Burch: A rose by any other name

Friday, February 24, 2012 at 12:33pm
By Michael R. Burch

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but then stinkweed would smell just as stinky. In my opinion, the Southern Baptist Convention doesn’t need to change its name, but its more odious beliefs and modus operandi.

Southern Baptists once encouraged the persecution of millions of African-Americans by using the Bible to “prove” that slavery was “God’s will.” (As Jefferson Davis once pointed out, slavery is a “Divine decree” commanded from Genesis to Revelation.) Today the SBC encourages the persecution of millions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons by using the Bible to “prove” that God is a bigot. But if the men who wrote the Bible were wrong about slavery, they could easily have been wrong about other things too.

The SBC considers homosexuality to be the “unforgivable sin,” and yet according to the Bible, Jesus never even raised the subject, so it obviously wasn’t high on his agenda. He did, however, spend considerable time criticizing self-righteous religious types (were they the Southern Baptists of his day?) who claimed to be the apples of God’s eye, while exhibiting no compassion for the people they despised and oppressed. In one of my favorite Bible verses, Jesus prophesied that the prostitutes would enter the kingdom of heaven before the self-righteous. What if he meant what he said? Will gay prostitutes be first and their oppressors last?

I have noticed that many gays exhibit much more “fruit of the spirit” than their Pharisee-like oppressors: kindness, gentleness, etc. And shouldn’t we add tolerance to that list?

And why would Jesus reserve his sternest criticism for hypocritical moralists then save them at the expense of everyone else? We all know Baptists have sex however they please, because their pastors often get caught with their pants down. So why damn gays for also enjoying sexual freedom?

Ironically, the biggest problem conservative Christians face today is their dishonesty about the “Word of Truth.” How can a book that commands slavery, infanticide, matricide, ethnic cleansing and genocide be “infallible”? But if the Bible isn’t infallible, why cling to the verses that lead to false morality, hypocrisy, bigotry and intolerance?

Modern Bible scholarship and simple logic confirm that certain “gospel truths” developed over time were not the revelations of God. For instance, if human beings live in danger of an “eternal hell,” it would have been incumbent on a wise, loving, just God to inform everyone (not just the ones with access to the Bible) about “hell” and how to avoid it. But there is no mention of “hell” anywhere in the Old Testament. (Hell, the Hebrew language doesn’t even have a word for “hell” — a curious omission, if God spoke to Moses.) And it’s obvious that Jehovah knew nothing about suffering after death, because he never mentioned such a possibility to his best human friends (or even his worst enemies). The Hebrew prophets spoke of Sheol, which was clearly the grave. But everyone went there, good and bad. David said that God would be with him when he made his bed in Sheol, and Job asked to be hidden from suffering there.

So “hell” obviously did not pre-exist and was not created during Old Testament times. But neither is there a single verse in the New Testament in which the creation of “hell” was revealed. How could a just God create “hell” and fail to warn every human being about it immediately?

And yet the SBC damns everyone to “hell” then frantically tries to “save” them with hole-y (or unholy) theology.

How did “hell” enter the Bible? Ironically, the Jewish historian Josephus — a contemporary of Paul and the apostles — said the only Jews who believed in hell were the Pharisees. They “borrowed” the idea from the pagan Greeks, undoubtedly because it was good for behavior control and making money — now the hallmarks of conservative Christian organizations like the SBC and Roman Catholic Church.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

46 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 2/24/12 at 2:56


Everyone's personal sex life is just that, personal. The only one else that should be concerned of it it a spouse, if they are married, or a parent until their children become mature and have reached their personal responsibility.

Of the many people I've known throughout my life I've never known a particular religion that could claim no one in their religion ever involved in a sex act with anyone other than their spouse. And that includes the preachers and elders of many churches.

And let's not tie that with a men argument.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/25/12 at 1:15

That is true Mike. Everyone’s personal sex life is there own. I like wemen and yogi like the four legged kind.

By: Mike Burch on 2/25/12 at 1:39


I agree that people's sex lives should be private, IF they reciprocate. But that's a big IF, and many conservative Christians don't. They damn all non-heterosexuals to an "eternal hell" while claiming that all sins committed by heterosexuals can be forgiven by grace (which would make grace anything but).

