are probably better examples than Christianity.

  • Sean MacDhai

    I know quite a bit… and no, I do not interpret scripture literally.

    Have you read “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism” by John Shelby Spong? It’s really good. He has another book about perceiving the Gospel of John as spiritual truth, rather than literal truth. If you perceive Christ as a myth/parable you’d like that one.

  • NelsonRobison

    I agree. There is a problem that is inherent in the condemnation of fundamentalist thought, the facts are that most won’t condemn a true fundamentalist because the people in some way actually believe that the fundamentalist is correct in their interpretation of the holy book. Personally I found the doctrine of dominionism reprehensible in the extreme. What the dominionist purports to teach is an interpretation of scripture that makes the case for Christian rule of the whole world.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    And that is probably true, because the whole “Jesus didn’t exist”fable is so unutterably pointless and boring, it’s just bizarre and baffling why anyone ANYONE, keeps making such a ludicrous claim. It ought to be labeled the”Dan Brown “syndrome, for crying out loud!!! It’s just a ploy to sell books! Ask yourself this question:How many of the elite, prestigious, hallowed schools and universities in this nation have theological departments with huge sections in their libraries and classrooms dedicated to the premise that Jesus didn’t exist? ANYONE? ANYONE? BUELLER?-Please, just give it a rest, why don’t you?

  • Jim Reed

    If you perceive Christ as myth, then what you know about Christ is interpretations of church teachings from following centuries. I guess the question is can they have much value when whatever direction they were headed in those centuries, where they ended up in out time is pretty much a curse on mankind. I don’t think you can make the questions go away. The most moderate Christians could accomplish would be to buy a little more time while the questioning continues to grow.

    It would be interesting to see what Spong might have to say, if he could respond here and discuss it with us.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t know what you’ve been reading (The Dan Brown school of Biblical history/theology, perhaps? ), but you need to dig waay deeper than that; such shallow, superficial understanding of both Scripture and Christian history is waay off base.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    Jim Reed wrote:

    “what is the point of being that kind of Christian?”

    Jim, you’ve asked this about liberal religion–not just Christianity–a thousand times, and many of us have gone to significant lengths to answer you. That you continue to ask it suggests that you aren’t listening and doesn’t incline us to continue answering.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    John Shelby Spong is a rank heretic, and his books aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, and I say that as a moderate Christian! (Well, a moderate Calvinist, anyway.) To each his own, but I wouldn’t listen to Spong if he was right outside my door. PLEASE.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Which just goes to show how much you yourself knows about Christianity, which frankly doesn’t seem to be a lot, from what I’m reading here.Would you care to share the source of your information, and why you find it so compelling?

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    Okay, I’ve re-read this several times, and i think that the author makes one substantial mistake.

    He is correct about the unhealthy relationship between Republican politics and Fundamentalist Christianity.

    Where he is incorrect is in thinking that this is “extremely dangerous for Christianity.” Christianity has existed for millennia and is the largest, most powerful religion on the planet. It isn’t going anywhere, just because a bunch of mouth-breathers in Congress have adopted its worst, most unappealing form.

    Rather, it is extremely dangerous for the Republican Party. Indeed, it is my view that the current marriage between the Republican Party and Fundamentalist Christianity will mean the end of the Republican party as we now know it. The Republican Party will go the way of the Whigs.

    A few points in support of this claim:

    1. The marriage is the reason why the Republicans have essentially become a white, Southern party (and Lower Midwestern party too — same difference).

    2. So long as they remain a white, Southern party, they will continue to lose national elections.

    3. The Fundamentalists will be blamed for these losses, as they are now. The Todd Aikens and Christine O’Donnell’s of the world are perceived as dragging their party down to the Holler.

    4. The poverty, social dysfunction, and general unimportance of the parts of the country, where Fundamentalists can win elections will prevent the Republicans from remaining a viable party for much longer.

    The only thing that could prevent Republican extinction, is if the money-people in Washington say “enough is enough” and essentially throw these people overboard. Their current inability, however, to deal with the so-called “Tea Party,” renders this a dim hope.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    He’s been banging that drum, forever. Like a little kid who knows one curse word, he keeps yelling it over and over again.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Thanks,Aravis… (I hope I’m not fishing for compliments, but what did you think of the”Dan Brown syndrome”comment? Pretty clever, huh? LOL!)

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “The written record of Christianity in that period is Paul, and Paul’s writings show a Christianity with none of the gospel stories.”

    True enough, however, that doesn’t mean there weren’t other documents about Jesus floating around that just didn’t happen to have survived in that form. The four canonical gospels were all written by the end of the 1st century, and the synoptics had a common source. That source is virtually guaranteed to have already been in existence by the early 70s, which is when Mark was written.

    So we have the words of Paul, and Q (possibly first composed around the same time that Paul was writing). You’re correct to point out that these offer very different views about Jesus. However, that differentiation is not proof there could not have been any Jesus. What it means is that one of these, or the other, might have been the product of a “historical Jesus” whereas the other wasn’t.

    Re: “If they were the oral tradition of Christianity when Paul was writing, they would have influenced his writings.”

