A Love/Hate Relationship

A Letter to the Editor of my local paper today brought home to me the “love” we all can experience with religion. The writer was a member of a local non-believers organization and a veteran who fought in  Desert Storm, who marched in a local Memorial Day parade to honor his fallen comrades, especially one in particular. As he marched he was chided rebuked chastised attacked for being an atheist. One good Christian actually yelled, “I’ll put you in a foxhole and kill you”, apparently in response to the banner that honored all servicemen, including those atheists in foxholes.

Can’t you just feel the love? Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

I have a hard time reconciling the overt teachings of Christianity with this type of love for one’s fellow man. Wasn’t it Jesus that said “Love your neighbor as yourself”? Yes, I know he also said that you were supposed to love god first, but it seems that Christians  have reconciled this by rationalizing “well, if they won’t love my god, I don’t have to love them. In fact, I’ll do the opposite”. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where it says that if you find someone who doesn’t love your god, (e.g. an atheist) you should hate them, yet this kind of behavior seems to indicate just that.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not subscribing to some post hoc biblical interpretation, I’m simply trying to understand Christian morality. The Golden Rule is more than enough for me. I don’t need to love a non-existent god in order to be moral, but apparently there are those that disagree. A lot of them.  The ability to hold in one’s moral center the two diametrically opposing emotions of love and hatred, dependent on whether the object of your love/hatred shares your belief in god, is somewhat mind boggling, and if I may come to a point, irrational. But then, belief in a supernatural being is irrational, so why would I be surprised?

In this limited context, the term “Christian love” is oxymoronic. If your love for your fellow man is so dependent on his love of your god, then your love is really another way of saying “hate”. So Christian love becomes Christian hate, Christian bigotry, Christian inanity.

The above Letter to the Editor, when read online, allows comments, and as you might expect, the comments are polarizing. The first commenter, someone named Researchnut, jumps right out of the starting gate missing the letter writer’s point,  heaping scorn on his motivation for writing the letter in the first place. Instead of addressing the point about the anomalous nature of the Christian response, he first denounces anyone who feels it’s necessary to march in a Memorial Day Parade proclaiming their atheism, (ignoring the Christian saturation of Memorial Day). His criticism might be valid if religion wasn’t so omnipresent, but the fact that it is clearly underscores his prejudice.

He then adds insult to injury by implying that the writer’s deceased friend never existed, and that he wrote the letter out of some perverse grab at notoriety. Of course! Atheists don’t believe in god, so, ipso facto, they lie through their teeth about everything. What could be more obvious?

So instead of addressing the letter, he attacks the letter writer, in the process proving the writer’s point.

And he calls him a twit?

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34 thoughts on “A Love/Hate Relationship

  1. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where it says that if you find someone who doesn’t love your god, (e.g. an atheist) you should hate them…

    • “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

    • “And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.” – 2 Corinthians 15:12-13

    • “You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.” – Deuteronomy 7:34

    • “You should not let a sorceress live.” – Exodus 22:17

    • “Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed.” – Exodus 22:19

    • “Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.” – Deuteronomy 13:13-19 (You should read 1-19, though)

    • “If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.” – Deuteronomy 13:7-12

    • “They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” – Revelation 9:4

    • Stone them to death – Deuteronomy 17:2-5

    • Make prophesies, and mom and dad will pierce you through – Zechariah 13:2-3

    • (Jesus talking) “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.” – Matthew 10: 34-36

    And don’t forget, “Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.” – Jeremiah 48:10

  2. To quote someone, possibly quoting myself quoting someone earlier, “If a man is coming to kill you in the afternoon, go kill him in the morning.” I think it’s a Jewish saying, but no matter. It’s nicely pragmatic. Those folk who seem so hellbent on killing me and mine might want to start looking over their shoulders. They seem to forget that I’m human too, and that makes me just as capable of murderous violence as they claim to be. Their choice, their Bible: eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and hell, let’s throw in limb for limb and life for life. See, some of us atheists can do Biblical morality too.

  3. If your love for your fellow man is so dependent on his love of your god, then your love is really another way of saying “hate”.

    Conditional love is a key element of Christianity; their god set the example and even wrote the book, so to speak. Christians will typically say, “God’s love is unconditional. He doesn’t require you to offer burnt sacrifices, or wear certain kinds of clothing, or eat certain kinds of food or anything like that. You don’t have to do anything to earn god’s love or favor. All you have to do is believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved from your sins.” Umm – that “all you have to do” clause is a condition. So, no, god’s love is not unconditional.