I don't care if Newt Gingrich has sex outside marriage, but when he hounded Bill Clinton for doing what he did himself, in my opinion he set himself up to be rightfully criticized for hypocrisy.

But then many conservative Christian pastors, Sunday school teachers and deacons fall into the same category. They damn gays, prostitutes, Muslims and billions of other people to an eternal hell, publicly, and say that if those people don't "repent" and convert to Christianity, they will suffer for all eternity.

When people do such things publicly, and use the threat of an "eternal hell" to brainwash millions of children into believing things that not only make no sense, but result in intolerance and war, they deserve public castigation.

As I have pointed out in previous articles, the Bible has been used to justify all sorts of horrors against non-Christians, Native Americans, African Americans, and today Palestinians. 9-11 and the subsequent wars are largely the result of an "eternal hell" being used to brainwash children into believing the Bible. The threat of hell seems very real to children. I know, because I was one of those children. Millions of those children grow up to believe that God is a bigot who favors Jews over all other races, that he commanded the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestine in the past, and that the Jesus of Revelation will return to kill billions of human beings and trillions of animals in order to save the "Chosen Few" and wipe away only their tears in heaven. Ironically, after Christians have fought the war of all wars to defend Israel, Jesus will then send millions of Jews to hell for not "believing" in him.

Is this a true religion, or true insanity?

Having grown up trying to believe things that turn God and Jesus into beings worse than Hitler (who at least didn't kill trillions of animals on purpose and didn't make his enemies suffer beyond death), I am very concerned about what our churches are doing to our children.

Should the religious freedom of adults extend to the abuse of children? We don't allow Christian adults to rape children in the name of God. Should we allow adults to torture children emotionally, psychologically and spiritually with the dogma of hell ... or should that also be against the law?

By: Mike Burch on 2/25/12 at 1:42


I think Yogi has a secret crush on Barack Obama. I say this because he is always going on about Obama. In school, if a boy said that he didn't like a girl, and yet kept going on and on about her, it was obvious that he was smitten. So I think Yogi must really be smitten with President Obama!

'Fess up, Yogi!

By: Captain Nemo on 2/25/12 at 2:39

Mike you might have a point there. The stories I’ve been told about yogi’s young farm boy activities, would rival the sex acts in Tijuana.

By: bfra on 2/25/12 at 4:48

IMO - yogi is envious of anyone smarter than him, which is just about everybody, and he puts Obama at the top of that list. Thus, if you notice, anytime he tries to reply logically to a comment, he always adds a slur in his response.

By: yogiman on 2/25/12 at 5:28

Captain Nemo,

Is that why you get down on your hand and knees when I'm around?

By: yogiman on 2/25/12 at 5:41

You're right, Mike, I do have a crush on Barry, but it ain't one of love. My feeling toward him is like when I was a boy and another boy "pushed me around" or started a fight with me, I just went flat on my feet and proceeded to beat the hell out of him.

Like my dad taught me: You should never start a fight son, but you should always try to finish it. I've lived with that advice all of my life and 'I'm too damned old to stop now'!

And, bfra, Obama doesn't seem to have to be too smart to be superior to your brain with your exposure of intelligence. So go tell him I'll take him on anywhere, at any time, in my argument of his illegality in that office. And I'll bet you a gallon of gas to a donut I'll beat his a$$ and that's why he won't take me on.

By: yogiman on 2/25/12 at 5:50


Haven't you ever wondered why that man has refused to show his papers? He has refused to show his birth certificate, his passport records, his school records. Honestly, do you know who he is? I'd sure like to know so if any of you have proof of to who he is, I'd sure like to know. But don't try to just tell me, show proof.

And for more thought; have you not ever wondered why Congress has let this happen? Under our present circumstances, can you explain why the Democratic party will let him run for re-election without any competition?

By: bfra on 2/25/12 at 6:14

yogi = always comes back and proves the point of his envy & jealousy!

By: yogiman on 2/25/12 at 6:52

Wrong again, bfra. I'm simply proving the facts like it is. And as I noted before, quit throwing stones at me and I won't throw rocks back at you.

By: BenDover on 2/26/12 at 6:20

Burch... ever-threatened by the curse of damnation and Hell yet he doesn't even believe in it. Though in typical liberal fashion he's outraged on behalf of others most of which can't understand his outrage and many who know and understand well his premises to be a dangerous attack on our religious social culture.

