July 2008

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Focus on the Pharisee

A beginner's guide to understanding how American Christians interpret the New Testament! You might be a practicing Christian and not even know it!

James Dobson Focus on the Family Barak Obama For PresidentFreehold, Iowa - While all True Christians™ applaud James Dobson’s efforts to keep that upstart Borat Osama as far from the Oval Office as his ancestors were from a Selma drinking fountain, we find his methods a bit disconcerting. Doctor Dobson attacked the colored candidate for quoting from the Old Testament instead of the New Testament. But as Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian Republicans, we’ve never been that big on the New Testament, which is loaded with all those inconvenient “truths” about caring for others and forgiving our enemies. In fact, the only New Testament verse we’ve ever had much use for is John 3:16 that merely requires us to give five or 10 seconds of our lives for eternal bliss, no matter how despicable our personas and actions. And politically, the GOP (God’s Own Party) has traditionally favored the fire and brimstone of the old book over the rather socialist leanings of the newer release. Lest Dobson has forgotten, let us remind him of just a handful of differences between fundamentalist thinking and Jesus’ actual words.

Brother Harry Hardwick's Handy Guide to Distinguishing Jesus' Missteps from True Christianity:

What the New Testament Says What We Evangelical Republicans Say

Pray in private, not in public for the world to see.

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:5-6).

Pray in public; the more who see you, the more profitable our tax-exempt franchise becomes. 

We ignore Jesus and seek to maximize public prayer. Closets are the best place to store homos. We want our children praying in school where their classmates can see them. We seek mandatory prayer at athletic events, in government meetings and anywhere else two or more are gathered. Our leader prays on his radio show, and we pray in church whenever the TV cameras are rolling.

When it comes to other people’s private lives, mind your own business!

“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters” (1 Peter 4:15).

Government should regulate every aspect of our private lives so everyone conforms to our notion of morality.

We consider it our business to decide whom people shall wed, whom people shall become intimate with and what people shall read, say and do. People’s lives should be as we say they should be.

Refrain from condemning or criticizing other people for things you disapprove of.

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are thou that judgest another” (James 4:12).  “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” (John 8:7). “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).

If people don’t conform to your vision of right and wrong, call them immoral sinners.

Look down on them and publicly scold them over their "sin," in a voice that implies you have none of your own.  And then try to pass as many ordinances, laws and constitutional amendments against them as you can.

A sin is a sin, and no one sin is greater than any other

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

The worst sins are those WE don’t commit.

We can overlook men cheating on their taxes and wives, getting divorces and mistresses, robbing  their employees of their pension funds and their first wives of their youth, and becoming gluttons who sleep with their children's friends, but intimacy between two men is dastardly!

Reject the notion of an eye for an eye. If a man strikes you on one cheek, turn the other to him.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:38-39).

If a man strikes you on one cheek, fry both of his. We embrace “an eye for an eye” regardless of what Jesus said.

This is one of many times the Old Testament trumps the New Testament. After all, “an eye for an eye” is practically our mantra. It was very short-sighted of Jesus to try to take it away from us. Vengeance is our principal justification for capital punishment. Without it, we might have to accept that execution is wrong, as every other Western nation in the world has done.

Never let your actions be guided by vengeance.

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21).

Our mantra IS vengeance.

We want to see every criminal get what he deserves.  That is why we think the Bill of Rights isn’t worth the papyrus it was scrolled upon.  We can’t wait for the Lord to take care of those who wrong us.  We need bloodthirsty satisfaction now!  Vengeance is also now our Foreign Policy.  And sometimes we don't sit around waiting for anything to avenge; we strike first!


Peace is truth; do violence to no man.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matthew 26:52). “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man” (Luke 3:14). “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

War is a viable, preferred option – even against those countries that have not even attacked us.

In fact, we should wage war against all countries that insist on believing things that are different than what we believe (unless they possess weapons that could actually kill a lot of our soldiers and thus our political aspirations) when politically advantageous to the GOP, such as when a difficult election looms.

Be sure to take care of those most in need; this is one of your greatest moral obligations.

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was an hundred, and ye gave me not meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me (Matthew 25:41-15). “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21). “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Ignore those lazy poor people, who refuse to take care of themselves.

We’re perfectly happy for our government to spend a trillion dollars on an unwinnable war that was without justification from the start, but we oppose spending one dime on a bunch of good-for-nothing preschool bums without food or health insurance who lack the wherewithal to become rich, themselves.

Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple.

“And they came to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast them out that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers” (E.g., Mark 11:15).

We seek to provide a temple for every money changer.

We dare you to go sashaying through America's most important temples, the Federal Reserve, without an appointment today. See how many desks you kick over before you're handcuffed and shoved into the back of a squad car!  We support anything to make the rich richer, and to make rich, tax-free fundamentalist ministries, the richest of all!  Also - Remember to stop by our church book store before services, to purchase some handy trinkets!



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