2012-08-18

To charge someone with blasphemy you must first hate God yourself

One of the members of Pussy Riot gave a very powerful final statement, that itself is worthy of meditation and prayer. See the full transcript here:

Pussy Riot Members Sentenced to 2 Years for Offending Russian Orthodox Church | Religion Dispatches

It makes me wonder: In thinking about the testimony of the Bible - stories of Jesus, Stephen, Paul - and the testimony of history - crusades, inquisitions, jihads, witch trials - do we ever find the charge of blasphemy used by someone who is a friend of God? Rather, is it not always and every time that when someone levels the charge of blasphemy, we find that in fact it is the accuser who hates God and who uses God as a tool to oppress, enslave, and control others?

The charge of blasphemy is always used by the outwardly powerful and supremely pious as a way to "protect" God's good Name, and protect the curiously silent majority who is supposedly outraged by the impious act. Yet it is always apparent that blasphemy is a wax nose placed on the face of power, to silence the opposition, and protect the status quo methods of maintaining power, prestige, and possessions.

Thus, the very act of willingness to use blasphemy as a charge against "the other" is itself defacto evidence that it is you yourself who hate God, who hates God's children, and who hates the dignity, freedom, and rationality given to us all as gracious gifts from God. Otherwise you would talk, you would reason, you would compassionately look at issues from your opponent's viewpoint.

Look, I am not speaking here of stopping acts which harm other people, or even acts that harm property. There is a place for forcible defense, and incarceration, for such acts in a just society. I am talking about using blasphemy and legal sanctions to shut down freedom of speech and symbolic actions done on behalf of protecting real humans from an oppressive and God-hating system.

The very act of embracing the use of blasphemy by Kirill and his Orthodox cronies and his Putinian masters, against three helpless women, is evidence to convict them of being God's enemies. Kirill, it is you who is motivated by religious hatred against humanity.

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This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.