"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Monday, March 17, 2008

Makarios, y'all!

Clearly I'm slipping, or I'd have sooner recalled my mission to require the Beatitudes be posted in all public places (well, if we're going to post the Ten Commandments!). Of course, I wonder what the response would be if we used the Scholar's Version:

Congratulations, you poor!
God's domain belongs to you!

Congratulations, you hungry!
You will have a feast.

Congratulations, you who weep now!
You will laugh.

Damn you rich!
You already have your consolation!

Damn you who are well-fed now!
You will know hunger.

Damn you who laugh now!
You will learn to weep and grieve.
The congratulations are pretty risible, whether you translate makarios as "Congratulations" or "Blessed." And the ouai, rendered here as "Damn you!," is not really a nice reflection on the rich and powerful, no matter how you slice it.

I guess we should ask Mr. Obama and even Mr. McCain (who said that this country should treat immigrants in accordance with our "Judaeo-Christian principles") if they want to denounce these words of Jesus of Nazareth.

After all, fair's fair.


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