202 thoughts on “Salt and Light”

        1. I guess they ignore that part in Daniel where he and his friends have a vegetable/grain diet. Mormons.

          Fixed.

        2. Clearly Daniel had a special dispensation. Plus that’s all Old Testament stuff that doesn’t apply to us anymore (except for the stuff the MOG says still applies) :lol:

        1. The Harry Potter one is actually true. Millions of children have converted to witchcraft upon reading Harry Potter. I know cause I read it somewhere IN THE NEWS. Although . . . come to think of it . . . that news website had a funny name. The carrot? The potato? Maybe it was onion! Yep that’s it.

  1. I don’t even know what some of those things are. And I don’t want to know what some of them are, some of them are a bit scary to contemplate. But how do they think vegetarianism will lead to demonic possession? I have a good friend who’s a vegetarian and a Christian. I’d like to know what their reasoning is on this. I’ve considered becoming vegetarian or partly so, at least cutting down my meat consumption. :???:

    1. I’m a vegetarian and a Christian – I’ve been told by fundies that God commanded us to eat meat therefore I’m wrong. Funny, there was no scripture attached to that statement. I love God, and I choose to not eat meat for health reasons. It’s too bad that God didn’t create Adam and Eve as vegeatarians…… :shock:

      1. Genesis 9:1-3 is the “command to eat meat”.

        The Colossians passage referenced by TWIS is my favorite answer to the “Hallelujah Diet” people, though.

    2. It is the vegetarian mindset to which the ad refers. “Doctrines of devils” are forbidding to marry and forbidding to eat meat (vegetarianism). There is nothing inherently evil about it, but the alternative occultic mindset often advocates vegetarianism.

      1. Unfortunately, no, there are plenty of fundamentalists who truly believe that it IS sinful to be vegetarian, not just to demand that everyone be vegetarian.

      2. So it seems monks like Thomas Merton are the ENEMY IN OUR MIDST! How can you be celibate and vegetarian IN AMERICA?! :roll:

      3. Please explain what “alternative occultic mindset” means. How does it differ from a “cultural mainstream occultic mindset?” Or do you seriously think that people who choose alternatives to the currently popular choices in parenting, medicine, sexual activity, and music (to choose the only cultural areas in which I recall the word “alternative” meaning anything–other readers please add what you know of) therefore have an “occultic” mindset?

  2. Remote viewing….I suppose I will have to close my eyes every time I pick it up and point it at the TV to watch LOTR.

    1. I’m not sure what remote viewing is; I’d assume the same as you wrote! lol

      I’m also not clear on alt “comix”; I’m guessing “alternative”, but I’m guessing that covers a lot of styles.

      1. Remote Viewing from Wiki:

        Remote viewing (RV) is the practice of seeking impressions about a distant or unseen target using paranormal means, in particular, extra-sensory perception (ESP) or “sensing with mind”.

        1. It’s not the same as what I would call prophecy.
          Remote viewing is where a person can use his/her mind to see something that is in another place, as if there was a webcam there and the mind was the monitor.

          Hey, how did webcams not make the list?

        2. What a relief, I thought I would have to give up my Windows Remote Desktop, as well as my dream of both attending Yale and being invited to join Skull and Bones.

  3. I enjoy LOTR, and I never thought tha89-x&*@@zu 01dddxxx=a=dae’jeda_UI:DSFppppxw:XXX233809

    Oops. Sorry about that. I couldn’t type because my head kept spinning around. Maybe I shouldn’t have read LOTR.

    1. I sympathize. It’s very hard to read the Silmarillion when my head keeps doing 360′s and the pages keep bursting into flames.

  4. Postmodernism – because as we all know, God is a rationalistic, evidence-based-proof demanding modernist.

  5. That’s an interesting spelling of marijuana!

    And I guess the Twilight books are OK, just not the movies.

      1. I think they used to spell it that way because they assumed that their audience was too white to know that Latinos pronounce “j” as “h”.