Leave families and church communities to their own devices, Burch. When you have your own kid you can take your empty philosophy, uninformed by our social culture and generations past; and f*ck him up any way you like.

There's far too much good in St. Paul's work to throw it all out because you want to create special privilege and protection for homosexual behavior. If you want to advocate for gay marriage that's fine... in fact, I'm on your team; but don't spin up some ugly strawman boogie monster against the church because they believe overt homosexuality to be culturally damaging. It's not a civil rights issue and they have at least as much right to their opinion as you do to yours.

Besides, don't you have a ridiculous Reason Rally to attend or something.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/26/12 at 7:18


If I was to get down on my hands and knees it would to be to study how low you have gotten.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/26/12 at 7:22

It is told in Gordonsville that yogi spent most of his youth lock in the closet, because he wasn’t the man is dad wanted.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/26/12 at 7:37

I agree Ben that families and church communities should be left to their own devices. However if I was to let that happen, then these families and churches would suppress my freedom to live my own life as I see fit. And just because you think Burch or anyone else does not agree with your philosophy does not mean that f*ck up or going to hell.

Some Southern Baptist actually thinks the Bible was written in English and that their God is a WASP.

By: bfra on 2/26/12 at 8:51

Nemo - yogi is just exhibiting his "little man syndrome" i.e., he can whoop & is smarter than anyone of this board. In his blank mind "only". lol

By: yogiman on 2/26/12 at 9:08

Quit lying on a Sunday morning, Captain Nemo. You should know better if you're as revered as you self proclaim. Where did you get your bull crap skills; from your father or your local bull crap club admirers?

I wasn't raised in Gordonsville. My dad was only in MY house, not his, after I moved here; so I didn't have to let him lock me in the closet.

By: govskeptic on 2/26/12 at 9:08

"A rose by any other name"! While currently covering 17 states the BSCB discussed
changing the name in order to grow their membership into other states. Nothing
wrong with that goal by any measurement, other than by critics of their very
existence anywhere. While deciding to keep their original name but providing an
alternative in these growth areas does not mask their identity or reason for
existence at all! Like others that serve a mistral purpose, such as the United
Church of Christ, who had one of their largest members in Chicago go rogue and
take up the black liberation theology, their mission didn't change.

The radical secular progressives have been at work for many-many years and
will be for many more often using their pseudo-religion techniques! In the end
they will fail!

By: yogiman on 2/26/12 at 9:12

You're proving every post you make that I'm much smarter than you, bfra. Grow up, kid. Learn a little about integrity.

By: yogiman on 2/26/12 at 9:20


Why are churches so anxious to grow? Why does a church feel superior if they have more members than others? What makes one feel theirs is so superior than the others?

What makes those TV "churches" with thousands of viewers so superior than the small ones around the block from home?

I've always thought your religion was your personal relationship with God, not the preacher in the pulpit.

By: govskeptic on 2/26/12 at 10:39

Yogi: If you don't know why churches want to grow I'm certainly not going to attempt
to explain. Those words of "feel superior" are your words not those of any
members I know. Large small they are both important no matter which you
attend or the size town your church is located. By the way, in case you missed
my entire point, it's about the Baptist Assoc. not about any particular church!

By: Captain Nemo on 2/26/12 at 10:55

Great come back yogi. As usual your skills are lacking.

Smart move on your part gov. Nothing can be explain to nothing.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/26/12 at 10:59

Did I say it was Gordonsville? I said it was told in Gordonsville. But the fact you were lock in the closet, for being not the boy your dad hoped for.

By: bfra on 2/26/12 at 11:59

Nemo - yogi can't control anything, even his own foot. He opens his mouth and that foot just jumps right in!

By: yogiman on 2/26/12 at 1:02

How could such a stupid statement be cited in Gordonsville as a fact when the people of Gordonsville didn't know me as a child, Captain Nemo? Got any names? I'd like to meet them because I've never met anyone here that I thought was as stupid as you're proving yourself to be.

Or did you just make it up using the rear pointed portion of your skull that favors a baboon or the front flat portion that favors a monkey?

By: yogiman on 2/26/12 at 1:03

Let's face it, bfra, I'd rather have my foot in my mouth than yours up my a$$.