    Hmm. What makes you so sure of that? Maybe Paul was aware of other traditions about Jesus … both the “oral” ones you mention, plus perhaps the Q community, and maybe even others … but chose to ignore them? Are you suggesting that, if they existed, that they would have possessed the power to forcibly inject their contents into his writings? That doesn’t seem logical.

    Re: “This is simple logic.”

    Sadly, and to the contrary, there is NO “simple logic” about the historicity of Jesus. That’s why people have been churning out piles of B.S. for decades making various assertions. Few are appreciably any better than most of the rest. The only ones who’re left out in the cold — historiographically speaking — are the Biblical literalists who insist the gospels are 100% truth. The rest of them are all up for grabs.

  • Jim Reed

    The question has usually been what is progressive Christianity? What do they believe? I guess it is a religion in transition. It is based on not believing the problematic beliefs of conservative Christianity. Does that mean it is a religion headed to something different, or is it a religion heading to a religion of nothing? I think that is a fair question, and one not easy to answer in w world dominated by apologetics and conservatives. They know they have to be something different, but I have to wonder if that difference is becoming a religion with no beliefs, and ultimately no religion?

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “How many of the elite, prestigious, hallowed schools and universities in this nation have theological departments with huge sections in their libraries and classrooms dedicated to the premise that Jesus didn’t exist?”

    I hate to point this out, but this is a great example of the fallacy known as “appeal to consensus” (and by a lot of other names as well).

    This is precisely what I’ve been driving at. The truth of Jesus’ historicity is incredibly muddled and there are no easy answers … in any direction. Anyone who tells you there are, is lying.

    Also, not all “Christ mythicists” are Dan Brown sycophants. There are some scholars who’ve arrived at that conclusion for reasons of their own. They have no connection with Dan Brown. And the Christ myth theory existed before Dan Brown was even born. Decrying every mention of Christ mythicism as “Dan Brown syndrome” is intellectually dishonest. You may not like either the Christ myth or Dan Brown, but throwing them all into the same pot appears a bit juvenile.

    Once again, within this discussion that’s going on here in the comments on this article, you’re now seeing the reason I refuse to read any more books on this subject (and I repeat, from either angle). The whole issue has devolved into sanctimonious recriminations and bellicose whining. It really needs to freaking stop already. As Rodney King once asked, “Can we all get along?”

  • Jim Reed

    In a way the Republican party is not the party of the elected politicians. It is the money behind the scenes that is directing traffic. The politicians could be changed out if necessary.

    The fiscal conservatives are currently wedded to the social conservatives, but it is not an equal partnership. Christians would have a hard time making a break with the Republican party because that would mean facing their disastrous mistake, and admitting a mistake is something that goes against the Christian way. Making changes here would probably take generations.

    In the other direction fiscal conservatives are just in the relationship for the votes. The moment they think Christians can’t deliver elections, and they see another path, they will drop the partnership. The Republican party is the money, and any political setback is only temporary. The money is still there, and it will immediately be in the market for the next most efficient voting block that can be bought.

  • Jim Reed

    Everyone I know is a Christian, and they are the source of my information.

  • Jim Reed

    A little heresy can be a good thing. The problems stem from people being too accepting of church teachings.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “What the dominionist purports to teach is an interpretation of scripture that makes the case for Christian rule of the whole world.”

    Correct. And let’s be honest: What Christian doesn’t want hear that? What Christian isn’t going to assume his/her status in a dominionist world wouldn’t be elevated? What Christian isn’t going to be tempted by such an idea?

    This was kind of the point I’d been steering toward without really saying it out loud: It almost doesn’t matter what the denominations’ official positions on dominionism are. The Christian masses are going to do whatever they feel like doing. And if dominionism makes them feel good, they’re going to support it. Their own denominations’ leaders be damned.

    Of course, it’s possible the denominations’ leaders could grab them by the lapels (figuratively speaking) and shake some sense into them. It’s possible they could make a public issue of their opposition to dominionism. It’s possible they could declare some of these Republican characters anathema and find ways to tear them down. It would take a lot of work, and would require even more courage … but it’s possible.

    I suppose. Not that I expect it. Just saying it’s possible.

    So tell me again why it’s not being done already … ? Hmm?

  • Jim Reed

    The word is the Christianity of Paul contains nothing of the gospels, and it is decades earlier, and it is THE oldest written record of Christianity. This seems to say the gospels are false. I don’t see how you could come to any other conclusion, except through apologetics which is just trying to justify believing in your religion to yourself.

  • cranefly

    “[A] religion reveals itself when it has political and economic power.”

    I have been trying to figure out what this means. I suppose we tribal adherents to a religion may naively believe that representatives of our same tribe can only behave magnanimously, because of the Divine Light we expect God to infuse all believers with. So when our representatives are powerful, and their actions are widely public, we can expect to see their Divine Light shine for the world to see, or to notice its absence.