        Granted, back in the day, they were probably right.

  6. All doing that does is anger people. I know that when I’m at a concert and there’s a protester there screaming at us that we will all burn in hell, all it does is make us less likely to ever consider that there’s any sort of truth behind the ranting.

    1. I disagree with the notion that this is shouting. This is a fair reminder that occultic activity is opposed to the gospel. All of the items listed are not equally occultic, but the point is quite valid.

      1. Nah, I just agree with the author that occultic influences are dangerous. I would write it differently, but I don’t think there’s any nice way to put it.

    1. I actually don’t know myself. I googled it:

      “The practice of engaging in three-party relations, agreements, or negotiations.
      2. The political and economic policy of encouraging friendly relations among three nations or regions, especially the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, or North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.”

      Still confused as to how it fits on this list.

      1. Some Bircher types believe that international treaties and international organizations (especially the UN) put us on the slippery slope to one-world government (which they see as a bad thing).

      2. “Trilateralism” is kind of a meaningless addition to the list, but the idea is the movement towards the eradication of national borders in favor of a consolidated global political entity.

  7. Think it’s fake. Proper abbreviation for LOTR, use of “alt”, use of “XTC”, calling shrooms “shrooms”, use of the term “cyberpunk”–it’s well done but I think when you look at the antiquated use of “marihuana” and these more contemporary usages it argues for a forgery. Hilarious, though.

    1. I was amused by that pre-1930 spelling of “Marihuana.” It would make me think the tract was very old, if not for the inclusion of recent stuff like “Twilight films.”

      1. Yeah, I just can’t imagine someone being hip enough to include the fairly hip references to XTC and so-forth and then retain the old school cop spelling of pot and the ludicrous inclusion of astral projection and other favorites. I think some hipster took one of the go-to lists from back in the seventies and then updated it, but without de-hipsterizing his contemporary references.

        1. I don’t know. In my experience fundies are OBSESSED with this stuff in a way that almost no one else is. And of course once an abomination makes their list, it never goes off. So, we end up with a rather intriguing piece of cultural archeology but I have no problem believing it originated with the fundies.

        2. I didn’t see playing cards anywhere on there. If it was true fundy, those would be first or second.

        3. Hushai…playing cards is not wrong in Fundy circles. Uno, Skipbo are all accepted. I have even heard from some that Rook is like “Christian Pinochle.” However, when I made the comparison that Christian Cards is like Christian rock, I got no response.

          It’s amazing that some things can be cleansed by putting the Christian title in front of it…(Christian movies, Christian cards) and others can be demonized (Christian Rock). The double standard is sometimes very astounding.

        4. @Admiral911, I grew up fundy, and my parents treated ALL cards as sinful (yes, even Uno and the like) because of the association (in *their* minds) with “face cards,” which in turn are associated–in all cases (again, in their minds) with gambling (and we all know that every form of gambling is inherently sinful because it operates on chance/”luck” and not on God’s Will [TM]. /end sarcasm/) Now to be fair, I don’t know how rare my parents were in that regard, but it certainly is not unheard of in fundyland.

        5. When my grandparents were children, many people here in Texas believed that playing cards was wicked. Playing dominoes was apparently fine, though.
          I never found out what the difference was supposed to be, except that cards could be used for gambling. Of course, it’s as easy to bet on a game of dominoes as on a game of cards, but people who make these kinds of rules don’t seem to think that way.

        6. It’s a list of things that lead down the slippery road to Satanism. Cards lead you down the slippery road to gambling and the love of filthy lucre, thus their omission from this list. :lol:

        7. We were never allowed to having playing cards in our house, but other cards were fine. I remember asking several times just what exactly was bad about specific cards and never getting a straight answer.

