Back in November, a chap—I’ll call him a chap—named Jeremiah J. Johnston wrote strange albeit typical piece that came across my media feed.
Fox News. The heart that beats the veins of ‘boomer fear.
He’s titled it “What mainstream media, cultural elites just don’t get: If there’s no God, then there really is no humanity.”
There is a lot wrong with this piece. Obviously. The part I will address in a different context is the irony of legislating old fashioned values. Until then let’s nibble on this morsel.
“Indeed, one wonders when people will learn. In today’s subjective, post-modern world truth is fast disappearing. Some elites and social engineers deride concepts like right and wrong.” Jeremiah J. Johnston
Aside the comedy of suggesting that evangelism is bolted into the bedrock of truth, he whips out right and wrong as if he’s discovered it in some 2,000 year old, over edited, over analyzed text. How many times must one point out the failures of right and wrong in the Abrahamic texts to provide logical versions of either right or wrong?
One of my favorite messy moments for Gospel ethics occurs when the Pharisees and Jesus have a dispute over washing hands before meals, part of Jewish law. Jesus Christ—the literal big G God—instead of handing the human race a radical tool for fighting disease, he uses this moment to peddle his parables and theology at the expense of billions of lives. Think about it. By random chance, a method for minimizing the transference of germs from our hands to our mouths actually exists in Jewish law. Jesus—all knowing, all seeing, big G God—could have endorsed the practice in a monumental act of compassion but instead he tells his followers that washing their hands is a false practice that denies his very purpose. Instead of compassion, Jesus doles selfishness.
Is this the right and wrong Mr. Johnston is convinced lives in a battered, mistreated collection of stories from a culture grown on spooky traditions and blind authority? It’s the sort of right and wrong I find troubling throughout the Bible. If Jesus can’t get this right, it’s no shock his followers can’t get things like support for Roy Moore or Donald Trump right.
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