    But everyone, no matter who you cast out of your tribe True Scotsman-style (Barack Obama or Pat Robertson or whoever) has to know that anyone can wear a religion like a hat, especially in politics. The Bible has predictions that Christians will, and we’ve been accusing each other of it since the days of angry old St. Jerome. The only thing every Christian has in common is the name of their god/hero and a story about its life. They don’t agree on what is allowed or forbidden or required by their religion, on authority, on beliefs, how a True Christian should use power, or even whether or not a True Christian can be powerful. What gets revealed to the world by powerful “Christians”? The emptiness of the word “Christian,” probably the emptiness of any tribal designation among those in the high ranks of a globalized capitalist economy, the predictable machinations of power and ideology, and not much else that I can see.

    Is that kinda what the article is saying? That this vacuum of meaning is dangerous for Christianity, but also an opportunity?

  • Jim Reed

    Paul is what we do have. Q and the other written and oral traditions are what we don’t have, and don’t know about. There are a lot of misconceptions because Christianity depends on them, and has spent thousands of years constructing them. The new book is probably the best source to start to make some sense of it all, unless you are a Christian and you don’t want to know.

  • Jim Reed

    Christians in America have traditionally been an easy voting block to manipulate. That gives them power, although they might not have ability to direct how the power is used.

  • NelsonRobison

    Frankly the thought of the leaders of the denominations putting their bully pulpits to use is one idea that makes sound sense. The fact is the leaders of the denominations are somewhat scared of the reactions of their congregants, the mainstream denominations may be losing the numbers that they need to maintain their power base. But what is clearly evident is that the Far Right Fringe Squirrel Nut Jobz of the Republican Party have taken over the discourse of this nation both political and religious, to the point where they now dictate the discourse and obstruct the business of the nation. No longer is compromise the means of political work but the expedient thing to do is to obstruct every move, every bill every piece of legislation that comes to help the people of this nation. And the ones who are doing this? The ones who are obstructing the business of the people are none other than those who proclaim themselves, patriots, lovers of the Constitution, Christians one and all. They have forgotten that their primary objective is to tend to “the Father’s” business rather than obstruct the business of the people.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “Q and the other written and oral traditions are what we don’t have, and don’t know about.”

    But we DO have Q. It left unmistakable traces in the synoptics. To say it cannot have existed is, as things stand, incredibly laughable. If you don’t think the synoptics don’t have a common source, then how would you explain the portions they share … in a lot of cases, word for word?

    No wait, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know. Anyone who would posit that the synoptics don’t have a common source must, by definition, be a loon, and I don’t want to have to deal with delusions.

    Re: “The new book is probably the best source to start to make some sense of it all …”

    I repeat: I am absolutely, totally, 100% uninterested in any more books that pretend to know anything about “the historical Jesus.” All such books … every last one of them, told from whatever angle … are lies. I will not read any more of them, not even at gunpoint.

    Re: … unless you are a Christian and you don’t want to know.

    I’m not a Christian. I’ve never once posted anything anywhere that could be plausibly construed as suggesting I am one. Unless you’ve made that determination due solely to my stated agnostic position on Jesus’ historicity. As far as I’m concerned that’s foolish, but if you wish to be a fool about it, by all means, don’t let me stop you.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “I don’t know what you’ve been reading (The Dan Brown school of Biblical history/theology, perhaps? )”

    Again with your whining about Dan Brown? Just stop already. It’s childish. Dan Brown did not invent the Christ myth position (he couldn’t have, because it existed before he was born). Lots of Christ myth proponents have nothing to do with Dan Brown.

    You’re just going to have to get Dan Brown out of your system.

  • cranefly

    80% of America self-identifies as Christian. At that point, you have something too broad to be a voting block. You may have a subset voting block waving the Christian flag more wildly, and using Christian tribal rhetoric more forcefully radicalize the members of their block, but that does not make a definition for True Christianity (which does not exist, because it cannot be known) exist.

  • Jim Reed

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to say You were a Christian. I just meant that about Christians in general. Often what I write is not about you even if it is in a response to you, but is just a general statement for everyone. Sometimes my wording might seem misleading, and that is probably deliberate.

    Mark was first and others copied him. The details are what is up for discussion. If you really want to find about Christian origins the last place to look might be Christianity

  • Jim Reed

    They would just rather fix the problems under a Republican president. The last Republican president was such a disaster, if they can mess up the country under the Democrat, then fix some of the things under a Republican, they will finally feel vindicated. It might take a lot of messing up in order to make sure people will elect a Republican next time.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    From the fact that Paul is earlier than the Gospels, nothing whatsoever follows regarding whether they are “false” or not. That’s just a straightforward non-sequitur.

    I have no dog in this fight. I am a Jew and do not believe *anything* in the New Testament. But the idea that the only people who think Jesus actually existed are “apologists” is just loopy. The majority of scholars who study the period think Jesus existed, and they are hardly “apologists.”

