Jesus the Blogging Songwriter

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We’re just freaks in love
Saints above
Shine on our sweet life
Happy is the union
Of fools and freaks alike

And fearless are the idiots
Among the hawks and doves
We’re on the outside looking in
A couple of freaks in love

Freaks in Love, lyrics by B. Taupin
© 2004 HST Management Ltd./Rouge Booze, Inc

Have you read something that makes you think: “how can anyone be that stupid?”  What am I saying?   Of course you have if you read stuff on the Internet!  The Internet allows anybody who is even mildly literate to post anything their dinosaur brain can formulate into letters and words.  Continue reading

Gay Marriage — Why all the fuss?

Elton John, David Furnish

Elton John and David Furnish–why shouldn’t they be allowed to get married?

I believe in love, it’s all we got
Love has no boundaries, costs nothing to touch
Churches and dictators, politics and papers
Everything crumbles sooner or later
But love, I believe in love
“Believe,” lyrics by Bernie Taupin
(c) 1995 William A. Bong Limited

With the recent news from the U.S. Supreme Court about gay marriage,  the religious right has come out in full force to condemn it.  

I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.  If people would just listen to me, we could put this issue to bed once and for all. 

Christians who oppose gay marriage often quote scripture from the Bible in support of their position.  Simply put, it “offends God”:

 Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

Marriage is not the creature of any State. Rather, it was established by God in Paradise for our first parents, Adam and Eve. As we read in the Book of Genesis: “God created man in His image; in the Divine image he created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:28-29)– Excerpt from “10 Reasons why Homosexual Marriage is Harmful and Must be opposed.”

Ok then, if you are going to follow—and seek to enforce– the Bible’s commands, then you have to follow all of the Bible’s commands.  You don’t get to pick and choose the ones you want to enforce, and ignore the ones you would rather weren’t in the Bible.

Therefore, if gay marriage “violates the natural moral order established by God,” then so does divorce:

By law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.  Romans 7:2-3

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  Luke 16:18

How many of the people who are against gay marriage are also against divorce?  An even better question—how many of them ARE divorced?   Why is divorce ok but gay marriage is not?

Here’s my take on all of this.  The Bible must be read in the context of its times, economic, social and scientific.  It was written before the age of scientific discovery.  So to explain things like how the world got started, we have the story in Genesis.  Was the earth really created in six days and then on the seventh God rested? Really?  If God is all powerful, why did he need a day of rest anyway?   

The Bible is full of parables, allegories and unscientific information that’s just plain wrong.   I don’t think the Bible was ever meant to be a scientific treatise.  Even Pope Francis agrees with this.   He recently declared that evolution and the Big Bang theory are right and that God is not magician with a magic wand.  Too bad fundamentalist Christians don’t listen to the Pope. 

I can’t reconcile everything that’s in the Bible.  I’m not a biblical scholar.  But I am a Christian.  As a Christian, I disagree vehemently that “anyone who loves God” must oppose gay marriage.  I think it’s just the opposite.  Anyone who loves God must not condemn gay marriage.

It’s the fundamental message that Jesus brought to the world that’s important, and that message is love, tolerance and respect for others:  This is my command: Love each other.  John 15:17.

That message has not changed.  It remains as relevant today as it did back when the Bible was written.  Maybe even more relevant.

The bottom line for me is this:  If (and that is a big, qualified If) gay marriage offends God,  then it is up to God, and only God, to judge. 

Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Luke 6:37

Even Jesus said he was not the one to judge.

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him.  For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.  John 12:47

The rest of us should stop condemning others and endeavor to love even those with whom we don’t agree.  In fact, those are the most important people to love and tolerate.  As Jesus said, it’s easy to love your friends.  But a true Christian must strive for more than that.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? . . but love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back. Luke 6:32, 35

I guess I should take a page out of my own book and forgive those who trespassed against me, shouldn’t I?  I’m trying, I really am.

GOD HATES THE CONSTITUTION 

They stand in front of churches
They stand in front of crowds
They carry signs that tell us
God’s message from the clouds

God hates the constitution
He wants to pray in schools
The godly have solutions
The rest of us are fools

I guess they have a private line
Directly to the Lord
But the line must have some static
Perhaps a faulty mother board?

When I read the Bible
The message there is love
And tolerance for everyone–
That’s the dispatch from above

And if it is a sin
Whatever they decry
Jesus said, before you judge
Take that log out of your eye.

(c) 2014 Renata Manzo

 

Salvation: Jesus did not die on the cross so you could lie your way to a promotion

imagesCAST02UL
I have to say my friends
 This road goes a long, long way
 And if we’re gonna find the end
 We’re gonna need a helping hand
 Salvation, lyrics by Bernie Taupin
© 1972 Dick James Music Limited
           It’s no wonder that so many people hate organized religion.  Religion has been used to justify war, genocide, imperialism, segregation and all sorts of discrimination.  Remember studying “Manifest Destiny” in the eighth grade?  No?  Well I do.  It was a widely held belief in the 19thcentury that it was God’s will that American settlers expand throughout the continent.  It was used by politicians to justify the war with Mexico in 1840 and the genocide of native Americans so the country could expand all the way to the west coast. 
           In 1959, religion was used to try to justify segregation and laws against interracial marriage:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents.  And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages.  The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

 – Judge Leon M. Bazile, January 6, 1959

Then on a personal level, there’s the “I’m not perfect, just forgiven” mentality, which argues that it’s ok to lie, cheat and generally be an asshole because Jesus forgives us for our sins.  I don’t think that’s what Jesus had in mind when he said:  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”  Matthew 26:28, NIV. 

 Jesus did not die on the cross so you could throw a colleague under the bus in order to get a promotion.

  Which brings us to today’s song parody, entitled “Good Christian Woman,” to be sung to the tune of the Rolling Stone’s “Honky Tonk Women.”

A GOOD CHRISTIAN WOMAN
I met a Yale-bred lawyer down in Richmond
She tried to throw me underneath a bus
She told me that she’d pray for me on Sunday
Because she didn’t smoke or drink or cuss
Chorus:
She’s a good Christian woman
Gimme, gimme,  gimme the hypocrite blues
The girl in HR said she couldn’t help me
The nemesis, she said, was here to stay
She offered me advice that I should follow
“If you see her coming, you should pray.”
The nemesis she sings in her church choir
But honesty don’t bother her too much
I wonder when she runs her colleagues over
Does she ever even feel the slightest bump?
She smiles like a giant Cheshire tabby
Her mouth is full of lies as well as gums
And when she stabs the minions in the backside
Onward Christian Soldiers she does hum
When she meets the GC she brings good news
I solved another problem; it’s no more”
Of course she fails to mention to the GC
There really weren’t no problem there before
(c) 2014 Renata Manzo– this is a work of my imagination.  Any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.