        8. I was taught that during the Middle Ages in France, King Louis the somethingeth commissioned the first playing cards, with the face cards being a deliberate occultic attempt at making a mockery of God. The Queen is Mary, and I think the Jack is Jesus, and I forgot who the others represent, but the intent is to be occultic and mock the Faith. Therefore, obviously, anyone playing cards now is trying to be deliberately Satanic and everyone knows it.

          The gambling association is bad, too.

        9. @admiral911 the primary definition of “playing cards” (according to dictionary.com) is of the type used in poker. many fundies i know would distinguish between playing cards and uno.

        10. @Elizabeth,

          Thanks for the specifics. All I was ever told is that some of the cards “mock God.” Never knew the background of how they got that idea.

    1. A guy once tried playing his old Rock LP’s backwards to find out if there was any demonic message.
      He heard “You Are ****ing up your gramophone needle, ha ha ha!”

  8. Levitation. I have always wanted to try that. But it would probably end badly, since this, according to them, leads to demonic possession. The head-turning would ruin my levitation.

  9. Wait, wait, it says meditation. That is a biblical thing, Psalm “On his law he meditates day and night.” So this is obviously a demonic twisting of all that is noble and true to get us to not do biblical things.

  10. I’ve always wondered what it would take for me to be demon possessed. Now, I have a list! Score. Thanks, Darrell.

  11. Lycanthropy? So we’re not allowed to magically turn into wolves? Now there’s a fundy rule I’m pretty sure I can keep.

    AND DEM VIDYA GAMES. Of course they’re evil, doncha know that those MURDER SIMULATORS are the root of all modern evil and all the school shootings and whatnot? Angry Birds is the worst, it encourages destruction of public property and killing pigs.

    On a more serious note, I actually understand why a fundy would put LotR on there, even if I think it’s stupid to do so. While LotR has some pretty clearly Christian influences (especially when you get into the Silmarillion), it’s not an allegory like Narnia, so therefore it must be evil. Also, Tolkien was a staunch Catholic, and Catholics = ultimate evil.

    1. You didn’t know allegory was evil? Genesis 1 is historical narrative!

      * Exception to the “allegory is evil” clause applies to any understanding of Eucharist that tries to make us cannibals.

  12. Is “XTC” supposed to be ecstasy?
    And when exactly is some unsuspecting person going to wander or even pursue “Skull and Bones”?

    1. Isn’t Skull and Bones a sort-of secret society at Yale? I don’t think you can pursue it–they have to invite you to join.

      1. It’s a very elite secret club at Yale that is, indeed, joined by invitation only. Both Bushes (Poppy and W) were members (still are, I suppose). Robbing graves to steal the skulls of famous people is said to be one of Skull & Bones’ initiation tests.

        1. I seem to remember a flap some years ago when someone admitted that a member had stolen the skull of Geronimo back during/around the time of World War I.

    2. Maybe they mean pirates! Skull and bones on the Jolly Roger! I’m sure they’d consider Pirates of the Caribbean to be totally demonic! (Jack Sparrow is a sot, after all.) :twisted:

      1. Oopsie!
        my bad…
        I just broke the first commandment of Internet protocol…
        Thou shall not give keyboards to people when they no not what they read. :oops:

  13. I’ve been doing yoga for almost a year now…still waiting on that demon possession.

    And fornication?? Since when does that cause demon possession? Unless they’re thinking of STDs as a type of possession, lol.

    1. There is some branch of Christianity (not sure how many of them are fundies, if any) that associate any kind of sickness or injury with demon possession. If the author of this list is of that persuasion, he might see it that way…

    1. How odd that I have The Smiths Meat is Murder Cd hanging out of my Mac right now. Dug it out of the forgotten bin last week. In my teens thought ol’ Moz was wise and found his falsetto made me swoon; now not so much. Enjoyed the clever lampoon.

    2. My son loves the Arrogant Worms. He had managed to get his hands on a CD of theirs for awhile. If I remember right, his version of this song ends with “All we are saying is give peas a chance.”

