Cowardice is Not Love

Written by: Anonymous

This article was written by someone who wishes to remain anonymous but who is in the middle of deconstructing. GwenAnn and I have edited it some for clarity but it remains the work of this anonymous author who had something to say that fits into our philosophical discussion of deconstruction but who was afraid to say it when their friends and family would attack them for not agreeing. And if that doesn’t tell you why they are writing about what they call christian cowardice, I don’t know what will. We published under my user, Lizibet, because we haven’t figured out how to publish under someone that isn’t a user (If you know, please share) so that Anonymous’s voice and story can be heard.

I wish I was brave enough to write this and let people know I wrote it but I am afraid that if I do, I will lose my friends, my family, and my church. I am just not ready for that. Not yet. I already lost half of my family and friends and was rejected by people in my church because I spoke up about abuse and divorced my husband. I am broken because of how I was taught to believe god expected me to live that I now think is way wrong, but I am trying to find a way to understand. For me, one of the hardest things since I grew up in the christian church is something I think I am an expert on:

The cowardice of christians who make claims about what they say is fact or truth but they cannot stand to hear themselves contradicted and cannot stand a discussion that will in any way challenge their beliefs.

Now I can hear some people I already know and what they would say to me, trying to tell me that the bible is truth and that it can be taken completely at its value and it cannot be contradicted at all which is why I get angry and ask questions to make my point.

Will you tell me how Judas died? Because the new testament contradicts itself when it says what happened to Judas and his silver: in one story he chucks it in the temple and in another he buys a field, in one story he hangs himself from a tree and in another he falls into a field and breaks. So which is it because it cannot be both, right?

What is god’s role for women? It’s a trick question because in both the old testament and the new testament it is made clear that in god there is no gender. How can god have a role for women when there is no gender in god? Now, I know what someone would immediately begin to argue telling me about what Paul said but I would google the rest of the speech and read it out how Plato, whom Paul was quoting, wrote it and ask them when Plato became a Jewish or christian scholar. He didn’t. The Romans liked him though and made his words law. Paul was telling people not to break the Roman law.

Does god approve of rape? They will immediately tell me “no” (which I whole-heartedly agree with) and I will immediately begin to recite every line of “and he went into her and made her his wife” because when the bible was translated into English, every rape was written as those exact words. Not once in the old testament is marriage mentioned and not once in the old testament is the word wife used. Women were property, valued roughly as a lamb, and could be raped or whatever whenever a man wanted because they were property.

As a christian, I know people who are also christian may be fuming at this point and questioning my beliefs completely and if you are not the coward who will immediately write me off and stop reading, read on because I am speaking directly to you.

You, christian, have faith that even in the moments when the bible contradicts itself that there is still truth between those covers, but if you cannot even stand the discussion of those contradictions with a fellow christian, how do you ever expect to explain it to someone who does not have faith?

You’ll never be able to and especially when they see that you will have a tantrum when someone else who believes in Jesus doesn’t agree with you on every tiny belief you have, they see the hypocrisy and legalism you are living in but they do not see LOVE.

It is crazy to me that christianity in America believes it is their duty to spread the gospel to all the world but to do so in such a way that they cannot actually have a conversation with anyone about it. Anyone who disagrees is expected to submit and shut-up or they will be silenced or blocked. It is the epitome of preaching Love with the least amount of love possible and it is also accepting blindly that whatever someone preached about some of those bible stories must have been true because “god would never condone ___” but if you insist on saying that it is all truth and literally true, the truth is that there is a lot in the bible that was acceptable in the time the stories were written that we would never accept or approve of now and that if you have to play bible gymnastics to justify why you’re more right and why what someone else is thinking or believing is wrong, you are missing something.

