Friday, May 16, 2008

God Hates Shrimp

Today's post is about what I'm calling the "doctrine of exclusion." Lately, it's all I hear about. The post was inspired by California recognizing gay marriage as legal, only the second state to do so. And, of course, it brought outcry from several Christian groups.

What I don't get is why people are so absorbed with "who's not invited." That is -- who doesn't belong in heaven, who isn't worthy of salvation without repentance, and so on. Lately, the only Christianity that gets any press are the people preaching the doctrine of exclusion. For example, I've heard that Muslims "aren't invited," nor are gays, lesbians, and Hindus. Terrorists are absolutely "not invited." Nor are democrats. Or liberals, especially; in fact, I believe they've been sent a polite letter asking them to stop filling out applications for the hereafter. But what intrigues me is that this rhetoric does not stem from the Bible so many base their rage upon. I was trying to think of the times that someone came to Christ and he turned them away for not fitting into a certain paradigm and -- lo! and behold -- I came up blank. Take the prostitute who bathed Jesus's feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. His disciples advised him to stay away from her, lest she "infect" him with her sin, but he chastised them for these exclusionary principles. The lower-class leper that touches the hem of Christ's robe is rewarded by being healed and praised for being a man of the truest kind of faith. Even David, a lech, a philanderer, a murderer (like Moses and oh so many others) is rewarded by God, not turned away. So where are we getting this doctrine? Why is the most visible part of Christianity, its hate?

It seems so ridiculous to me and apparently, I'm not alone. There's a website dedicated to satirizing the hundreds of things Christians have spoken out against (Harry Potter, Oprah, gay marriage, Obama, public institutions, video games, the Golden Compass, Disney, Wal-Mart, Johnson and Johnson. . .do I have to go on?) called Funny as I found it -- and I found it damned funny -- is that really what we want to be known for?

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