      This reminds me of The Restraunt at the End of the Universe where Arthur Dent, upon having the cow that was slated to be slaughtered for them talk to him orders a salad instead, and the cow is like “How do you know that the lettuce wants to be eaten. I know some vegetables that have some really strong feelings about that!” :cool:

  14. Fornication leads to demon possession? If that were the case, before we were married, we would have had our heads spinning around, speaking in weird voices, our bodies would have been floating around the room (that would have been cool, think of the possibilities :twisted: ) and projectile vomiting… Sadly, none of that happened and we have been happily married for 10 years next month. My how time flies…

    And we are going to see Slash and Myles Kennedy on Friday night, maybe we can pick up some demon possession there?

    1. If you do get possessed, will you tell me? We’re going to see them August 4, so it’d be nice to know if I should bring a crucifix and holy water.

      1. Ah… *THOSE* guys. They sure are getting some mileage out of those signs. I have seen them at just about every parade, protest and get-together I have been near downtown. I don’t know what church they are from, but I am POSITIVE they are the same guys I saw protesting (or whatever) a parade that was downtown a few months ago, and had seen them prior to that at a Tea Party thingie on the harbor. They are getting LOTS of points for heaven.

  15. If the person handing these out was actually as Comic-Con, I’m surprised that didn’t marker in Cosplay. Probably too busy oogling boobies.

  16. That’s quite a list.

    I don’t know who is behind this pamphlet, or whether or not they are serious, but if some militantly atheist group of the Richard Dawkins stripe wanted to turn everyone at Comic-Con against all religion and theism, this would be an excellent way to go about it.

    1. or tattoos. or piercings. or dying your hair a weird color. or doing anything that isn’t endorsed by the Religious Thought Police of Fundystan

      1. You’re right…they really dropped the ball on the tattoos and piercings…

        I’m a little surprised the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention aren’t on the list…

  17. With all due respect to those who get something out of it, laying on the floor at yoga and listening to some whackjob instructor (who likely has 18 hours of “training” and now thinks s/he can cure all that ever has or ever will ail you–seriously, people) yammering in a fake soft voice about breath and “centers” and “finding the divine within” does tend to tempt me toward the sin of beating said whackjob over the head with any hard object available in the room.

    Just saying.

    1. If you exclude the “guru” aspect, yoga is really just flexibility and core strength training…and like I mentioned in a separate post, pretty hard for a not-so-flexible middle aged guy.

      After reading your post, I cannot shake the mental image of you watching a yoga class for 10 minutes while you hardily ate one or two Big Mac’s and super-sized fry :0

      1. That was my impression. Bikram Yoga did me a heck of a lot of good when I had bad back trouble. And our teachers were all lifelong yoga students who had gotten certified in Bikram. But they were all knowledgeable. Of course, YMMV.

    1. Why do you call people ignorant and then make pointless ignorant comments yourself?

      Divination is the channeling of spirits. It is the practice of opening yourself up to spiritual guidance. Unsaved people do it all the time out of a desperate need for a higher power. If you don’t believe it exists, then I feel sorry for you for posting as an “expert” in Christian themes.

      1. Divination is a method of determining the answer to a question by reading signs. You cast rods, cast coins, look at the stars, read animal intestines, or tea leaves, etc. All of those are forms of divination. In the Old Testament, Joshua was appointed to use divination to divide up the Promised Land to the families. David cast a linen ephod to divine answers. The High Priest was appointed under the Law to keep two stones in his breastplate to cast in order to divine answers.

        1. Very good response.

          In the context of this list, it is clear that divination is old-fashioned “soothsaying”, or seeking guidance from unseen forces rather than God.

        2. Perhaps better stated would be “unseen forces apart from acknowledging the existence of God.”

        3. Um, no, the list is a fair reminder that occultic activity is a counterfeit to genuine spiritual renewal. I feel qualified to comment on 17 of the items listed (and others not listed), and I don’t feel that these are things worthy of mockery, even if some of them are not as serious as others.

