ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις· οὐ φονεύσεις· ὃς δ' ἂν φονεύσῃ, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει· ὅς δ' ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ· ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ· ὃς δ' ἂν εἴπῃ· μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός.
You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not murder. Anyone who commits murder shall be liable to judgment." But I say to you that everyone who grows angry with a brother or a sister shall be liable to judgment. Whoever insults a brother or a sister shall be liable to the Sanhedrin. And whoever says "You fool" shall be liable to the fires of hell [literally, "the Gehenna of fire"].
ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη· ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου καὶ μισήσεις τὸν ἐχθρόν σου. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν· ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ προσεύχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν διωκόντων ὑμᾶς, ὅπως γένησθε υἱοὶ τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς, ὅτι τὸν ἥλιον αὐτοῦ ἀνατέλλει ἐπὶ πονηροὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς καὶ βρέχει ἐπὶ δικαίους καὶ ἀδίκους.
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise upon the wicked and upon the good, and sends rain upon the just and the unjust alike."
ὁ λέγων ἐν τῷ φωτὶ εἶναι καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ μισῶν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ ἐστὶν ἕως ἄρτι. ...ὁ δὲ μισῶν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ ἐστὶν καὶ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ περιπατεῖ καὶ οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ ὑπάγει, ὅτι ἡ σκοτία ἐτύφλωσεν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ.
Anyone claiming to be in the light and who nevertheless hates a brother or a sister is still in darkness. ...Anyone hating his or her brother or sister is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and does not know where he or she is going, because the darkness has blinded his or her eyes.
πᾶς ὁ μισῶν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἐστίν, καὶ οἴδατε ὅτι πᾶς ἀνθρωποκτόνος οὐκ ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον ἐν αὐτῷ μένουσαν.
Everyone who hates his or her brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
ἀγαπητοί, ἀγαπῶμεν ἀλλήλους, ὅτι ἡ ἀγάπη ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν, καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἀγαπῶν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγέννηται καὶ γινώσκει τὸν θεόν. ὁ μὴ ἀγαπῶν οὐκ ἔγνω τὸν θεόν, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
ἐάν τις εἴπῃ ὅτι ἀγαπῶ τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ μισῇ, ψεύστης ἐστίν· ὁ γὰρ μὴ ἀγαπῶν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ ὃν ἑώρακεν, τὸν θεὸν ὃν οὐχ ἑώρακεν οὐ δύναται ἀγαπᾶν.
If anyone should say "I love God" and yet hate his or her brother or sister, he or she is a liar. For anyone who does not love the brother or sister whom he or she has seen cannot love the God whom he or she has not seen."
--Matthew 5:21, 5:43-45; 1 John 2:9, 11, 3:15, 4:7-8, 4:20: my translation from the original Greek
If you're a homosexual, I hope you get brain cancer like Ted Kennedy.
MS: You want all gay people to be executed, correct?
SA: That is correct. It is what the Bible teaches.--Steven L. Anderson, in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile
Mr. Anderson (I absolutely, categorically refuse to use the honorific "Reverend" in reference to this man, as I find in him nothing worthy of reverence) claims to be a minister and is one of the fundamentalist types who has begun praying and hoping for the president to die. This man may have a church, and claim to be preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it's fairly obvious to me (and should be so to anyone who has ever actually read the Gospels) that he is a liar. Indeed, the words of the Beloved Disciple I quoted above convict Mr. Anderson of being a liar out of his own mouth, since he has stated elsewhere that he hates President Obama and everything he stands for.
As for Mr. Anderson, if that is the stance he's going to take about gay people (and he really should go back and re-read his Bible, since the prohibition he's referencing only speaks of men who have sex with other men--it never mentions lesbians), then here are a few of the other things he had better not have done himself, or for doing which he should be demanding that people be put to death:
- Eating pork, lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, or crab (Leviticus 11:9-12; Deuteronomy 14:9-10)
- Eating meat rare (Leviticus 7:24, 17 passim)
- Wearing clothes made from blended fabrics (Leviticus 19:19)
- Shaving (Leviticus 19:27)
I'd be willing to bet that Mr. Anderson has done at least one (if not all) of those things--and has probably violated many more of the precepts of the Holiness Code. But that, ultimately, is a matter for him to settle with his god. (And no, his god is absolutely not the God in whom I believe.) I cannot speak definitively, of course, but I tend to suspect that when Mr. Anderson does go to meet his Maker, he's going to have more than a little 'splainin' to do. It would be a delicious irony if, as my late spiritual director was fond of hypothesizing, we see God under the guise of the sort of person we found it most difficult to deal with in life--which would mean that God would likely appear to Mr. Anderson under the form of a black handicapped Jewish lesbian.
The thing that I absolutely do not get is why the Secret Service lets this man wander freely about the country, making appearances and spreading his message of hatred. This is part of what Michelangelo Signorile said of his interview with Anderson:
Anderson actually told me that, though he wouldn't encourage it, he would not condemn any person who killed President Obama or call that person a murderer. He does not believe that the man who allegedly killed Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas doctor who performed late-term abortions, a murderer. And he said he would not call someone who shot a group of gays and lesbians with a machine gun a murderer.
He wouldn't encourage anyone to kill the president--but neither would he discourage anyone from doing so. Indeed, he would likely tell anyone who was thinking of committing such a heinous act that it was a righteous thing to do and that he (it would almost have to be a he) would be rewarded for it in heaven. Fortunately, Mr. Anderson doesn't get to make that call, either.
It amazes me how people can claim to be disciples of the Prince of Peace, and yet preach hatred and violence and murder without so much as batting an eyelid. I mean, hello?! How does one get from "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" and "Do not return evil for evil" to "Kill anyone who disagrees with you" and "Persecute everyone who doesn't believe as you do"? Makes me want to go root around in the Christian Scriptures and check the verb tense on the shortest verse in the Bible: I think the present tense ("Jesus weeps") would be at least as appropriate as the simple past ("Jesus wept").
This is, I contend, one of the deepest problems with fundamentalism--of whatever flavor. The moment fundamentalism enters the picture, reason flies right out the window. One of the prime tenets (if not the prime tenet) of fundamentalism is, effectively, "Thou shalt not question anything except what we tell you to question." It would seem to me that anyone with more than a nodding acquaintance with the Scriptures (either part) would see the cognitive dissonance in stating, for example, that God hates anybody--much less the idea that God approves of killing. That last one is particularly galling, given all the hyperbole of these people on the question of abortion--rhetoric which they conveniently leave out of the discussion when the question is war or capital punishment, both of which they are manifestly in favor of.
Yes, the First Amendment absolutely gives these people the right to believe as they see fit. I can't figure out, however, how they've managed to convince people that they're the "true" Christians, and anyone even slightly more broad-minded than they are is a heathen, a "cafeteria" Christian, or just fooling themselves. Seems to me that those of us who do understand the cognitive dissonance have quite a job of work to do, reclaiming the religious label from those who have perverted it to the point where it is barely recognizable.