By: yogiman on 2/26/12 at 1:06


I'm only going by what I've experienced in my life. Agreed, I'm sure not all members have that attitude, but I've known several that have.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/26/12 at 2:49

By: yogiman on 2/26/12 at 1:03
Let's face it, bfra, I'd rather have my foot in my mouth than yours up my a$$.

And yet you mannage to do both.

By: Loner on 2/27/12 at 6:45

Joining the debate late...Nice missive, Mike Burch.

Ben Dover says, "There's far too much good in St. Paul's work to throw it all out because you want to create special privilege and protection for homosexual behavior."

Sorry to burst yer bubble, Bubba....Paul, AKA: Saul of Tarsus, was a Greek Jew who became a Roman citizen...kind of like a turn-coat Jew in the Third Reich, IMO.

According to Scripture, Saint Paul "persecuted" the heretical Jews who had followed Christ, the heretic.

In those days, "persecution" was not in the form of nasty phone calls, shunning or being passed over for promotion etc. Saul was probably a mass murderer, until he fell off his high horse and suffered severe brain damage.

After the brain damaging fall from his horse, Saul became "Paul" and the rest is violent history. This addled author went on to write most of the New Testament.

Paul perverted and distorted the Gospel of Christ...he gave it a misogynous character and it gave the Gospel a mean streak. Paul believed that the ends justified the means...something Christ never even suggested.

Paul is the favorite Evangelist of the Southern born-agains...his twisted theology is the bedrock of their perverted belief system.

By: gdiafante on 2/27/12 at 7:07

Any thread that yogi participates in quickly reverts into a fifth grade "I know you are but what am I?" slugfest. As Kahn's second in command asked in his dying breath...Yours is a superior intellect?

By: Mike Burch on 2/27/12 at 10:03


President Obama did produce his long-form birth certificate, and it has been verified. Please read the good write-up on Snopes. This is why the major presidential candidates for the GOP are not bringing up the birth certificate issue ... because there isn't one.

Only people who ignore hard facts continue to belabor the point, which is now moot.

Jesus said "blessed are the peacemakers" and to turn the other cheek, and he never beat anyone up, so I assume you're not a Christian.


By: Mike Burch on 2/27/12 at 10:13


I think Paul, like Augustine and many other Christian "saints," had strong sexual urges (most men do) and was full of shame and guilt about his "lust," not understanding that it was completely normal. So he created a new religion (which was not at all like what Jesus taught) that condemned his "flesh" while saving his "soul." But if there is an afterlife, just dying would accomplish that feat. Assuming that there is no pain without a brain and nerves, just dying would be to enter heaven!

If there is no afterlife, why all the Christian angst about "sin"? The trick would be to enjoy life here as much as possible, while not harming other people unjustly, since that always boomerangs. In either case, less guilt and shame, and more positive actions would work better here on earth.

Paul believed in the fairytale of a perfect Eden, so he blamed Adam and Eve for suffering and death entering the world, not knowing that trillions of animals suffered and died long before man ever walked the planet.

The religion he created causes children to feel great shame when they reach puberty, and the ghoulish idea that having sex, or just thinking about sex, results in people going to hell fills them with fear. No wonder they often grow up to be angry and intolerant. Their vision of God is of an unjust being who judges them for what they can't possibly help, then saves one person while sending others to hell.

Having grown up with this terror-inducing religion, I feel great empathy for the children, and only wish their parents would end the torture and brainwashing of "hell."

By: brrrrk on 2/27/12 at 10:57

This headline is much kinder than I would be after hearing a journalist from the Netherlands talk about this issue.... I say Santorum outright lied.

"Santorum's Incredible Display of Ignorance On Euthanasia In the Netherlands"


By: brrrrk on 2/27/12 at 11:00

There are actually a few Theologians that believe that Paul may have been gay. Put that in your hat and smoke it..... :-)

By: govskeptic on 2/27/12 at 11:31


Are those Theologians of which you speak at the Trinity Church of Christ in Chicago?

By: brrrrk on 2/27/12 at 11:46

govskeptic said


Are those Theologians of which you speak at the Trinity Church of Christ in Chicago?"

Hey, don't shoot the messenger.... I'm just sayin'! Why don't you do a little reading before getting all snarky........

