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Easter Irony

30 Mar

I just came across this cartoon on the Internet:
good friday2

Let me explain why I think this cartoon is ironic. Most of the fundogelicals I know are conservative in both religion and politics. When they wear their political hats, they invariably tell me that, unlike “nanny state” liberals, conservatives believe in “personal responsibility.” They oppose the Affordable Care Act because they believe it undermines personal responsibility to adequately care for oneself and one’s family. They oppose gun safety laws because, in addition to allegedly infringing on their right to own firearms, such laws – they say – are symptomatic of big, intrusive “nanny state” government. People who own firearms can take care of themselves, their weapons, and their homes and families just fine without any stinking government telling them how to do so, thank you very much. Mind you, many of these people who don’t want government to regulate what types of weapons and accessories can be owned and used by citizens, and don’t want government regulating their health care options any more than it does now, have no difficulty expecting the government to regulate citizens’ most intimate reproductive and marital options. Government that does those things is not too big at all.

What I find immensely ironic is that these people (the ones I know, anyway) who allegedly embrace “personal responsibility” in all things political, have absolutely no difficulty fleeing personal responsibility when it comes to their religious lives. They’ve sinned and deserve to burn in hell? Fine – surely they’ll admit their guilt and accept their just desserts, right?

Uhh, not quite. Their religion not only encourages these “personal responsibility” proponents not to accept their punishments like adults, it actually requires them to push their guilt onto someone else – ideally someone who was perfect and therefore didn’t have to atone for his own sins – and let him serve a sentence in their place. They have absolutely no difficulty accepting the idea that their “salvation” comes at the expense of an innocent man, an idea that I find abhorrent. The irony astonishes me. Godless liberal that I am, if it happens that I am wrong about the existence of any gods, I will accept responsibility for my error and endure whatever consequences that may entail. As far as I’m concerned, that is the only morally acceptable option available.

– the chaplain

 

10 responses to “Easter Irony

  1. danielwalldammit

    March 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Well put piece. It is strange to think that anyone would feel ‘good’ about another person suffering in their place.

     
  2. Ric

    March 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I wonder how they’d feel if the guy had really suffered, if indeed he really died and went to Hell and was still there suffering some real agony every day, instead of spending a few hours of abuse on a cross and then getting up a couple of days later and going home. See, with the fundogelicals and all the other Christians, everybody gets a free pass, including the guy who ‘saved’ them all.

     
    • the chaplain

      March 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      They do believe that he suffered horribly. That’s the point of gruesome films like Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ or whatever it was called, and hymns like “O sacred head now wounded,” which go on and on and on about his torment. The fact that it was temporary doesn’t matter, except, as you noted, to reassure them that everybody who believes (except Jesus, who did pay, temporarily, with his life) gets a Get Out of Hell Free card. Friday’s the day to mourn his death while simultaneously rejoicing that it was some other poor slob on the cross instead of them. Sunday’s the day to rejoice that everyone, even the sucker who died, gets a reward, even though the resurrected dead guy’s the only one who came remotely close to earning it. This is what passes for “personal responsibility” in fundogelical thought. And they think people like you and I are warped…

       
      • Lithp

        March 30, 2013 at 6:49 pm

        I believe what he’s getting at is that they say that Jesus “paid your punishment for you,” but he actually didn’t. Hell is supposed to be eternal. Eternity multiplied by billions of people=/=3 days. Relative to those they think are “unsaved,” Jesus did not even come close to true suffering.

        Of course, it’s not REALLY a Get Out Of Jail Free Card, because it only seems to count if you do things that they consider to be not that bad. Lying? No problem. Stealing? Slap on the wrist. Adultery? Pfft. Murder? As long as he’s a True Christian. Being gay &/or liberal? Wretched beast of Satan, the inferno shall reduce your soul to a withered, blackened husk!

         
        • the chaplain

          March 30, 2013 at 9:10 pm

          I believe what he’s getting at is that they say that Jesus “paid your punishment for you,” but he actually didn’t. Hell is supposed to be eternal. Eternity multiplied by billions of people=/=3 days. Relative to those they think are “unsaved,” Jesus did not even come close to true suffering.

          Good point. Just another point at which Christian theology is thoroughly lacking in cohesiveness and comprehensibility.

           
  3. the chaplain

    March 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    With regard to how Christians would feel if Jesus was still in hell suffering in their places, they’d be even happier than they are now that some other sucker is there instead of them.

     
  4. Graham

    March 31, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Well i am not sure that people feel at all good about the suffering of Jesus but do understand the importance of sacrificial love. Agape love in the bible is the selfless concern for the well being of others. We know that human error in its various forms cause real suffering. We see mans inhumanity unto man in war, gang violence, domestic abuse, bullying and many other things. There is a difference between those who ”believe” yet still condemn and show little compassion for others and those who are humble non judgmental and earnestly trying to live a life of love as shown by Christ. Evil always defeats good by violence, death of the spirit or death of the body. There is no justice when Evil triumphs. If Jesus was still suffering or dead then evil would not be dealt with. In the event of the cross and the resurrection sin and death are defeated as Jesus returns to life. This is an extreme form of what we witness every day where acts of love enhances our spirit. Some have faith in this as a form of symbolism but if we believe it as a real event and have faith in it we do not receive a ”get out of jail card” but rather a spirit to live by that standard of love. Even though this is impossible for humans we identify strongly with it, have faith in it and our lives begin to be transformed for the better.

     
    • Brian M

      April 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Your paragraph sounds great, Graham. I have some problems with it, nonetheless.

      “Agape love in the bible is the selfless concern for the well being of others.” The problem here is your Yahweh repeatedly and consistently shows the opposite of this. Selfless concern for his creation? Not Yahweh. They are too flawed and fallen and evil and disgusting. Of course, Yahweh CREATED them that way, all the mumble-mumble-free-will sophistry aside.

      “We see mans inhumanity unto man in war, gang violence, domestic abuse, bullying and many other things.” I would posit that NONE of this, I repeat NONE of this, compares even microscopically to the concept of eternal punishment, to Hell. Nor does this argument even address the appalling actions of God towards his so-called “Chosen People”, A contingent flawed human being will indeed engage in reprehensible things, but your God, who knows all, is timeless, is all powerful…why does this deity need to be so evil?

      “Evil always defeats good by violence, death of the spirit or death of the body.” read you own Book and tell me you can’t recognize the willful blindness in this statement. Violence by God and the people of God is endemic in the Bible. Hell was a doctrine particularly beloved of our perfect, loving savior (and not really part of Jewish philosophy…Hell is a SPECIAL creation of Christianity.)

      As for those earnestly trying to live by what they perceive as their spiritual calling, that is excellent. certainly superior to me. Yet, even in such cases, I see the horrors of Mother Teresa’s worship of suffering, the politics of church leaders convinced that the evil policies of the governments they support are worth it because the church is supported or promoted (remember…it is Southern Christians who burble about the wonders of slavery in bringing the benighted Africans to JAY-ZUS) And…who can really criticize these folks. Their interpretations have often been the majority one, the dominant one. Once cannot cherry pick the Bible exclusively to support kindness and “liberalism”.

       

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