Take the issue of someone reading a horoscope. I saw a post today by a christian who stated she was “not judging” (she was judging) but that people cannot be doing any of that “horoscopey voodoo” stuff and still call themselves a christian. She was really put off when I started telling her the kinds of horoscopey voodoo stuff she was condemning that happened in the bible:

Saul did that kind of medium-y voodoo to talk to Samuel after he was dead…

Gideon did that testing-god by throwing out his fleece to let god put dew on it or not…

God sent a jackass, a literal talking donkey, in some bestial, animal familiar witchcrafty thing to deliver a message…

The wisemen used that astrology stuff to read the omen in the starts for the birth of Christ and then to follow the star to find him…

And that the whole reason we have 4 gospels in the bible is that some christian dudes a bunch of centuries ago did some jewish numerology mysticism voodoo to decide that because there are 4 cardinal directions and 4 seasons, there should be 4 gospels and since these 4 are the closest and are also not written by a woman, they’re the ones we know…

She immediately jumped down my throat telling me I was taking the bible out of context but I disagree. If you want to preach to someone that what they’re doing is not godly, then you better not be able to find that thing in the bible being allowed and promoted and talked about by the writers, because that will surely prove every judgment you’re making wrong. She said, “read your bible,” and guess what? I have. The stuff she was condemning is all stuff from the bible.

Now before you accuse me of saying witchcraft or something is okay, I want you to step back and remember: I didn’t write the bible, I only read it and did some research to understand why we have the 4 gospels we have. You can be mad at me all you want, but I didn’t wrote the stories and I didn’t do the numerology voodoo. I just learned about it and inconvenienced you with that truth.

Let’s take another example. What does god think of rapists? Hold onto your hat because I am going to make you really upset but don’t quit on me now.

David was repeatedly called the man after god’s own heart. He was also a stalker, a kidnapper, and a rapist.

In that time in Israel and for many practicing Jews today, a woman was considered unclean during the time of her period and in the week that followed. She was expected to be separated from the men of her household, not allowed to sleep in the same bed, not allowed to touch them and a lot of other rules until the time of her uncleanness was over and until she had taken her ritual cleansing baths. Where would women take these baths? On the roofs of their houses where there was a space set aside for them to be unclean and make themselves clean again.

David, the man after god’s own heart, had a harem full of women who he could have sex with whenever he wanted but when he saw this one woman going through her ritual cleansing in the privacy of her own home the home her husband owned and put her in, since she was his property and couldn’t have chosen another place to live if she wanted to, he wanted her. He watched her and stalked her and waited until she was clean and definitely not pregnant, having finished all her ceremonial cleansing of washing off the menstrual blood and dried lining of her uterus that was all over her genitals and legs, and then he sent a troop of soldiers to take this woman that was the property of another man from her pen her home the place her husband kept her to the palace because he wanted to fuck her.

And he raped her.

Now the law in the time was that if a woman didn’t call out and scream for help when she was being raped it meant that she wanted it, which obviously shows that they knew nothing about being knocked out, strangled, stifled, or frozen in fear. But because the bible doesn’t say that this poor woman cried out for him to stop that she was a slutty seductress who was trying to get in with the king but I’d like to ask the obvious question:

Who would have helped her? The kings guards were the one who stole her away… The king was the rapist… Who would have helped her and dared to stand up against the royal guard and stop the king? Who would punish the king?

When it turned out that he managed to conceive with this poor woman, David, the man after god’s own heart who knew that the child had to be his because he watcher her wash the menstrual blood off her body before he stole her to rape her, first tried to get the husband to come sleep with his own wife like an episode of Maury Povich so he would think the child was his but when that didn’t work, David the man after god’s own heart arranged for this man to be killed in battle so that he could just take his property – A HUMAN BEING – for himself.

If the fact that the man after god’s own heart was a stalker, kidnapper, rapist, and eventual murderer of this woman’s husband doesn’t bother you and make you uncomfortable, then perhaps the fact that the punishment prescribed by Nathan the prophet was that for having raped someone else’s woman, David would watch/know that some of his own women would be raped by other men to punish him will make you uncomfortable.

Because that is exactly what happened. This man after god’s own heart is the kind of man I would never date, never let anywhere near any of my girlfriends or the young women in my family or my church, because what grieved his heart was not the truth of his sin in raping and violating violently a woman’s body but that he got caught and some of his other property would have the same thing done to them.

This is a biblical story. It is told start to finish as it happened. I haven’t added or taken anything away. But christians will object to the fact that I called a rapist a rapist instead of blaming the victim and calling her a whore because it is more convenient to their beliefs to think that David was lured into an adulterous relationship than to realize that she never had a choice.