        4. So, no more rolling dice to see who goes first in Monopoly? Or picking a tile from the bag in Scrabble?
          Those could both be considered divination in the Fundy sense of stretching to ridiculous conclusions.

        1. I recall having a friend at BJU whose family, as a matter of course, used divining rods to pick from various lots of land to buy or where to sink a well. Only the men carried it out. I recall the horror of one of the BJU ladies in charge when she found that out. And I recall my friend’s surprise when she was told it was witchcraft. The men in her family had handed down the practice as part of farming skills. I know her brother used a divining rod to locate the place to sink a well. The father double-checked using the same method, agreed on the same spot, and they did successfully sink a well. I assumed from then on that divining worked, but every study but one says that even the best diviners get the exact same results as if they had relied on chance.

  18. I have a parishioner who insists that yoga is a tool of Satan. OTOH, a few days I came across an evangelical church on in the Internet that holds a weekly “Christian Yoga” class.

    1. I tried a yoga class with my wife when we vacationed in Jamaica this summer…given how I felt the next day, I think it may be of Satan ;)

      Incidentally, the instructor was a professing Christian from the states

    1. Beth is short for Elisabeth. My middle name is Sue, and as you can see, my last name begins with a “D.” I do not go by Liz. Guess why? :mrgreen:

  19. I really like how yoga, vegetarianism, and the generic “video games” are right there on the same list with vampirism, lycanthropy, and The Church of Satan.

    It reminds me of the David Benoit videos/books going from the evils of Satanism all the way down to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Smurfs and the Care Bears. Even as a fundy, I was always like “REALLY??? Watching a Care Bear cartoon is just as bad as actually worshiping Satan??”

    Why isn’t Pokemon and Magic the Gathering on this list? My mom burned a kid’s Pokemon cards at church one time and she STILL tells me about how she lit them on fire and THE CARDS STARTED SCREAMING IN THE FLAMES.

    1. That is INSANE! Those creepy demon stories never seem to get old in the fundie movement. Never mind that they generally reject the concept of the spiritual realm when it comes to the Holy Spirit!

    2. Get a pokemon card and keep it on you. Next time she claims that, get the card out and burn it. When it doesn’t scream, she has some explaining to do.

  20. Yep, this list is the result of a big dose of salts and then they ran a light up in there to see who/what was left, seeings how they missed, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and all. I think the wardrobe is sidways in there and will have to be me manually extracted. Wait where was the warning to flee the arts and homosexuality? (of course someone going in to retrieve the wardrobe might give the appearance of sodomy so it looks like the wardrobe will be staying put for the time being.)

      1. Jest ramblin’ on and mummlin’ about sumpim… I guess muh age and rurrl, redneck, hillbilly ruuts air ahshowin’.
        “Salts” was fer git’en thangs movin’ when one wuz consterpated. Too big a dose of salts and everbody moved… down wind… at least fer a while.
        Alls, I can say is, “I ain’t going in ta git the Wardrobe, I noze that this her list haint cumplete, They dun missed demon likker, ol’ C.
        S Lewis, gayz, wimmin’s lib, The Beatles, Higher Edgekachion, mixed marrages, the diffurnce ‘tween a beech and thuh coast, CCM and all perversions of the Bible what ain’t thuh blessed, 16-leb-um, King James, inspared, pre-zerved, infailabul, werd of Gid fer thah ‘merikan speekin peepoes. Thays alot of crap up in thar they done missed. I hain’t gwan in thar fer the Wardrobe, no-sir-ee-bob, no me. Hit jest ain’t worthit. fer alls I kair it can just stay there and the Lion and the Witch kin keep it company if they wannah.