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Sorry, but there is no”consensus”.The historicity of pinning down who Christ is is muddled on in the minds of those who, as you said…”have arrived at the conclusion that He was a myth, possibly non-existent, for reasons of their own”…Exactly.But the question still remains: Can they make a valid, compelling historical reason as to why they think Jesus didn’t exist, in contradiction to the overwhelming scholarly consensus that He did? (And consensus IS correctly used in this context.).As for Dan Brown, I was merely using as an example of the lazy pseudo- historical research that passes for scholarship nowadays.From the very early beginning of the Christian faith, who Jesus was was hotly debated; no one disputes that. But that He didn’t exist?? I don’t mean to be harsh, but only a small, lunatic fringe believes that, or ever made such an absurd claim. And Paul’s focus and mission was directed elsewhere; it wasn’t his call to repeat the Gospel”stories”, nor was it necessary. Who are you reading?

  • NelsonRobison

    Yet what they’ve done is to completely obstruct the business of the people, all the while spouting the bullshit line that President Obama is unable to or doesn’t want to work with the Republican Party on matters of importance to the American people.

  • JCF

    “It will be difficult to convince anyone that this Republican
    Christianity is not authentic Christianity because a religion reveals
    itself when it has political and economic power.”

    And this is why, much more than disbelief in the supernatural, Christianity is dying in the United States.

  • JCF

    Remember that it is “conservative Christianity” (that is, Fundamentalism, and its kinder-faced sibling, {U.S.} Evangelical Protestantism) which is the “new thing”. Pre 19th century Christianity didn’t know from “Biblical literalism/plain reading of Scripture” or the “Four Spiritual Laws” “Are you saved?/Are you born again?” or anything to do w/ Pentecostalism.

    Yes, liberal religion is new, too (historical-critical Biblical scholarship, and all the scientific advances we bring to scholarship: e.g. carbon-14 dating of manuscripts&artifacts). But Fundamentalism/(U.S.) Evangelical Protestantism are REACTIONS to liberalism: they don’t pre-date it.

  • Jim Reed

    As long as half of the people will believe it, that is probably the most effective approach.

  • Jim Reed

    I see your point, but the new conservative evangelicalism (the last 30 or 40 years) has been so successful that a new liberal protestantism needs to become a counter reaction, only they don’t yet seem to know how that can be done. It is a double edged sword for them. The only way to make progress is to eliminate the bad doctrines of the evangelicals, but then in the long run they risk having no doctrines left.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “Sorry, but there is no’consensus’.”

    All the more reason, then, for you not to have used an appeal to consensus as a basis for your argument. (In addition to it being a fallacy in the first place.)

    Re: “But the question still remains: Can they make a valid, compelling historical reason as to why they think Jesus didn’t exist, in contradiction to the overwhelming scholarly consensus that He did?”

    So, after saying there is no consensus … after having used an appeal to consensus earlier … you now state explicitly that there is a consensus after all. Hmm. Seems you’re all over the map.

    In any event, to be clear, I find BOTH positions (i.e. that there MUST have been a historical Jesus, and that there CANNOT have been a historical Jesus) to be deficient. My point was that there are Christ myth theorists who’ve laid out their own reasoning and who have no connection with Dan Brown. Their reasoning rises or falls on its own without any input from Dan Brown.

    Re: “As for Dan Brown, I was merely using as an example of the lazy pseudo- historical research that passes for scholarship nowadays.”

    Ah. So you admit you used an intellectually dishonest technique to dismiss people. Thanks for that.

    Re: “But that He didn’t exist?? I don’t mean to be harsh, but only a small, lunatic fringe believes that, or ever made such an absurd claim.”

    OK, so here you used another appeal to consensus. Really, you’re going to have to make up your mind already. Is there a consensus in the first place? You’ve said both that there is, and there isn’t. But even if there were one, it’s still a fallacy to use this line of reasoning in your argumentation. Please just stop with it already.

    Oh, and yes, you DO “mean to be harsh.”

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “Mark was first and others copied him.”

    Yes, Mark was also a source for the other synoptics. But Matthew and Luke also have material in common that wasn’t in Mark, and some of that common material is the same, word for word, in both. How do you account for that if you don’t accept they both had another, non-Mark, source?

    Re: “The details are what is up for discussion.”

    Correct, but that doesn’t mean Q cannot have existed.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “But what is clearly evident is that the Far Right Fringe Squirrel Nut Jobz of the Republican Party have taken over the discourse of this nation both political and religious, to the point where they now dictate the discourse and obstruct the business of the nation.”

    OK, but what are all those supposedly non-dominionist denomination leaders doing to seize back “the discourse of this nation”? Please let me know. It’s quite possible I’m blind, because I don’t see it.

    Or have they all just surrendered? If so, they’ve effectively signed up to have the GOP in the driver’s seat and are just going to have to accept the consequences of that decision.

  • Jim Reed

    If you study what is and is not in Paul, you might be able to make some conclusions about where Christianity came from. Paul is the oldest record of Christian beliefs, and he wrote about 20,000 words, and referred to Jesus about 300 times. What I learnd from the new book is,

    “Paul’s Jesus is only ever in the heavens. Never once is his baptism mentioned, or his ministry, or his trial, or any of his miracles, or any historical details about what he was like, what he did, or suffered, or where he was fron, or where he had been, or what people he knew. No memories from those who knew him are ever reported. Paul never mentions Galilee or Nazareth, or Pilate or Mary or Joseph, or any miracles Jesus did or any miraculous powers he is supposed to have displayed … or anything about the lfe of Jesus not in the Gospels. Paul never references any event in Jesus’ life as an example to follow (beyond the abstractions of love, endurance and submissivenes), and never places aything Jesus said in any earthly historical context whatever.”