The fact that christianity today paints the victim of that crime as the cause of it is cowardly.

The fact that christians will argue til they are blue in the face that the bible is always true all the time and nothing in it can be untrue when it does contradict itself is cowardly.

The fact that christians cannot even begin to handle a discussion where they are not accepted as 100% right in all their thinking and believing is cowardly.

This is exactly why I’m deconstructing from the christian belief system I was raised in because the bible is a book that contradicts itself constantly but most christians don’t see it and don’t want to see it because they’ve been taught to blindly accept that those words must be taken to mean whatever they have been taught they must mean. That blind acceptance that the bible must be taken that literally is what leads to spiritual abuse:

Pastors who are sexually predatory to church members, adults or children, who are “rehabilitated” by their churches while their victims pay the price in their mental, physical, and spiritual health because they are told that the pastor apologized, was rehabilitated, and therefore must be forgiven and accepted.

Abusive spouses or christian “counselors” who advise the abused spouse to stay using the bible, people like James Dobson and my es-husband, people like my father, people like my mother in law, people who said that when I was afraid of my husband it was not because he was torturing me it was because I was a sinful woman who would not submit, people who told me that I could not be raped, even though he took great delight in raping me in whatever way would cause me the greatest pain and humiliation.

Do not misunderstand me and think that I am saying that I don’t believe the bible to be the word of god, because I do believe it is the word of god. What I don’t believe is that it is literal in every message it is delivering.

What I believe is that god is teaching us values through it that apply regardless of politics and race and gender.

What I believe is that some of the values and beliefs of the people written about in that ancient time are outdated and incorrect, that god allowed people to live in the time they were in without ever being so outrageous in their acceptance and love that they would be murdered by the rest of the world even though I believe that is exactly why Christ died.

What I believe is that if you have so little faith that you have to throw out what can be scientifically proven, you don’t have any faith at all, because if you really believe that god created the universe and everything in it, that includes the laws of science and nature and all the things those can prove and teach. Science doesn’t disprove god or faith but rejecting it disproves your faith.

I believe god is big enough and strong enough that he doesn’t need human gatekeepers to protect him from being misunderstood and that he is so powerful that he can send an animal to deliver a message when someone cannot hear it from any human sources, that he can deliver a message in a meme, or a horoscope, or a sunset, or a book quote, or an email from a friend or stranger, and that he doesn’t need any human to protect his message: if he wants to deliver a message, he will.

What I believe is that god already sent the messiah, that was Jesus, and he doesn’t need me to apply for the job, or you, so stop playing a victim.

What I believe is that when I sit in judgment and virtue signal for being better than everyone else whose shoes I am not in, whose journey I’m not on, whose heart I do not know, that what I’m doing is blasphemous because it assumes I know as much of their insides as god does… And I don’t.

And what I DO believe is that if you really do believe in him, you have to actually live according to the law that Jesus set which was really simple:

Love one another. That’s it. Love.

Sometimes love means letting someone have the consequences of their actions: I loved my ex-husband and I prayed that he would find himself spending the rest of his life behind barsbecause I know that if he is to have any hope of finding god and escaping hell, whatever that looks like, he needs to face consequences.

Sometimes love means calling someone a name that doesn’t fit the gender you believe them to be. The bible says that there is no gender in god and the bible says to love your neighbor as yourself. Stop trying to dictate who someone is because if you want to get into a debate in my comments, and I do invite you to, I will answer you with some scathing science to prove that you know far less about gender than you think you do. If you love them as christ loves them, call them by their name. Respect their name. Don’t call them it, or he/she/it, or whatever. You show someone the love of Christ when you use their name and their pronouns with love for who they are.

Love means you don’t get to pick and choose the amount of truth you’re willing to take from the bible and get angry when the bible you’re devoted to paints a picture different than what you want it to paint. I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings, but you don’t get to pick and choose. That’s not love.

Love is patient…

Love is kind…

Love does not envy…

Love does not boast…

Love is not proud…

Love does not dishonor others…

Love is not self seeking…

Love is not easily angered…

Love keeps no records of wrong…

Love rejoices with the truth even when it inconveniently is found in your favorite source of knowledge or even when it is inconveniently found in the science you so wish to reject…

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…

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