  4. The problem starts with the way Christians flog the Bible. They say it is consistent, inerrant, and inspired. They say that no part of the Bible contradicts the rest.

    So then you find a Bible verse that says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” and the contradicting verses become the FINE PRINT. In this case, it becomes “Love your neighbor” if he or she …. is a Christian, goes to church, tithes, obeys the Ten Commandments, agrees with your version of Christianity….etc.

  5. Well, it’s been a while since I visited Loserland, so I guess I’ll pop in and see what lunacy prevails, today. Had a good laugh when I read Fat Philly’s list, and he’s right, Christians have no obligation to love or even like those that would slander their God and/or them. Of course, Ric’s threats had me shitting myself for fear, for a few seconds, then I remembered that picture of him on his blog straddling his bike is probably more than a few decades old, and that he probably shits his Depends on a fairly regular basis, now. Quite indicative of your typical infidel attitude, though, his ranting.

    Yes, and I also noticed that there were a few thinking people that commented on that story you linked that noticed the blatant shit-disturbing atheist practice of dragging their agenda and politics into a solemn event. Just like the virulent fag practice of shoving their “sexuality” in everyone’s faces at parades, some scantily-clad, not concerned that there might be young kids in attendance. You don’t see them getting busted for indecent exposure, though, because they’ve got a lobby looking after them.

    Certainly, no knowledgeable Christian ever goes around saying that God loves unconditionally. Even dogs love conditionally. Typical infidel bullshit for you! Rewriting the Bible seems to be a common thing with the heathen. No, you tow the line in God’s universe the same as you do in Darwin’s. You step off of a cliff, you go down. You slander God or kill His people, you die. Them’s the rules, kiddies, you don’t like ’em, tough shit! The main difference between infidels and believers, though, is that Christians are smart enough to know which is the winning side.

    Go ahead… hate my guts, for all I care! I’ll try not to let it bother me too much throughout eternity, while I’m enjoying an Earth made new in the way it was originally intended, out of the dust and residue left over from a zillion or so infidels that placed their own self-esteem above that of the One that created them!

    • Certainly, no knowledgeable Christian ever goes around saying that God loves unconditionally. Even dogs love conditionally. Typical infidel bullshit for you! Rewriting the Bible seems to be a common thing with the heathen.

      Things christians commonly cite:

      Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

      So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

      being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (Romans 3:24)

      For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

      For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (Ephesians 2:8)

      In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

      So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18)

      For the death that He [Jesus] died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Romans 6:10)

      …God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

      For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (1 Timothy 4:10)

      For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, (Titus 2:11)
      and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

      For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

      For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; (Romans 10:12)

      There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

      But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

      But love [agape] your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (Luke 6:35)

      For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

      “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”(Matthew 22:36-40)

      2 Thessalonians 3:5

    • If I were to provide countless links to Christians claiming your god’s love is unconditional, you’d claim they weren’t real Christians or at least ignorant Christians, correct?

      Is it wrong in your mind to shove heterosexuality in everyone’s faces at parades, all scantily-clad and not concerned that there might be young kids in attendance, too?

      Btw, I don’t hate your guts. I find you too comical to hate you.

    • I hate to disappoint someone as intellectually deprived as you, Gideon, but I’m sixty-five and in pretty good shape physically and mentally. You, on the other hand, appear to have shit your brains all over the inside of your skull.

      I do have to disagree with Philly though. You’re not comical, not by a long shot. Maybe you are to the other people with whom you share your particular asylum, but from here you look sad and sick.

      And I wish you the best in eternity and since it’s so wonderful, may you get lucky and go there real soon.

  6. I definitely like the Bible quoting. The Christians so often either take things out of context or play the “that’s not MY god” game. I am always entertained by the reactions I get from Christians when I start citing Biblical passages proving whatever point I’m arguing. The discussion usually ends shortly thereafter.

    The fundamental problem with any Biblical morality is the issue of choosing which passages to use and which to ignore. To a given Christian, it’s certainly obvious. But to a neutral person, why should I take this New Testament verse more seriously than that Old Testament verse? Or vice versa?

    It is a profound logical problem for anyone trying to derive a workable moral system from the Bible, assuming that the Bible is the word of God. And it has been complicated in modern times with the rise of secular, humanist values (like women as equals) that even most traditional/ conservative Christians in the west embrace. Their morals wind up being based on their emotions and subjective preferences and modernist thinking. Which is great for society (because they aren’t trying to kill witches anymore), but very volatile indeed vis-a-vis a dependable morality.

