Adventus

"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

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

No, Sarah's wrong....


Not that Sarah; Sarah Posner, this time. The one Digby is quoting:

But Sarah's right, both about the innate hypocrisy of the religious right and the useful idiocy of the Religion Industrial Complex. Most importantly, I shouldn't have gotten so lost in my own gleeful snark that I failed to note that using the Bible as the basis of any political argument is antithetical to enlightened democracy. I hereby correct that mistake.
Better we should rely on the Laws of Plato, eh? Or the Nichomachean Ethics? Maybe we should look to Machiavelli? Locke? The Federalist Papers? Jefferson's letters to Baptists? At any rate, we should base political arguments on something we can all agree can and that can be read only one way! Right? Soon as we can find it.....

I mean, when Sarah Posner writes this:

Indeed, for many on the religious right, support for Ryan's government-slashing budget is found . . . in their Bibles.
There's certainly no room to conclude that many of us find support FOR government social programs, and even social justice....in our Bibles. Indeed, support not only in the Gospels but in the dreaded "Old Testament," right back into those Laws of Moses everybody knows bans the eating of cheeseburgers and outlaws homosexuality (which it doesn't, but then the Bible fits Twain's definition of a classic: a book everyone praises (or denigrates) and no one reads).

So I have been chastised and proven wrong again, and I should stop using the Bible as the basis of any political argument, as that makes me antithetical to enlightened* democracy.

After all, it's what Digby said.


*we'll argue over the meaning of "enlightened" another day

7 Comments:

Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

I failed to note that using the Bible as the basis of any political argument is antithetical to enlightened democracy.

Someone should have told the Founding Fathers.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antithetical to enlightened democracy.

I'd think the political engagement of Quakers in the 17th-19th centuries would certainly refute that. Not to mention many others.

I'm finding less and less in the "enlightened" blogs. More and more I'm finding that they're a lot more interested in an atheist party line than in real life, an accurate account of history or even the truth. Modern liberalism has ceased to be liberal, it's too busy being modern and up to date and atheistic to know enough of the truth to become free.

Or as one of my favorite artists said:

"It seems to me that to organize on the basis of feeding people or righting social injustice and all that is very valuable. But to rally people around the idea of modernism, modernity, or something is simply silly. I mean, I don't know what kind of a cause that is, to be up to date. I think it ultimately leads to fashion and snobbery and I'm against it."

Jack Levine: January 3, 1915 – November 8, 2010

Anthony McCarthy

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at Digby's post, I notice a lot of the comments aren't buying into it.

A.M.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Thanks for the quote, Anthony.

And I'll have to check the comments at Digby. Sounds interesting.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

The comments are on topic AND intelligent.

Something I'm not used to at popular blogs (of which this is not one!)

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I transcribed it from what Levine said on the Robert Hughes series about American art on PBS, American Visions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR4MwompiQw

Right before the end at about 10:00

A.M.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your blog (and the comments you leave at other blogs) - it's one of 3 religious blogs I check frequently (along with Slactivist and the Sarcastic Lutheran). Love Digby's blog, too, so I'm kind of torn. I guess Twain's quote kind of marks out a useful middle ground. The right wing has the problem of quoting things they think are in the Bible (but aren't) and selectively quoting from the Bible to support their positions. I think Digby is perhaps saying that many liberal positions reflect but are not dependent on any particular book. These positions happen to be positions that would be professed by compassionate humans, regardless of their religion or non-religion.

It's like the stories you describe in your next post. A storm hits your city, your neighborhood loses power, and different people from different backgrounds come out of their homes and get to know each other in a friendly way. Except in your case, of course. I imagine your neighbor giving you a side-long glance and then checking his Bible to see if he should talk to this RMJ fellow. :)

On a possibly related note, I've long wondered why so little importance is given to Jesus' life - the Crucifixion and Resurrection are the defining aspects of Christianity. Paul makes no mention of Jesus' life and the Nicene/Apostle Creeds skip over his life. Something to think on ...

4:42 PM  

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