"Love--strong affection: warm attachment; cherish: to feel a passion, tenderness, a devotion for: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for others---(Webster's dictionary). Does the Good Samaritan pop into your mind?
So how important to God is love? According to the Bible, very important. In my Strong's Concordance there are approximately five and half columns of references on love, or loving kindness, and only about two columns on hate. So in spite of the errancies, add-ons, cruelties, deletions, editing, and screwing up of the Bible, one verse stands out vividly. How it escaped the redactor's scissors is a puzzle. But why the old pervert didn't preach it is not a puzzle. The only things he ever loved was money, power and authority. He even hated his own son, and I've never heard him give a sermon where he didn't get mad and yell at the congregation.
In James 2;8 it says, "If ye fulfill the Royal Law . according to the scripture, 'Thou shalt love love thy neighbor as thyself', ye do well."
Now, I'm going to pull an Armstrong here: "DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?" (x#*@!!!* HOLLER! HOLLER! YELL! YELL!) -- Unquote. It means that verse is God's Royal Law. It super- cedes all other laws in the Bible including the 10 doosies and don'tsies, sabbath days, feast days, fast days, slow days, bad hair days, sexless days, holy days, pork days, and never on Sundays. It means a man and woman can be born with the innate nature of love, live out their lives practicing it, because it is their nature. They don't need mental and physical restrictions of legalism. They don't need the Bible. They don't need pastors or priests to screw up their minds. They can go through life without going to church, (which would be an asset), live their normal life span and receive God's warm approval because they obeyed His Royal Law. Now, how do you think these two would rate alongside the devoted legalists, who lived strictly by the Bible and the 10 commandments? Who being human and weak willed, sinned constantly and were constantly forgiven, and who needed these strong spiritual bonds to keep them in line? . Let's see now how religion has treated God's Royal Law by turning to page 395 of "The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read" by Tim C. Leedom:
Religious "Love" Yields Holy Wars
It is a historical fact that behind all of the wars and violence of human history, and behind every gun, has been a religious scripture. Christianity spread, not by 'love,' but on the bloody sword of Constantine. So, to help you keep it straight as to the religious slaughter in the name of 'love', here is an update--
Iran............................Muzzling mulish mullahs, that may object to a 'holy war' (what about Yugoslavia?)
India..........................Hindus vs. Muslims.
Punjab.......................Indian Sikhs vs. Indian Hindus.
Kashmir.....................Kashmiri Muslims vs. Indian Hindus.
Sri Lanka...................Tamil Hindus vs. Sinhalese Buddhists.
Azerbaijan.................Azerbaijan Muslims vs. Armenian Christians.
Cyprus......................Turkish Muslims vs. Greek Orthodox.
Holy Land..................Palestinian Muslims vs. Israeli Jews.
Northern Ireland.........Christian Roman Catholics vs. Christian Protestants.
United States............(WHICH UNITED STATES?) Christian Fundamentalists (still in 1994- WHAT ABOUT 1996?) trying to read archaic biblical mythology as literal historical fact. . .vs. scholarship. . .abortion counseling . . .the U.S. Bill of Rights and the Constitution . . .classic literature . . . classical humanism . . . women's rights . . . what about gay rights?
And yet, at the heart of all of the religious traditions, is scripture that counsels a human being to act in a way in which he would have others act toward him.
Christianity..............."All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do even so for the." (Matt. 7;12)
Islam......................."No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself"--(Sunnah)
Judaism..................."What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. That is the entire law: all the rest is commentary." --(Talmud, Shabbat 31a)
Buddhism................"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." --(Udana-Varga 5:18)
Brahmanism............"This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain done unto you."--Mahabharata 5,1517)
What irony! What a religious quagmire of hypocrisy and contradictions. Even Pope John Paul II, with words from Vatican City, recently addressed this issue. He called "freedom of conscience our inalienable right." He said, "Religious fundamentalism (everywhere) is our greatest threat to world peace. Fundamentalism breeds totalitarianism and intolerance."
The pope highlighted the sickness of the world's religions with these words, "People must not attempt to impose their own 'truth' on others."
These words coming from Vatican City would give some hope that a spiritual evolution is possible, even the dogmatic traditions. Thomas Jefferson said it before the Pope. From Jefferson's Notes on Virginia:
"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have advanced not one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religions. That ours is but one of that thousand."
The enormous damage that has been done to our fragile planet and the human species by religious ignorance and superstitions is just beyond the comprehension of any sensitive mind. Dogmatic and doctrinal religions have been historically, and are today, intolerably alien to human intelligence. We are surrounded by savagery, by zealots and fanatics acting in "the name of God,"
Our most ardent hope can be that out of the ashes of religious hatred and superstition can rise the phoenix of a refined spirituality, creating a revolution in the sphere of human consciousness. ------William Edelen (unquote) - - - - - -
And wouldn't it be great if that was to occur? We could sweep away all the corruption, filth, abuse, degradations miseries, tortures and woes caused by Christianity. Collect all the porno tapes, movies, porno literature, hate and porno music, etc and dump it all in the middle of the the ocean, We could replace it with literature, visual entertainment, and music that is more pleasing to God's eyes and ears. I'm sure he would nod approvingly if he heard some of the more traditional "love" songs such as
"All The World Needs Now, Is Love Sweet Love" Or a love song the legendary Bing Crosby made popular back in the 1930's. Strictly from scripture and indirectly quoting God's Royal Law by its title---"Love Thy Neighbor".
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