Thursday, December 19, 2013

If You Can't Be a Christian, Why Say You're a Christian?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Steven Hale covered a lot of the ground I would have covered in his post about Ron Ramsey's appalling Tennessean op-ed, but there's one thing I genuinely don't get about Ron Ramsey's position.

The death penalty is incompatible with Christianity. It's kind of Hale to leave room for debate — "His words imply a belief that support for the death penalty can coincide with belief in the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus Christ. No doubt, there are people who hold that view." — but there's just no debate. Jesus was explicitly against retaliation. He's even against violence in defense of others. Remember how he chastised Peter for cutting off the ear of the guard who had come to arrest Jesus. And for a self-avowed "pro-life" conservative Christian to be arguing for the death penalty? Excuse me while I laugh long and hard.

So, here's my question. Why doesn't Ron Ramsey switch gods? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of religious traditions. If you've searched your heart and you just genuinely believe that you are in the proper relationship with your god AND you believe the death penalty is cool, why not just go out and find the god who shares your position and follow Him or Her and leave Jesus out of it, instead of twisting Jesus into someone unrecognizable?

Let's imagine, for a second, that an Asatru Ramsey had written that op-ed instead of the Christian one we have. Now there's no problem. Odin will happily encourage and accept your human sacrifice, just as He oversaw the executions of Aella of Northumbria and Halfdan Long-leg. Ramsey's view that all pregnancies should result in birth unless interrupted by the gods would fit a worldview that puts a heavy emphasis on the family over the needs of the individual and honor over one's own welfare.

Ramsey could hold the views he has and have a belief system that genuinely supports them, instead of having the contradiction of pretending like he can demand the blood of criminals and be some kind of compassionate Christian. So, I genuinely don't understand why he just doesn't switch.

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