Jackson “We have a philosophical or at least semantic disagreement”
I disagree, I think we have a factual disagreement - where in the bible does it say in the texts for Christians to be “liberal”, “moderate” or “democratic”? NOWHERE!
Many Christians would consider these types of Christians to be “cafeteria Christians” picking and choosing what they like only to leave what they don’t like behind. That’s not true moderation, that’s simply half-assed Christianity. Lets call it what it really is and “moderate” is not it. That would be a glorified term used to replace “half-assed.” This is why Christians follow or try to elect those leaders who actually have the courage of their convictions. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell etc. come to mind.
And I’ll agree that many Christians practice Christianity in this way today but the texts have not changed, people have. Where is the New, moderate, democratic version of the New Testament? Nowhere, they’re still using a similar bible like the Catholic church used during the Inquisitions.
Jackson “Christians don’t tolerate slavery today, but slavery was accepted at the time of Christ. It was kind of a difficult transition.”
Slavery? Why didn’t Jesus put an end to slavery? Why didn’t God include it in the 10 Commandments?
According to Jesus, how should slaves be treated?
“They should be beaten for disobedience, but not more severely than they deserve.—Jesus never denounced slavery: he endorsed it! He incorporated it into his teachings as if it were the most natural order (which it was for the biblical writers who didn’t know any better). Why doesn’t the bible—supposedly inspired by an all-loving deity—ever hint that there is something wrong with such a brutal social institution? If it were not for the influence of the bible (see answer ‘d’ below), the appalling American slave trade might have been curtailed, along with the bloody Civil War.
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.” (Luke 12:47-48) The entire context (Luke 12:41-48) shows that this is not part of a parable—it is the explanation of a parable, after Peter asked a question. But even if it were a parable, it would carry the same weight as a teaching of Jesus.
The word “servant” above is doulos, which means “slave” in Greek, and is correctly rendered “slave” by the NRSV, NAS, Scholar’s Version, and others. “Shall” meant “should,” as Jesus adds: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” (Luke 12:48)
Jesus incorporated slavery into his parables as if it were the most natural order, only cautioning masters to beat some slaves less severely than others (Luke 12:46-47). The Heaven’s Gate cult, like Origen, accepted Jesus’ advice: “There be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19:12)
“Religion has been used to justify war, slavery, sexism, racism, homophobia, mutilations, intolerance, and oppression of minorities. The totalitarianism of religious absolutes chokes progress.” http://www.ffrf.org/nontracts/freethinker.php
Jackson “religions ‘evolve’”
Is it the religion that has evolved or rather, the people themselves? The Idea that Christianity has become moderate is based in euphoria. The texts haven’t changed (bad translations, errors, forgeries aside) only SOME of the interpretations have and this has happened largely due to outside pressure - PEOPLE. The first 4 of the 10 Commandments are theological directives that are unconstitutional and only 3 are actual laws. People and society has changed and therefore Christians (PEOPLE) had to make the necessary adjustments. Not the other way around. To proudly proclaim that Christianity is democratic and moderate is to give it undue credit that it does not deserve - thank the PEOPLE who helped to make those necessary adjustments, not the bible.
A Constitution that conforms to Biblical Law will rely on the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament as its guiding source. Dominionist lawmakers are trying to pass legislation in various state legislatures that would allow government posting of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.
What is the real motivation behind the Ten Commandments campaign? The Ten Commandments are the foundation of Biblical Law, so placing them in public buildings has great symbolic value to Christians. It represents the supremacy of the Bible over the U.S. Constitution. The principle of religious liberty has become the legal tool used to make the U.S. Constitution conform to Biblical Law. http://www.theocracywatch.org/biblical_law2.htm#Ten
“Why The Ten Commandments Shouldn’t Be Posted In Government Buildings”
“What’s Wrong With the Ten Commandments?”
“When you consider that God could have commanded anything he wanted—anything!—the Ten [Commandments] have got to rank as one of the great missed moral opportunities of all time. How different history would have been had he clearly and unmistakably forbidden war, tyranny, taking over other people’s countries, slavery, exploitation of workers, cruelty to children, wife-beating, stoning, treating women—or anyone—as chattel or inferior beings.”
~ Katha Pollitt