Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Larry, Jennifer, Bob and Ted makes for a good time

Aside from being a really interesting interview from start to finish, this video perfectly illustrates one of the major problems with Christianity. About six minutes into the video, Jennifer Knapp, a very successful Christian recording artist and lesbian, says it all as it pertains to the Christian faith. There are nearly as many interpretations of the Bible as there are people on the planet. You can say that it means whatever you want it to mean, and there is no higher authority to discredit you. Sure, there are denominations that have written out their own declarations of faith, but there are 29,999+ other denominations that don’t necessarily agree with that declaration. And, these aren’t always issues of little consequence; issues pertaining to salvation and what constitutes sin are adamantly disagreed upon depending on the denomination. Homosexuality is a hotly debated topic among Christians. Sort of mirroring politics, the more liberal Christians tend to believe that homosexuality is not a sin while the more conservative Christians believe that homosexuality is definitely sin and will earn a person eternity in hell. There are people like Joe Dallas that go around preaching against homosexuality and counseling people on how to achieve a heterosexual lifestyle. There are other churches that would like to see the ban on same sex marriage lifted. As George Carlin would say, “It’s all bullshit and it’s bad for ya.” The confusion about homosexuality being good or bad goes away completely when you dismiss the Bible as just bullshit. It becomes increasingly difficult to tell who the real Christian is anymore and to avoid committing a No True Scotsman fallacy in the process.

Later in the interview, it becomes comical as two people argue about homosexuality being sin because each one’s interpretation contradicts the others. Many Christians will flock to the denomination that best supports what they want to hear. Jennifer Knapp gets spiritual counsel from likeminded Christians that support her homosexuality and interpret scriptures likewise.

Pastor Bob Botsford points out, god suddenly “changes his mind” and things like shell fish and wearing clothes containing different fabrics are no longer problematic (Why does an all-knowing god need to change his mind when he already understands what is right to do from the beginning? But that’s a different story) However, according to Pastor Bob Botsford in this interview, homosexuality continues to be considered wrong throughout the New Testament. The interview ends where it began. Jennifer basically speaks as many atheists do, despite her being a purported Christian, by contending that it’s all open to interpretation while Bob articulates that it is clearly sinful. Ted Haggard, in the background, keeps calling the whole thing a “process” but avoids directly stating that homosexuality is a sin. So, we have a very dogmatic stance and then we have a more wishy-washy stance in the case of Ted Haggard. Knapp seems to support a more relativistic theology where anything goes as long as it isn’t hurting others while Botsford thinks that homosexuality is so bad that you can’t be Christian while practicing it. Even though, he fully admits that he makes mistakes everyday but it’s apparently different if they aren’t consciously manifested.

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