The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine


Christmas is named after Jesus.  What have you done to Jesus this year?

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 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:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 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.

44 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?

45 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.

Notice the part about prisoners.  Every “Christian” who thinks prisoners should be mistreated is not a Christian, and Jesus will not recognize him or her as such.  Yes, Clarence Thomas, I’m talking to you.

The law of the Jesus of the New Testament is of love, and that love includes works. If you are a Protestant who thinks works don’t matter, only faith, you are not a Christian.  If you are a Catholic who thinks anti-gay doctrine is more important than ministering to and being loving to gays, then you will not be recognized by Jesus as one of his.

Jesus did not die in agony on the cross so that those who claim to follow him could be bigots, torturers, greedy selfish bastard who want grandma to eat catfood, or people believe the sick should not be ministered to.  If you want to be evil, follow the old Testament minus the rest of the Torah.  If you want to be good, remember that the New Testament overrides the Old one.  And understand that the Church is neither God nor Jesus.

Do unto others as you would they do unto you in the same circumstances.  That is the whole of the law.  All else is commentary.


On Killing Sprees


To know what to do is not enough


  1. gan1

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  2. Rob Grigjanis

    Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    I was thinking about this today. Arguably the second greatest con in history is the Church-Government’s ability to get most of us to ignore one of its central teachings, when it suited them. They were smart enough to realize that we can be easily moved to hate/exclude.

    The greatest con was getting us to believe in Heaven and Hell.

    Joyeux Noël. Vraiment.

  3. Cloud

    Jesus, I think. Not the King, but the homeless gnostic who came and failed — failed, unless there be ultimate truth in the ramblings of the insane, hope beyond the circles of the world. Philip K. D.’s Jesus. The emissary from outside the Black Iron Prison, who could only get in through the cracks — the foolish things of the world….

    I sat; I waited; I watched… As we had been told, originally, long ago, to do; I kept my commission.

  4. Frederick

    But Clarence, and indeed all right-wing so called Christians (and the entire Repugnant party) are very much apologists for the kind of applied Christian politics pointed to and described at these references.

    Note the unspeakably vile sado-masochistic snuff-splatter film being reviewed in the 3rd reference.

    Also applied Repugnant politics 101 via Looting Planet Earth by Tom, and Robert Kennedy

  5. Have you never heard someone refer to themselves as “an Old Testament Christian,” Ian? I really had a difficult time bursting out with several remarks about Christ not being in the Old Testament and his statement being utter bullshit, but I have learned never to argue with idiots. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  6. John B.

    yes, what you say is true….

  7. Ian Welsh

    I actually haven’t. Calling oneself an old-testament Christian is, well, crazy on top of being stupid.

  8. someofparts

    Well I celebrated Christmas by reading this –

    It’s an historical novel about the last Roman Emperor who tried to stop the Christians. I’ll finish it tonight.

    I thought it might give me a whole new perspective on the Nazerene and it sure has.

    Since I flatter myself that I do care about behaving decently, I’m finding it is much easier to do when I extricate myself from the big lie of Christianity.

  9. Formerly T-Bear

    I’ll see your Christ-mas and raise you one Maimonides (

  10. tsisageya

    Calling oneself an old-testament Christian is, well, crazy on top of being stupid.

    I call myself an old-testament Christian. I am crazy and stupid. I also call myself a new-testament Christian.

    What to make of it, what to make of it…?

  11. David Kowalski

    I don’t know if it is still popular but years ago the motto “What would Jesus Do?” , often abbreviated to WWDJ and put on bumper stickers was popular. Maybe, if it was really put into practice we would have a society that really did “default to kindness.”

    Yes, we need more Christ-like people in the real sense of the word.

    Thanks for the message, Ian

  12. tsisageya

    Jesus did not die in agony on the cross so that those who claim to follow him could be bigots, torturers, greedy selfish bastard who want grandma to eat catfood, or people believe the sick should not be ministered to.

    ORLY, Ian? Well why did Jesus die in agony on the cross, Ian? Honestly, I really want to know. Please forgive my “tone”, if you don’t mind. Thank you very much.

  13. tsisageya

    On the other hand, there’s this:

    I couldn’t find the complete scene where his mum finds him. I have it somewhere…

  14. Celsius 233

    Christ Mass and the Absence

    Imagine if you will a place not near,
    but not too far,
    The Prince, the Carpenter, the orphan Prophet, and the myriad Gods that be,
    hear humanity, all; quite loud and clear,
    the gnashing of teeth, tears, war, hunger, the violence of ignorance and the absence of justice.
    As the Olympian gathering look one to the other; one and all shake their heads and say;
    “To hell with them; did we not give them everything? One and all to their choosing?”
    “To hell with them for the gift they’re destroying/losing.”
    A lone voice is heard; “But they look to us for redemption/saving; can we just do nothing?”
    “Truly, if this is the case; truly, they have never understood a word we taught.”
    Spoiled children are we, who never understood what it was to grow up,
    and so we’re caught,
    still looking for Klatu to save our asses,
    ignoring the prophets,
    still thinking we’ll get the final passes…

  15. tsisageya

    Celsius 233, yes of course.