    Paul talks of his crucifixion in a heavenly context, and of Jesus appearing to Apostles in visions. Nothing about anyone seeing him in real live.

  • Sean M

    “If you perceive Christ as myth…

    Christ can be both real and a myth. God was born, lived his life, died and was resurrected. One can see that as a reality, yet at the same time understand that some of the events recorded by human beings in the bible are actually ‘myths’ that were generated by a real event.

    The bible is complex and must be studied deeply for it’s truths to be revealed. Humans are flawed. Even when inspired by god, we can create imperfect output.

  • NelsonRobison

    PsiCop it’s not really the GOP that is in control of the Dominionists, rather it’s the Squirrel Nut Jobz of the Wing Nut Christian brigade that have taken control of the GOP. Too often now the “moral majority,” the dominionists or whatever you wish to term them, but they are “Far Right Christians,” nonetheless have taken control of the discourse.

    As for the leaders of the mainline denominations, since I neither attend for wish to attend churches such as these I cannot be sure of the intentions of the leaders. I would hope that something is being done or at least discussed about the dominionists and their abhorrent doctrine.

    As for what we can do, well those who are still a part of the mainline denominations can and should speak up about the dominionists and their plans for a Christian caliphate.

  • NelsonRobison

    Sadly your assessment is correct Jim. But the tactic that can and should turn this quagmire around is education and lots of it. Every time we all hear or read of any of the bullshit of the Far Right we must counter their b.s. with facts because facts are not controvertible or changeable to fit the needs of the person who is spouting the nonsense.

  • Jim Reed

    I guess it means you can study who copied from who when. It seems like Q couldn’t have been a source of Christianity in Paul’s time because he wrote decades earlier, and he didn’t use Q.

  • Jim Reed

    Before even looking for any “truths” to be revealed, you can look at the overall construction of the Bible, and find out Christianity had a written record in Paul that had none of the gospel stories, and decades later the gospels were invented. Christianity was evolving through the decades and centuries as a function of the church, and it was not based on some man named Jesus. I don’t think you can have earlier Christianity with no actual human at the base, then a lifetime later put the story of a human at the base, and also believe it is real. Of course religions were doing exactly that back in those days, but that is how we end up with religions that are not actually true.

  • Jim Reed

    I guess RD is a good place for that.

  • Jim Reed

    Those mainline churches should have done something about it back when Bush came to power, if not sooner. But they were probably following the crowd and helping put Bush in power, so now it is hard to see and admit the mistake. I have confidence that as things continue to decay, at some point the mainline churches will wake up. They can’t just continue forever watching things get worse and worse, can they?

  • fredx2

    It’s weird when Christians write hate letters like this one, trying to show that other Christians, who do not have the “right Christianity” are evil.

    Such things are usually written when the writer is far more engaged in politics than religion.

  • Jim Reed

    It does make some sense that people would be upset with Christianity, even other Christians. They did come together and elect Bush who wanted to be the war president. Then he ended up being the torture president, and evangelical Christians turned out to be the segment of society most accepting of the concept of torture.

    The Christian right became engaged in politics, and now when it comes back to bite them they accuse those who point it out of being more engagad in politics than religion.

  • NelsonRobison

    Yes RD is a good place for education and helping others to see the truth about the Far Right. We need to make contact with others who will share the load to help others. It is a shame that America has become such a strident nation of believers. It really started with the Southern Strategy that Richard Nixon put in place. It continued with Ronald Reagan and Lee Atwater who really made the Southern Strategy a viable strategy for enlisting the former Southern Democrats who were dissatisfied with the “big tent” of the Democratic Party.

  • Jim Reed

    I thought they were dissatisfied with Johnson signing the civil rights legislation. Lincoln freed the slaves, and the south reacted by becoming Democrat. Then when Johnson signed civil rights legislation, they became Republicans, and that is how it stands. Johnson knew he was giving up the South, but he felt it was the right thing to do.

  • Lamont Cranston

    And that’s everything I need to know about you.

  • NelsonRobison

    The “blue bloods” of the South have always felt that they were better than the rest of the nation. They felt entitled to whatever they thought that they could want and get and they wanted to continue slavery as a way of not having to work themselves. When the Civil War started it was because the South wanted to continue the institution of slavery forever, they thought of the African-Americans as less than human and they looked on African-Americans as having the stain of “the curse of Ham.”

  • NelsonRobison

    Jim the problem is that under the shrubs regime the Far Right and the mainline denominations were instrumental in helping elect the shrub. Because of his overt “Christianity” the Far Right worked the polls to stifle the votes of Democrats and progressives throughout this nation. In the future we must demand that the polling places be sacrosanct and treated like the SCOTUS. We must work for the future of this nation or it will become what Margaret Atwood envisioned in The Handmaids Tale. A theocratic state built on principles of the Bible which would be devastating to freedom of conscience and freedom of worship.