    “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.” (Psalm 14: 1)

  7. The fundamental problem with any Biblical morality is the issue of choosing which passages to use and which to ignore. To a given Christian, it’s certainly obvious. But to a neutral person, why should I take this New Testament verse more seriously than that Old Testament verse? Or vice versa?

    The simple fact that all so called “Biblical morality” has to be gleaned by choosing some aspects and passages while jettisoning others make the process a human process, not a divine process. We get to say what’s right and wrong by so choosing, so morality is by definition one determined by humanity, not god. If it was solely Biblical, we’d be running around in circles, thoroughly confused.

  8. New here, but jebus, where did this Gideon creature come from? It must know my ex, delusional but always right, insecure to the bone, and really really afraid of everything more intellectual than a cable Fox News report. Damn this thing has issues…

          • Very perceptive, Aufwuch. I figure he comes to these sites because he needs to bolster a rather flagging and incomplete faith, the “hate me! hate me!” thing, our strength and power defined by our foes. Plus he doth protest his faith a bit too much, methinks, and if you call him on it you get the “YOU DON’T KNOW ME…”! routine. Even though all we can know is what he says from the anonymity of the internet. He’s probably glad of that.
            He does speak good French, though.

            I like to read ol’ Gid here and there, it keeps me from being too trusting of the religious’ “good” intentions. Like other critters, if you can see one, you can be sure that there are more about, and Gideon is a visible person who for reasons best known to himself (but your guess is probably correct) bears us ill will although none of us have ever met, let alone harmed him.

            I wonder what he would do to us if he actually had us in his power.

  9. Wasn’t it Jesus that said “Love your neighbor as yourself”? Yes, I know he also said that you were supposed to love god first, but it seems that Christians have reconciled this by rationalizing “well, if they won’t love my god, I don’t have to love them. In fact, I’ll do the opposite”.

    You have to use the correct definition of ‘neighbor.’ A neighbor is someone who has had their brain washed in the exact same way, someone who believes the right thing about every thing. The Old Testament with its multiple commandments (ten, +/- about fifty) does say that we shall not kill*. Of course the asterisk has faded. By looking at all the fill-in-the-blank-ites destroyed by the holy people in the Old Testament, we can infer just what that asterisk was — Though Shalt Not Kill your neighbor, unless you think that they might believe something just a little bit different in which case they are not your neighbor so kill ’em, rape the women, enslave the kiddies, and god(s) blesses it.

    To a modern Christian, a non-believer is not a neighbor. He or she is a Fill-in-the-blank-ite worthy of a good smiting with the jawbone of an ass. And the good typical Christian who said, “I’ll put you in a foxhole and kill you,” definitely qualifies as a jawboning ass.

  10. “If I were to provide countless links to Christians claiming your god’s love is unconditional, you’d claim they weren’t real Christians or at least ignorant Christians, correct?”

    Correctomundo, my portly, pseudo-indigenous friend! That’s a fairly common thing in this day and age, all types of pseudo-Christians going around giving God properties He doesn’t claim or possess. The same with those that say we all pray to the same god, well, I surely don’t pray to any god you worship, son, you can bet the farm on that one!

    I don’t see any hetero-shoving going on anywhere, either, but I do see a lot of fags pushing their religion down the throats of people who really don’t want to see their greasy, semi-clad bodies or hear their dogma preached incessantly at them or their kids force-fed it in the form of “alternative lifestyle” classes in Darwin School.

    Ric, congrats on your senior status. They say there’s no infidel like an old infidel, and you’re living proof of that. No one would have guessed it the way you go on and on and on and…

    Sarge, you wouldn’t have to worry about what I’d do if I possessed the power of God. I’d merely move off this planet to one where thinking people presided and leave you Einsteins all to yourselves to enjoy the benefits of living in a Darwinist religion-saturated society. I guess that you of all folk understand what it means to live in a world that’s forgotten about it’s Maker, right? That is, if you’ve actually served in any combat theater like you claim you have.

    SI… your clueless definition of morality might sway some time-serving, half-cut disinterested magistrate in a divorce settlement, however, even animals make choices in their lives – like whether or not to kill that prey or this prey, or run or fight. You know this, right? After all, you and your ilk have denigrated man to the level of the animal, correct? There is no morality associated with instinctive, arbitrary actions, merely that which is most beneficial for the ultimate survival of the organism. Indeed, in your religion, there is no right or wrong, only that which best suits the one determining policy.

    Righteousness is something only God possesses. If you mindless twits have any decent thoughts at all, it is because they emanate from Him. One day, according to scripture, even that influence will be removed.

    THEN… you professors are going to get a first-hand look – for the first time – at what it really means to live in a Darwinian construct!