        1. ummmmm, the IFB has already patented that…
          butt, if you want a new semi-sacred, seven-degrees-superseparated, Saturday soulwinning, sanctimonious, Sunday sabbath, Shepherd supporting, sin-hatin’, sold-out, sorta-spiritual shouting, sanctified spittin, salava showerin’, Salvation Show then a big dose of “Salts” would sufficiently suffice.

  21. I love these lists because of what they leave out. In an attempt at behavioral modification they open the door for so much more. Of course the other option is to preach Christ and Him crucified, but who does that anymore?

    I wonder how many people saw that and breathed a sigh of relief because porn wasn’t listed :?:

  22. Hey, where is “sodomy” on this list? I can’t believe they forgot one of their most favorite preaching subjects!! :roll:

    I guess teh gayz get a pass….this time. :lol:

  23. What’s this? Ol’ Billy Sunday is spinning in his grave! Demon alcohol is given a pass? Why… every good fundie knows the demons in rock music get together with the demons in the beer/wine/likker’ bottles and they party in your soul!

    “Medicinal Wine in a spoon and then demons in a bottle, O, we got trouble!”

    1. I thought the demons in the alcohol and rock got together and called out to the demons in their pants (especially if they’re jeans)

  24. Of everything on that list, the ones that I am finding the hardest to avoid are lycanthropy and vampirism. I mean, I’ve successfully managed to drive off all the unicorns, fairies, and gnomes from my home, but the werewolves and vampires continue to stalk me. Its so hard to avoid things that don’t actually exist. :razz:

    I think its funny that they felt the need to include both lycanthropy and vampirism, separately, instead of just saying something like “paranormal books and movies” or something like that. Just how out of touch with reality is the author of this list?

    Now, back to reading my LOTR books…

  25. To be fair, Twilight films absolutely are the doorway to something … stupidity, if not demon possession.

    1. I’m pretty sure watching them lowers a person’s IQ.

      But a Doorway to Demonic Possession? That’s a bit strong.

  26. What do they mean by burning man? And firewalking – I’ve seen that done on TV, and I’m really not sure it’s demonic. However, it does appear painful, unless the people that do it have VERY thick calluses on their feet!

    1. Burning Man is a sort of art festival held in the Nevada desert each year.
      It has a reputation of being sort of libertine, but not demonic.

      Firewalking can be done without burning your feet if you know the trick.

      1. What about walking on egg-shells? That’s something you have to be very very good at as a fundy, or even if you have to be around fundies.

  27. I have an acquaintance who goes a bit overboard with his study/beliefs on demons. As in, there are demons attached to Beatles records. (I don’t know if CDs are safe; I’m scared to ask him). He has also stated that another friend with chronic health problems might be healed if he would get rid of the Greek Orthodox icons from his folks. And he was concerned for us after he found out we had visited a number of Catholic churches while in Barcelona.

    After looking at this list, I’m in deep trouble.

    1. Are the demons somehow in the songs, or are the embedded in the physical vinyl?

      Because MP3s might solve the former problem.

      1. I never asked. The guy is actually an old friend who is somewhat normal and unfundy in most areas, just a bit over the top in his demonological (?) studies. I need to ask him next time it comes up. My guess is he would say they travel with the song, which brings up a lot more questions, such as: is it only when John, Paul, George, and Ringo sing? Is my Chet Atkins Picks On The Beatles tainted? What about when you’re out in the world and a store plays it on their speakers?

        And, what if you buy a Bill Gaither album at the thrift store, and it has touched a Beatles album in the bin? Transference is another demonic fact, according to a series of sermons he loaned me once.

        B.G.–you ask too many questions

        1. Asking too many questions can open you to demon-possession. Did you not listen to your M-O-g ???

    2. I guess nothing should shock me any more relative to what people believe. Maybe that is why we should all constantly evaluate our beliefs to determine what they are actually based on. I suppose the reference to the Beatles gives a clue as to what time period this guy is from…is it just the Beatles or has he assigned demon possession to a broader group of bands? He could really have fun with the Death Metal genre.

