More Christian comments

The following question and followup are excerpted from Pat Robertson's webpage here. The black text below is from their website, with my comments in red. Now, I think we all know that Robertson is a kook, but, he does have power, and we need to be vigilant.

Question: I have a 17-year-old son who came home with both of his ears pierced. He told me it was just for looks, but somehow I think it was to go against me, as well as God. He says he's a Christian but wants to remain in the world. What should I do with him? Is there anything in the Bible that talks about men wearing earrings? (Christian and Hebrew men at the time when the Bible was written probably all had earrings. Any gender separation regarding earrings is largely a modern convential utterly unrelated to issues of faith.)

Pat: The Bible does talk about cuttings and piercings (Yes, because it was an element of Hebrew culture, not because it was good or bad. It just was — and still is — a part of the world and thus pops up in the stories.). All this stuff is a remnant, or an emblem of satanism (On any historical level this is foolish; I'm not saying that “Satanists” don't get tattooed, but it's far from a Satanic act, nor is it limited to Satanism. It is a cultural element, like clothing, whos meanings and uses are determined by the culture of the time.) — the tattoos, the body piercing, all this. In many cultures, for example, the demonic powers invade people and supposedly they're immune to pain, and then they skewer themselves (Yes, and many charismatic and evangelical Christian sects practise very similar rites.). They stick things through their tongues and their mouths — this type of thing comes directly from satanism (Ludicrous.). So the rings in the ears, I don't know. It's just one part of weirdness and it's one part of teen-age rebellion and what do you do with them? I hope they don't get their ear lobes pulled off by somebody someplace. But if you've got any solution, I don't know what it is, except to sit down and talk to them and say, `Look, this is from paganism (No, it's from HISTORY. Both Pagan and Christians did these things. Prett much everyone back then did.). You are a Christian.' (How about sitting down with your kids, making sure they're mature enough to make decisions for themselves, and letting them choose what they want, and if it turns out to be the wrong thing for them, helping them through it?)

Terry Meeuwsen: And I think, Pat, that seems to be a part of our culture today, that kids feel like if it's, `Not what it means in my heart, then it's OK for me to do it.'

Pat: Oh, no. (Actually, Jesus was quite specific about the fact that it's what's in your heart that's important; Romans 3:28 (KJV) says “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. This 'new law' was in some ways the most radical change Jesus offered this faith.)

Terry: They don't equate the connection between the two (Because there isn't one for them. No lies will change that.). So I think maybe to gently pull out some Scriptures (Scriptures, like statistics, can be twisted, but I challenge anyone to show me a point in the Bible where a link is drawn between anything other than cultural elements and piercing. There are references to slavery and piercing being linked, as well as certain funeral cuttings being a pagan ritual and thus banned, but that's about it.). What I wouldn't do is try to find Scriptures and box the ears of your child with this. You know, the greatest thing we can do is pray for them. (No, the greatest thing you can do for your kids is let them know you love them, and are there for them either way. The last thing a parent should do with a troubled kid into piercing is use it as an excuse to form a dangerous rift. Children need their parents' love and support, even when they make dumb choices.)

Pat: I happen to know about one that had a big thing stuck in her tongue. I mean, it gets infected, it's hard to eat and (This is of course simply false and utterly ignorant of the facts.), it has certain sexual connotations we won't go into (Agreed, minors flaunting their sexuality raises obvious concerns, and parents SHOULD talk to their kids about this.). But in any event, it was a sign of rebellion (Sometimes, but not always. This is a very narrow viewpoint that misses the point and is just asking for a negative confrontation.). And after awhile you say, `Look, you've got a lot of potential. I mean, you really are smart, you've got a lot of potential. You've got something good going for you. Why do you screw your life up? (And how does body piercing change your potential? Because people like YOU will treat us badly? That's YOUR SIN, not ours. Calling your kid a screwup is never acceptable. If your kid is a screwup, you have to work with them to fix it, not against them.) You are something precious in God's eyes (If we're precious, and our bodies are precious, then I think God wants us to play with them and have fun with them. The bible certainly contains its fair share of eroticism.). Don't try to make yourself look like a freak and then wonder how you get the tattoos off after you've gotten your body all messed up (Christians, historically have been tattooed. This decision that tattooing is wrong is a very recent idea and is political and cultural, not religious.).'

And that's my biggest problem (the comment at the end): Pat Robertson (and most other Christians) abuse Christianity and abuse Jesus by attributing their own CULTURAL (not religious) bias onto Him. Going with the assumption that He exists, from what I know of history, Jesus really couldn't care less what you look like. Read the Bible and look at what freaky buddies Jesus hung out with. These people were absolute wierdos by the terms of the dominant culture of the time…

Truth — religious truth — is timeless, and, thus, it clearly makes no comment on cultural elements such as fashion. It is concerned far far greater issues. Again, assuming that it is true, it is Pat Robertson, under the laws of Christianity that is very clearly operating as the tool of the devil. Let me ask you: What does the Bible tell you about how we can identify the Anti-Christ? The devil and his minions are almost always disguised as the pious.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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