  16. patricia

    “Old Testament Christian” generally refers to those in the Reconstructionist or Dominionist movement begun by Rushdoony. They want to apply Mosaic laws to our society and believe democracy is anti-godly. Santorum and Bachmann are of this ilk, as are Gary North et al. Wikipedia:

  17. patricia

    The Reconstructionist thread of theological thought has deeply influenced the American Evangelical community. Their god is the literal and inerrant book called the Bible, which all reality must obey. They genuinely believe that the universe must be squeezed through this sacred text, which determines what is and isn’t “true”. This is why they cannot accept evolutionary thought, climate change, pluralism, equality for women, etc. It is also clarifies why they side with the oligarchs, even as they are being destroyed by them.

    They tend to be judgemental, narrow, hierarchical, and suffer a persecution complex much like the Pharisees, which Jesus, in their sacred text, roundly condemned.

  18. As a friend of mine likes to say, we’re supposed to know Christians by their love. But with some of these folks who call themselves Christians while going to bat for torture (as long as it’s Muslims!), we know them by whom they hate.

  19. Thanks for this Ian, I’ve often thought that this type of Christian (I think of them as members of the Church of the Whited Sepulchers) need to be reminded of Luke 2:14 In the King James Version it’s translated thus:

    14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

    If however you turn to the vulgate and translate that you get the following:

    14 gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis.

    14 Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.

    Other than to point out that the Douay-Rheims translation correctly identifies and translates the subject of the sentence as being in the genitive I’m not going to get into the merits of the various translations it’s largely irrelevant to my point which is that far too many self-identified Christians are likely to get one hell of a shock come judgement. There’s a big difference between ‘peace to men of good will‘ and ‘peace, good will toward men‘.

    As I think you know I come of mixed nationalist/loyalist stock and saw very little either of peace or goodwill between my various sets of relatives and their respective tribes when I was growing up. There’s a story that’s been told of every prominent Scots Calvinist preacher from John Knox to Ian Paisley the papists will tell you that it illustrates the utter lack of christian feeling amongst the heretics while the said heretics will tell you it illustrates precisely why you need to be one of the elect.

    The story goes that Knox was preaching on the theme of the verses you’ve quoted above. He dwelt at length on judgement day and the horrors of Hell and of how on that day the souls of the damned as God flings them into the lake of fire will call out to him screaming for mercy saying:

    “Laird! Laird! We dinnae ken! We dinnae ken!

    And the Guid Laird in his infinite marcy and wisdom will lean forward and say unto to them as he casts them from him into the lake of fire ‘well ye ken the noo’.

    Peace to you Ian you’re one of the men of good will and try to do something about it.


  20. @patricia:
    Yes, which is why it is difficult to understand where the term “Christian” comes from. Every word of the teachings attributed to that person, who is described only in the New testament, directly contradicts virtually all principles espoused by the practicioners of Old Testamentism.

  21. David Kowalski

    @ Bill H

    Much of what is taught is an offshoot of Calvinist theology. Luther taught, of course, that an elaborate set of works was not needed for salvation. Salvation came through faith, not works. Calvinism, particularly Puritanism, went further. God saved those who He chose. Neither faith nor works did the job. Soon, it was further taught that God ‘s salvation was marked by his favor, in particular , by wealth. The fact that this directly contradicted much of the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth was unimportant.

    Since wealth was the outward mark of salvation, a religious society was dedicated to the creation and preservation of wealth. Hence the famed Protestant work ethic. Robert Frank writes that in contemporary America, where wealth is “earned” by dispossessing it from the poor and middle class and consumption of the wealthy is a competitive sport, the very rich are very insecure and need more and more and more to feel wealthy.

    Albert Schweitzer was a theologian before he became a famous humanitarian. His study of the real Jesus of Nazareth led to a life curing the sick and feeding the poor. Those in power seem to worship a very different God, indeed than Schweitzer’s Jesus.

    Happy New Year. May we be stunned into sense and good will when we fall off the fiscal cliff.

  22. David Kowalski

    Oops. I thought it had not taken and I could add the closing bit about Schweitzer.

  23. Celsius 233

    @ markfromireland
    December 31, 2012
    I’ve read and re-read your post to make sure I understood your point; I think I do and I like it…

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