  • knerd

    Ancient theological formulations are no longer compelling or persuasive in a global culture. Christianity is under attack from atheists, agnostics, the “un-churched” (a fast-growing demographic according to Christian polling), those who claim to be “spiritual” and not “religious” as well as people who have never cared about Christendom in the first place. Instead of saying “My God is better than yours” or putting believers in a special enclave, or marginalizing all others, we need to get a new theology. I call this studying the unique “voice print” of Jesus of Nazareth; taking him seriously, not literally. He was an iconoclast who has been made into an icon. I believe Jesus was pointing to something he called the Kingdom of God, but today’s believers have gotten hung up on staring and commenting on his pointing finger. Just my own thoughts and beliefs….

  • Jim Reed

    We need to learn to work together to form a society that works for everyone. When religions look to a Kingdom of God, it always ends in trouble. The more seriously they take it, the bigger the trouble.

  • bdlaacmm

    The unquestionably Christian Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan, Martin Luther King… heck, even Jimmy Carter or Pope Francis… would have a few things to say to these “Christians” in today’s Republican Party.

    Remember always the words of Jesus Himself, when asked to intervene in an economic squabble between two of His countrymen: “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” (Luke 12:14). God does not take sides in our political battles.

  • Forgiven Sinner

    Republicans in Congress oppose President Obama’s policies. Your implication that they dislike him “personally” is a not-so veiled charge of racism. Put Tim Scott or Allen West in the White House, and your accusation is exposed as a lie. You also imply what you seem to criticize – that “real” Christians should agree with liberal, Democratic policies across the board. Both Republicans and Democrats take God’s name in vain – claiming that Jesus would be on their side. Jesus would be on neither. He came to free the poor and oppressed from sin – not to lead a political or social movement.

  • Theo

    Ringo, PsiCop has won this debate. There are legitimate scholars who have done extensive biblical analyses and posited that he may not have existed, but was one of a number of savior figures, either wholly his own or made up of the attributes of several others. There are at least 17 other savior figures similar to Christ that were known of in the ancient world when Christianity was forming under the influences of the Jews and the Greeks. There is no proof, one way or the other, for the existence of Jesus, as the testimony of Josephus, an historical figure, once the only source for the actual historical Jesus, has now been proven to be false. I personally tend to think that a Christ figure did exist, but fully believe his attributes were the result of the Hebrew tradition of midrash, where Hebrew writers would change and embellish a story for the purposes of religious and moral instruction, so that his attributes and the details of his life evolved under the hand of each writer and that is why the gospels are so often in contradiction. Each of the gospel writers had a different purpose in mind and a different audience to convince. The gospels themselves are definitely examples of midrash, as has been extensively shown. Even in the letters of St. Paul, which come well before the four gospels in time, Paul may not be speaking of a real flesh and blood Jesus who actually existed on earth but may be speaking of a savior figure who died and was resurrected in heaven, not on earth. See the various writings of Robert M. Price, among others.

  • Theo

    Jim Reed is absolutely correct in his statement about St. Paul.

  • Jim Reed

    It’s Richard Carrier’s statement from his new book.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “It seems like Q couldn’t have been a source of Christianity in Paul’s time because he wrote decades earlier, and he didn’t use Q.”

    You assume FAR too much when you assume Q cannot possibly have existed in Paul’s time because nothing he says reflects it. Unfortunately there is NO validity to this notion. There are at least three other possibilities:

    1. Q existed, and Paul knew about it, but he rejected it and didn’t let it seep into his letters.

    2. Q existed, but Paul was unaware of it, thus nothing he said seems to show it.

    3. Q existed; Paul knew about it; but he considered it prosaic or otherwise well-known to his audiences and just didn’t see the need to elaborate on it.

    Please demonstrate that none of these is possible.

  • Jim Reed

    You are saying maybe Paul did know about the stories of Jesus in his day, but he just didn’t care about them. That seems unlikely. We still have no evidence that those stories were there at that time, we still have the written record not showing those stories, and we still have a world that wants to be blinded by apologetics so that it can believe in the missing Jesus. We also have gospels that were obviously making things up.

  • James Stagg

    It is really hard, not only to define “Christianity”, but to figure out who are “real” Christians. Do you have any Democrat adherents/examples of this supposed religion? Who, then, do you hold up as the example of the “perfect” Christian? Personally, I do not know of ANY, including all the elite of Washington, DC.

  • Jim Reed

    From that perspective it does become hard to define Christianity. Try seeing Christianity as not a good thing. Then it is not as hard, and finding the real Christians is easy.

  • revyrev32

    In reading through both the article and the responses it seems that all have missed the larger point. The problems that plague our nation are systemic of a greater issue. Both Republicans and Democrats have convinced themseves that they alone have the answers. Until the two sides push aside their own bias and agenda we will turn upside down every 3 to 4 years depending on who has the power.

