Wednesday, May 23, 2012

They never see the irony

   So there was a state representative from Mississippi calling for the killing of gay people in the news just the other day...but that's not what I'm really here to talk about. What he said included, "The only opinion that counts is God’s: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13." Leviticus is the verse that calls for the killing of gay people, which I already knew. I was curious about the Romans verse. It states the following:
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
   So I became curious as to the context. Apparently, Paul is telling the Romans how the Big G is taking out his wrath on the nonbelievers...nonbelievers who are supposed to be able to see invisible evidence.
20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
   This is essentially the argument from ignorance. (You can't explain the tides; therefore, God.) Yet, this is still not what I am here to discuss. It is rather the next three verses that I find interesting. (Emphasis mine.)
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
   That sort of sounds familiar...

   Of course, there are a few differences: (1) Christians didn't "exchange the glory of the immortal God" for this image. Instead, they strangely conflate the two. They treat Jesus as both god and mortal human. On the one hand, they try to claim that Jesus "died" for our sins, but then on the other hand they try to claim that Jesus is part of that "immortal God." I'm sorry, but something that is immortal, by definition, cannot die. So either Jesus is (was) mortal and could have died on that cross and then not be part of that "immortal God" or he is immortal and therefore could be part of that "immortal God" but could not die on a cross. It can't be both; that would be a violation of the law of excluded middle. And, finally, (2) there are no "birds and animals and reptiles" in the image. The big irony, still, is that the main Christian image is "made to look like a mortal human being."

   Then again, I already knew Christians are pretty oblivious to irony. They are, after all, very good (or bad, depending on perspective) about ignoring Matthew 6:5-8
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

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