By: Mike Burch on 2/27/12 at 12:17


I think Christianity actually puts heterosexuals and homosexuals in the same sinking boat, if the Bible is "infallible."

Jesus said that lust is the same as adultery. Some other writer (probably not Paul, but someone revising his epistles) said that all adulterers end up in the "lake of fire." Since all men fantasize about sex, and never "repent," if homosexuals go to hell, so logically should heterosexuals.

Fortunately, there is little reason to believe in "hell" according to the Bible, since Yahweh/Jehovah and the Hebrew prophets never even mentioned a place called "hell" or any possibility of suffering after death. Prophets like Ezekiel described what sounds like heaven, but they said all Israel would be saved, along with Gentile nations like Sodom and Samaria (the home to millions of Palestinians today).

Paul said in a number of verses that all Israel would be saved in the end, which presents a problem for Christians who want to have heaven to themselves, at the expense of billions of other people. But if Sodom will be saved, perhaps God is not a homophobe after all.

So I don't think it really matters if Paul was gay or straight. It would be ironic if he was gay, since what would conservative Christians do, but exclude him from the salvation he offered them, entirely by grace!

By: brrrrk on 2/27/12 at 12:35

Mike Burch said

"So I don't think it really matters if Paul was gay or straight. It would be ironic if he was gay, since what would conservative Christians do, but exclude him from the salvation he offered them, entirely by grace!"

I only point this out because of the fact that some theologians believe that Paul's attitude towards sex (and particularly towards women) could have been the result of his own inability to deal with his sexual "preferences". And frankly, I think it does matter as long as there are those who use Paul's words as a cudgel to beat up on gays and women.

By: Mike Burch on 2/27/12 at 12:49


I absolutely agree that it does matter that Christians stop bashing gays, and saying everyone else will go to an "eternal hell" if they don't believe this and do that.

I was just pointing out that theologically, heterosexuals and homosexuals are in the same boat. If repentance is required for thinking and dreaming about sex, almost no one will go to heaven except people with very weak libidos, which hardly seems fair, since we didn't create our bodies or sex hormones. But if there is such a thing as salvation by grace, it makes no sense to put homosexuals in a different category, especially since Jesus never once mentioned homosexuality.

People who read the Bible honestly, and don't want to turn God and Jesus into unjust bigots, ought to consider the best part of Paul's message: that love and grace can free human beings to do good works, without having to fear that a mistake will sentence them to hell. But I think the "hell" verses were probably added later, because it makes no sense to say that everyone will be saved, if there is a hell.

People in Israel didn't believe in hell, except for the Pharisees, who received the dogma from the ancient Greeks after Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East during the "silent period" between the writing of the last books of the OT and the first books of the NT.

We need to accept the fact that many people believed in universal salvation. Only the nastiest, most hypocritical people didn't. Whether heaven and universal salvation are true is a matter of faith, but why not believe the best things about God, rather than the worst?

By: Mike Burch on 2/27/12 at 2:38

I should have worded my last comment more accurately: We need to understand that at the time of Jesus, the only Jews who believed in hell, according the the Jewish historian Josephus, were the Pharisees. These were the people Jesus spent most of his time criticizing, not the people who were drinking, having sex, etc.

The Pharisees were the Newt Gingriches of their day. They would condemn other people for drinking, having sex, etc., then say they would be saved by their prayers, rituals and theology (i.e., we are the true sons of Abraham). But orthodox Christianity is basically the same religion, replacing Abraham with Jesus.

Kinder, less hypocritical people would take a different approach, saying, "Since no one is perfect, it's okay to have a good time, but we shouldn't do things to harm other people unjustly." I like the golden rule of Wicca, which says, "An' it do no harm, do as thou wilt."

But I could never "believe" in a method of salvation that saves the moralizing hypocrites at the expense of everyone else. Why would Jesus spend so much time criticizing the Pharisees, to shower all his love, grace and forgiveness only on their modern heirs? It makes no sense to me.

By: brrrrk on 2/27/12 at 3:34

Mike Burch said

"I like the golden rule of Wicca, which says, "An' it do no harm, do as thou wilt.""

I agree, the golden rule (or the ethic of reciprocity) is the way to go.... and for what it's worth has a long tradition going back to the Code of Hammurabi (1780 BCE).