  • Jim Reed

    Both sides see things from the selfish point of view, and how they can express their own interests. The Republicans see things from the point of view of that fraction of 1% of the richest who have the resources to exercise control of mostly everything. The Democrats try to advance the interests of the bulk of people between the very poor and the very rich. Fortunately for the rich, no matter what happens to the economy or who is in power, they keep getting richer. Unfortunately for the Democrats, in the last 50 or 60 years the rich have raised the gap between them and the rest of the nation about ten fold. It seems like there should be some kind of political solution here, but that would involve people thinking, and that is hard to do in a nation so dominated by propaganda.

  • James Stagg

    Why define the movement negatively, when you cannot identify the “perfect” person who represents the movement? It’s like defining the “perfect” atheist, or the perfect Muslim or Hindu or Democrat or Republican. If it MUST be a perfect group, then it MUST have a perfect example?

  • Jim Reed

    Christianity is composed of imperfect people, and considering the religion as a whole, it is bad for the world, and dangerous to our future. The sum total of Christianity certainly is worse than the people who are part of it.

  • James Stagg

    And your “perfect” world and future consists of……………..Islam? Atheism? Communism? Socialism? What is your version of 1984?

  • Jim Reed

    My version of a better world would be one where elections in Florida were more open and honest, and Bush didn’t win. Then we wouldn’t have the Roberts court, and unions and social programs would be doing better. I know there are good people in Christianity, and they might want to help the poor and all that. But when they get done acting as a group, we have Bush elected, and war and torture and all that comes from having conservatives in power. I blame Christianity because they are the votes that got us here. Once again, I know there are good Christians, but when they take their religion too seriously we all suffer.

  • James Stagg

    But, Jim, you are begging the (my) question: What “system” or “philosophy” is going to protect the world from this type of interference (democracy, I think it is called)?

  • Jim Reed

    I guess you are right. Now that Christianity is political, there is no way we can protect ourselves from the damage they cause, until we just get so tired of it that we throw them all out of office. I doubt I will be around then.

  • James Stagg

    You dance well, Jim, but I haven’t yet picked up the name of the tune.

  • Jim Reed

    Thanks

  • ScarletPimpernel

    ‘The counterfeit here is the collective spirit, the shared attitude they exhibit together (like a church). That collective spirit has very little to do with the worship of a marginalized Jew, named Jesus, who came to free the poor and oppressed. This counterfeit Christian community worships power, desires control, and imagines the world revolving around self-sufficient men (and a few women).’

    The “collective spirit”? You perfectly describe the Left and the Democratic Party, sir, both of which demand adherence to the party line.

  • Sean M

    Yes, Spong talks about that in his books. I don’t think that detracts from the life of Christ though… it just shows us different sources, and different points of view. I try to sit in that spot right between the scholar and the monk when I study the bible.

    Another good source for info is the Open Yale lectures on the New Testament by Dale Martin. (They have an Old Testament course by Christine Hayes that is also good). I think we each must study this stuff on our own and then come to our own conclusions, and cultivate our own relationship with God.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “You are saying maybe Paul did know about the stories of Jesus in his day, but he just didn’t care about them.”

    Again, you take one of the possibilities I stated and assume it’s the only one I offered. It’s not. But you can just go right ahead and act as though it is. It’d be wrong of you to do it, but please, don’t let me stop you.

    To be clear: It’s “possible” Paul was aware of Q but didn’t agree with its content and saw no reason to include it in his own letters. People do that all the time (just read David Barton’s lunatic tripe sometime).

    It’s also “possible” that Q existed but that Paul was unaware of it. You irrationally assume that, had Q existed, it MUST have forced its way … somehow … into Paul’s letters. But you don’t explain the mechanism by which you think this force worked. I invite you to explain the nature of this magical force, if you can.

    Re: “… we still have the written record not showing those stories …”

    I guess you weren’t aware of the old adage that “an absence of evidence is not evidence of a lack.” In any event, we DO NOT “lack” evidence of a Q. You keep insisting there is none, but there is.

    Re: “… we still have a world that wants to be blinded by apologetics …”

    Once again you wail about “apologetic blindness” and assume that’s the only reason why people might think there’s some historical person behind the Jesus Christ of Christian legend. You conveniently leave out the evidence that we have (which you don’t subjectively like, but too bad, it is what it is and it doesn’t vanish merely because you dislike it), such as the aforementioned Q that you continue to insist cannot have existed even though it (or something like it) almost certainly had to have existed.

    The more you continue to deny what’s plain, the more your caterwauling about “apologetic blindness” tells me about your own “blindness.” It’s hypocritical at best (although, since you’re not a Christian, you’re free to be a hypocrite if you want).

  • Jim Reed

    If you want to understand the religion, then you study the courses and the teachers. If you want to know where Christianity came from, then you study history. If you want a relationship with God, then you make one up.