  11. Urgent Question for Gideon:
    I’m eager to be a True Christian™, but I hear so many conflicting versions of that religion that I’m unclear about what it is. Yours sounds like it might be the correct one. So could you outline your complete theology for me, and explain in detail how you know it’s right?

  12. SI, that’s what happens when you try and educate fools, even by pointing out the obvious. You’re derided and mocked for it.

    The Bible talks about it… something about pearls and swine, I believe.

    Larry, if you read the Bible without trying to put your own slant on it, you’ll have the basis for my faith in a nutshell.

  13. Gideon:
    I’ve read that book, and so have many, many, many people who claim to be Christians. But you say they’re only pseudos. And you’re probably right. But, gosh, I get confused by all that fancy language, and there are so many stories and parables and prophecies and psalms and proverbs and stuff. So could you explain — in your own simple words, please, because I know that Jesus wanted even the little children to come unto him — your complete theology. I don’t want you to paraphrase what you read somewhere else; I can read, too, even though I’m a little slow. So couldn’t you just tell me, succinctly but without omitting any details, exactly what you believe.

    I so badly want to be a True Christian and not just one of those fakey ones. You’ve got a chance for a convert here. Isn’t that why you visit atheist blogs, anyway? So help me out.

  14. Again, Larry, I refer you to the pearls and swine proverb. It definitely applies to you, son. In fact, it was probably written specifically for one of your ancestors, probably the demoniac whom Jesus exorcised, the one living with the swine?

    Maybe you’d care, [deleted] to explain YOUR religion? You know, the one with all of those fancy parables and fairy tales about how the world was formed entirely by chance out of nothing and how some sputum that also materialized out of nothing at all, entirely on it’s own, decided to evolve into a human being, taking zillions of years to do it, of course, so as to avoid any embarrassment over actually having to produce any evidence of any evolutionary process currently taking place?

    And, [deleted] you might care to explain why there is no evidence of any evolutionary process increasing genetic information in the genome? You know… the existence of which would go a long way in lending even a microscopic amount of legitimacy to the infidel’s stand on evolution? Or is this just too hard for someone from ol’ Kaintuck?

    I’d like an answer, please, preferably before hog-brandin’ time, too!

  15. Gideon:
    Why do you avoid answering what seems to be a fairly easy question? I’m interested in learning about True Christianity. And you, who preach its benefits so often, respond with nothing but sarcasm. What’s the point in going to atheist blogs if you don’t seize the opportunity to teach a poor godless soul when he begs you to do that? I don’t want to go to hell; please show me your pathway to heaven.

    So I ask you again: could you explain — simply and in your own words, please — your complete theology?

  16. Sorry, Lar, but you’ll have to see our esteemed host about that, seeing as how he finds it necessary to delete all some of my words. As far as visiting atheist blogs go, I try not to do it very often as I hate disturbing the complacency that you’ve all settled for. No, you go right on believing what you want and when the day of reckoning comes, you can say that it was you that fucked yourself out of eternity and no one else, certainly not me.

    And you will, because that’s what is prophesied for the end time, and prophecy has never been wrong. right.

    Fair enough?

  17. Gideon:
    Gee, I’m beginning to wonder whether you’re capable of answering my question. You’ve got all kinds of excuses. But don’t you want to save this poor sinner and convert me to True Christianity? One more believer (and one less heathen) ought to make the world a better place, right? Come on, give me a chance!

    So I ask you for the fourth time: Could you explain — simply and in your own words, please — your complete theology?

    • Come on now, Larry. A world where everyone was a True Christian would be hell for a True Christian. With no one to hate, no one to admonish, no one to fantasize about burning in eternal hell fire, what would there be to live for?

      • Philly:
        I think it’s only fair to give Gideon a chance to tell people exactly what he believes in. We’ve never asked him to explain — simply and in his own words — his complete theology. I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to hear what he has to say. Who knows? Maybe he’ll change some godless minds around here. He definitely knows what True Christianity is. I don’t, so I’d like to learn.

        • My point was he doesn’t care to explain it because he doesn’t care to “change some godless minds”. Without godless minds, he’s got no one to hate. Without someone to hate, he’s got no means to happiness.

  18. A world where everyone was a True Christian would be hell for a True Christian. With no one to hate, no one to admonish, no one to fantasize about burning in eternal hell fire, what would there be to live for?

    Not to mention no End Times, no anti-Christ or Final Battle between the forces of Good and Evil.

    A few years ago I had a couple of JW’s at my door and one them said of the Bible, “It’s a book of hope.”

    “No, it’s not!” I shot back, “It talks about the end of the world!”

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