    3. Supposedly there’s demonic messages in Beatles’ songs if you play them backwards. Question: how do you play a CD backwards? Also, does any one besides a fundy minister have a counter-clockwise phonograph?

      1. If you have the software, it’s actually easier to play a digital recording backwards than to play a phonograph record or a tape backwards.

        Since a digital file is a series of ones and zeroes, you just reverse the whole string of ones and zeroes (for example, you change 010010001 to 100010010) and then play the file.
        I understand it’s not quite that simple, but close.
        The technique is known as “backmasking.”

        Here’s the best and most entertaining collection of backmasked samples I’ve seen:
        http://jeffmilner.com/backmasking/

        However, I’m partial to the idea that if you spin your LP backwards with the needle on it, you get some message like, “You’re ruining your record and your needle, you idiot.”

        I think the early supposed backwards messages, if they were there at all, were purely coincidental, but once the stories had gone around, a few musicians put backwards messages in their records on purpose as a joke– sort of like the “Easter Eggs” some video games and software contain.

        To believe that a backwards message can somehow brainwash people or put a curse on them, though, you’d have to believe that something nobody can understand as it’s played can make people do some very specific thing.

        1. Every once in a while when backmasking comes up, somewhere among the little voices I hear Mr. Nugent singing “Back Mask Fever”

  28. I’m going to the library in a little while to get Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban to reread (yes, reread) while I am waiting for my little one to make her appearance.
    Think she’ll be safe?

  29. WARNING: Giant chunk o’text ahead! (This is a repost from FreeJinger, slightly revised.)

    OK, putting aside the goofy cluelessness of the list, let’s dig into the verses.

    Ephesians 6:12 comes after Paul’s recommendations for how Christians should live in their existing communities. It begins a passage about how he thinks individual Christians should live. Here’s the verse (KJV): For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. This dramatic verse introduces Paul’s extended metaphor about the armor of Christ. He recommends “truth,” “righteousness,” “the preparation of the gospel of peace,” “faith,” “salvation,” “the word of God,” and “praying always” for oneself, “the saints,” and for Paul himself. I note that whoever composed this tract falls down right at the first step. I first took this failure to speak truth as a sign that this was just a tribal recognition signal–”We passed this out at ComicCon, so we’re obviously doing the work of Christ, see?” But I wonder if the people who wrote this simply can’t understand that other people do not speak their tribal dialect. We don’t have the appropriate reflexive responses to the words “Trilateralism” or “Yoga.” We expect discussion and fact checking. We don’t want truthiness; we want truth.

    Deuteronomy 18:9-12 is extracted from one of the discourses of Moses to the Israelites shortly before they entered the Promised Land. It comes after the directions for how the Levites are to be supported by the people and before the directions for cities of refuge–a sort of general spiritual/ethical housekeeping section. KJV: When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Here are the next two verses: Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so [to do]. So the passage refers to avoiding the magical/religious rituals of non-Jews. But it doesn’t end there. The need for a window into the future is taken for granted; it’s just the method that is condemned. Moses goes on to note that the people begged God not to speak to them directly ever again, as He did at Mount Horeb, or they might die. So instead of speaking to them directly, says Moses, God plans to send prophets. Here’s Moses quoting what God told him (v.18, KJV): And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. The prophets said a hell of a lot about not grinding down the poor and powerless. Why don’t tracts like this ever preach against the evils of payday loans, robo-signed mortgages, or raising sales tax on groceries? It’s always “alternative” life choices and things that sort of kind of look somewhat like things that somebody said were bad one time. Even when their aimless screeds catch a genuine evil, like Scientology, they can’t be trusted, because they are simultaneously flipping out about practices that are commended in the Bible they claim to have read!

    1. The New Testament continues the theme of the necessity for the rich to behave ethically toward the poor. James 5:1-6 condemns the rich who refuse to pay their workers reasonably while they themselves live in luxury.

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