Weaponized Bibles

This guerrilla endorsement (of an unnamed Arkansas progressive) was submitted the evening of October 1st or 2nd, and published this morning, October 8, in the Sentinel Record.  Except for capitalizing “legislature” in the third sentence, they printed it exactly as submitted, which means I got away with mocking holier-than-thou state senator Jason Rapert’s “monumental erection” (of the Ten Commandments)… Ha!

And now we wait for responses from regressive, christianist fanatics completely retreated from reality…

— Monsieur Jacques d’Nalgar, Lundi 8 octobre 2018 de l’ère commune

 

Dear editor,

A suggestion for how to vote for this November. More accurately, how not to vote. Retire every candidate in that rancid cesspool of bribery and money laundering and tax evasion that is our Arkansas legislature. Retire every tainted congressional candidate who ever marinated in that primordial, toxic stew before slithering out to collect the bountiful rewards of “public service” at the national level.

We are not the Natural State. We’re an American embarrassment. In record numbers, our state representatives from both parties are being investigated, indicted, convicted, and forced to resign or sent to prison. Cloaking corruption in pious sounding names like “The Lord’s Ranch” and “Ecclesia College” only spotlights their amoral hypocrisy. Millions of dollars vanished in the name of “consulting” and “legal fees.” And with the first destroyed by a serial Commandments crasher, Jason Rapert keeps right on fund-raising for his second, now-complete, monumental erection copped from Hollywood’s version of Moses, who probably copped it from a Babylonian dude named Hammurabi.

Vote them out. Vote them all out.

Pretentious piety is hardly limited to Little Rock politicians. It’s thick right here in Hot Springs, too.  Week after wearisome week, the same few letter writers wield their Holy Bibles like truncheons to bludgeon salvation into unsuspecting sinners. Their message is simple.  Earnestly mumble the proper incantations, as per their exacting instructions, or you are damned for eternity. By the God of Love.

They’re mired in the same black-and-white fundamentalism that spawned the Scopes monkey trial more than 90 years ago, when science was Satan and ignorance was bliss.  Please.  If you must keep writing, how about a letter that shows us how Trump and the GOP are the antithesis of everything Jesus of Nazareth ever said and did and was and is?  We’ll wait.

Meanwhile, following that well-worn tradition of padding your letters by endlessly quoting others, here’s a pastoral quote from John Pavlovitz, about your Corinthian leather-bound weapon of choice.

“The Bible is a sprawling 66-book library, written over thousands of years by dozens of authors in multiple languages – professing to speak of the deepest truths about the creation of all matter, the beginning and end of life on the planet as well as beyond it, and about the Maker of everything and everyone. We’d better have some ambiguity about it all – or we’ve discovered a God who is small enough to fit entirely inside our three-pound brains or our current belief system.”

Pavlovitz is not one of your hate-Muslims, love-wars, greed-is-good evangelical grifters just itching for Armageddon. He’s a pastor who reads a Bible written by “flawed, imperfect, emotional, very human beings who never claim to have been fully possessed by God or robbed of their faculties as they wrote.”

Like Pavlovitz, many of us have moved on from your brittle, literalist, old-time religion. Unless we missed something, nobody anointed you Hot Springs’ newspaper theologians. So just stop. Please?

Monsieur Jacques d’Nalgar
Hot Springs, Arkansas

 

Image:  http://eugenecho.com/2010/01/04/what-do-you-see/

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1 comment

  1. It was like noodling for catfish at a catfish farm… This predictable pablum appeared today, Sunday October 14, 2018 CE, cherry-picking “holy” writ here and there, begging for support from his apparently heartless local coffee-shop amen corner, and completely ignoring whatever parts of my letter he found inconvenient or unanswerable. Ever thankful for small miracles, at least he didn’t quote Robert Jeffress or Islamophobic warmonger Franklin Graham.

    Dear editor:

    This is a response to [Jacques d’Nalgar]’s recent letter, which was highly critical of “the same few (Christian) letter writers” (Monday, Oct. 8). He also complained vigorously about how we have continued to write, “week after wearisome week” wielding our “Holy Bibles.”

    The words in the Bible are powerful and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit! “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

    Now, I certainly do not apologize at all for sharing the “Good News” of God’s life-saving gospel! “I am not ashamed of the gospel,” said the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16, “because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. … ” It is the gospel that God blesses like no other words!

    Mr. [d’Nalgar], you actually made a very valid observation when you pointed out that there are only “a few” letter writers trying to pass on God’s most wonderful life-saving message! It tells how God can forgive and save sinful people so they won’t have to suffer in hell forever!

    Now, not all Christians will have to try evangelizing in the newspaper letters, but I am absolutely certain that with about 75 churches in this area, surely there could be many, many others who could let their voices be heard publicly, at least, occasionally! At the very least, almost all of you could write a short letter of approval, support, and encouragement for “the few” of us out on the front line!

    Can we get some hearty Amens once in a while? Hello …

    God expects and even commands all Christians to tell about this “Good News” which is a free gift that tells how to go to heaven to live in a perfect paradise with God forever! Are you actively finding ways to share the gospel with unbelievers? How much do you really love God and care about others?

    Our marching orders are given to us by Jesus Christ in the “Great Commission” found in Matthew 18-20. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” (John 14:15)

    Mr. [d’Nalgar], I certainly wasn’t always a Christian, of course. My mom reared me in the church, but, unfortunately, I strayed away from God more and more as an adult in college and got to running with the wrong crowd, I’m sorry to say.

    I tried very hard to find happiness without God and His ways, but my life collapsed in the worst way! I couldn’t help myself and nobody else could help me.

    My mom had never stopped praying for me. I knew what was wrong. I had turned away from God and was suffering the terrible consequences of doing so!

    In desperation, I cried out sincerely for Jesus Christ to forgive me, to save me and to help me!

    He heard my prayer and He put my life back together and I owe him everything! God proved Himself to me! I promised to live for Him.

    Lloyd Hoffman
    Hot Springs

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