By: yogiman on 2/27/12 at 4:15

Sorry, Mike,
Snopes has been noted as being an Obama fan. The "birth certificate" he presented was formed on a computer. Why didn't he show his original birth certificate? It shows his father's race as African. When did African become a race?

Too many experts have went through that "birth certificate" with a fine tooth comb and have found so many boo boos it should make your head swim.

If that form was his birth certificate, why did he say the Hawaiian government would not issue his birth certificate for over three years. Also, why did the head of the health department make the statement she had seen his birth certificate and half of it was written in pencil?

Sorry, Mike. You can presume anything you wish about me but I'd bet I'm as much of a Christian as you, and the fact is; I'm only interested in the truth and I can't stand a liar, especially in that office.

Don't you understand he has the power to place his thumb on that button and cause a blast anywhere in the world?

Wake up, Mike, race and political party has nothing to do with it.

By: Mike Burch on 2/27/12 at 4:32


Your fears are unfounded. Obama's had four years to do all the things you fear, but he hasn't done them. He sent the Seals to take out Osama bin Laden. He still has our troops battling the Taliban, who are Muslims. What sort of foreign agent infiltrates a country, only to fight and kill the people he secretly represents? It makes no sense. If President Obama had ended our wars with Muslims and started bombing our European allies, that would raise red flags. But he refuses to stand up to Israel, and instead commands attacks against Muslim forces. What sort of Muslim supports Israel and provides billions of dollars in aid that will be used to keep Palestinian Muslims in chains of serfdom? The whole Muslim world understandably and rightly opposes what Israel and the US are doing to Palestinians.

So the argument that President Obama is "not American" and has some sort of allegiance to nefarious Muslim agencies is simply irrational. Rather, he keeps making the same stupid, evil mistakes that other Christian presidents made before him, always favoring the Israel Injustice Machine over completely innocent Palestinian women and children.

This horrible behavior proves conclusively that President Obama really is just as "Christian" as his predecessors.

So you can relax secure in the knowledge that if president Obama was a Muslim, he would have tried to end the things that keep us charging toward World War III. The fact that we keep heading that way only proves just how very "Christian" our president really is.

Ironically, we'd be much better off with a peace-loving Muslim president that a warmongering Christian president.


By: Mike Burch on 2/27/12 at 4:41


Many religions have a version of the "golden rule." Unfortunately the God of the Bible seldom followed his own good advice for more than a few pages. Time and time again, according to the Bible, he commanded slavery, sex slavery, infanticide, matricide, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

If Gandhi and MLK had spoken about compassion and nonviolence, then turned around and started killing women and children, would anyone "believe" anything they said?

According to the Bible, the "golden rule" flies out the window whenever the "chosen few" see land that they want to steal or women that they want to rape. This explains why white Americans treated Native American and African American women and children so cruelly and unjustly.

I think Thomas Jefferson had the right idea: take the Bible and cut out all the evil, irrational parts. That would include the shedding of innocent blood to forgive sins (sacrifice), since human beings can forgive past mistakes without demanding blood in return. So why can't God? Should he be a hypocrite and demand unconditional love and forgiveness from human beings, then demand the blood of innocents himself?

By: yogiman on 2/27/12 at 5:21


I haven't claimed Obama isn't an American because I don't know if he is or isn't. But then, can you prove he is? Didn't think so.

But I do know he isn't a natural born citizen if he is an American citizen. And if he is in fact an American citizen, when did he repatriate from his Indonesian citizenship?

Politics is a particular way of life, Mike. So what changed Obama's political and religious beliefs when the paternal side of his family were Muslims, including his stepfather's family, and the maternal side were communist and he was raised by them? His grandparents, being a big factor in his childhood were outright communists and all of their friends were communists. And Barack grew up as a full blooded American citizen? Gimme a break.

Question: Have you changed your beliefs to a different frame of mind from your parents? If you have, you are rare in this world's societies.

By: spooky24 on 2/28/12 at 5:10

Nice stuff Mike at least your consistent. The old testament is nothing but a war manual when it is studied as literature.

"The Pharisees were the Newt Gingriches of their day" I consider it cowardly to say something like this and hide behind you little screen. Why don't you say that to his face-or mine for that fact and you will be needing some religion.