  • Jim Reed

    Maybe Paul knew about Q, and maybe he didn’t care because Q was a record of sayings of a group of apocalyptic preachers, or the other Q was a list of quotes from son of man preachers, and it was much later when these things were turned into quotes from Jesus. Whatever record of Christianity there was back then, Paul is the only part that got into the Bible. Any other messianic religion from the first century that didn’t make it into the Bible or any other record, and never made it out of the first century probably isn’t very important, and there were a lot of those.

    Apologetics has long been a way for people to make themselves happy with beliefs that don’t have actual logical reasonings behind them. Knowing that is important for an understanding of Christianity, back in those ancient times, and especially in this modern world.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “Whatever record of Christianity there was back then, Paul is the only part that got into the Bible.”

    Sigh. Wrong. Q got in the Bible. It’s part of Matthew and Luke.

    You just don’t get it. You really don’t. You’re just as oblivious as the apologists you’ve whined about. Sorry I wasted my time.

  • Jim Reed

    Q was not another gospel in the time of Paul. If it was, it would have had big influence on him. His Jesus was the Jesus of visions, and old testament passages. People like to see Q as an early version of the gospels, but that is just because they don’t have much to work with. They rely on Q because we don’t have it, and so they can make it into whatever they need. What we do have is Paul, and that is the early written record of Christianity, and it doesn’t have gospel Jesus, just the Jesus that they found in the old testament and dreamed visions about to fill in the details. It takes historical study to try to understand religion in that early time, and that is the strength of the new book.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “Q was not another gospel in the time of Paul. If it was, it would have had big influence on him.”

    Please explain this magical force you think Q would have exerted on Paul if it existed in his time. Please. I’m DYING to know how it worked.

    Re: “People like to see Q as an early version of the gospels, but that is just because they don’t have much to work with.”

    Nevertheless, it WAS a source for the synoptics. Even if you’d rather it weren’t.

    Re: “They rely on Q because we don’t have it, and so they can make it into whatever they need.”

    Some might, but anyone who’s intellectually honest will admit Q has limits: Its contents, however speculative, can never be more than the non-Markan material that Matthew and Luke share.

    Re: “It takes historical study to try to understand religion in that early time, and that is the strength of the new book.”

    “Historical study” makes it clear that Q existed. Even if you’d rather deny it. Waah waah waaah.

  • James Stagg

    Gotcha.

  • Jim Reed

    If Q was written as a record of the life of Jesus, and was what Christians at that time thought about Jesus, it would have been of interest to Paul. If it was wise sayings from preachers, it wouldn’t mean much. It would be just a potential source to crib from, the kind of thing the gospel writers would later need. Looking at the actual written record of the time, Q was not an earlier telling of the gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.

  • GregAbdul

    This is nice and true Pastor Jennings. Those Republicans certainly don’t believe much in feeding the poor. Instead of magically spreading five loaves and fish, these guys suck all the money and healing out of the room and turn their noses and hate those who have not.

  • Jim Reed

    They might not actually hate them. It is just that when the different fiscal conservatives get done taking the money they need, there is none left over. Individually they don’t want all that much, but collectively it turns out to be a load that is hard for the nation to bear.

  • GregAbdul

    okay…not the first time I overstated something….I’ll go along with you. They are not hateful as much as they are so greedy they leave entire nations starving in their wake….better?

  • Jim Reed

    Right, but just remember. Conservatives don’t actually want to destroy this country. It is just that collectively that is what their actions do, and since their individual well being is always the prime consideration, they want the government out of the way so that the process can continue and they can each individually get more rich. Hopefully everything works out in the end.

  • sabbath7

    Jeez, an awful lot of overly sensitive “Christian” right-winger Republicans here. Very sensitive about being called mean names. Meanwhile conservative Republicans and avowed “Christians” constantly refer to Obama and Dems as “Socialists”, as “UnAmerican”, as not “Real Americans”. And where are all these sensitive “Christians” when Dems are being called names? Silence! Crickets! No, these phony poor-hating vicious thuggish neo-fascist right-wing conservative “Christians” are liars, hypocrites and a God Forsaken abomination in the eyes of Christ. They are vicious racists to the very core. They worship greed and selfishness. They spit on the poor and the sick and the elderly. No, these phony whiners are low-lifes. They are Republicans.

  • m8lsem

    It seems plain to me that the Jesus whose teachings I’ve studied would be appalled by the views of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives … the Jesus whose day to day work was helping the poor and the sick and the otherwise afflicted, teaching that our own mission in life should be the same … this is the Jesus of the do’s, not of the don’ts.

  • DC Rambler

    How they read the stories of a Jewish peasant that lived under crushing oppression and turned him into a cosmic judge and capitalist, I can only assume that they in fact rarely actually open the book. I bet if you described Steinbeck’s ” The Grapes of Wrath ” to them they would say it sounds like a family camping adventure.

  • jamson64

    So many stupid liberals here ready and willing to eat this tripe .You love your talking points and your dishonest portrayal of sincere people in Congress. Look in the mirror. No character.

    You can tell the good professor is one brain-washed fool.

    Some of you should look up “classic liberalism”, Many of you are truly modern day liberals but not really liberals but rather statists. Deny all you wish but down deep you know.