Why Would Anyone Think Jesus Makes You Non-Violent?

IntoleranceI’m about to quote Phil Robertson, but this is not about Duck Dynasty. This is about religious intolerance in a general (but American) sense. I just heard that in Robertson’s GQ interview, he also said something about Shintos. Of course, that in itself is kind of funny because not that many people in the United States know what Shintos are. But I understand. Robertson is a college graduate and started his career as a teacher. He’s also clearly smart. But I had to find out what the old man said about those nasty Shintos!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the actually interview so I had to settle for a quote from a Dylan Matthews article where he’s being pretty silly, 9 questions you were too embarrassed to ask about Duck Dynasty. It delighted me to read it. Matthews introduces it by saying, “Here’s Robertson on why he thinks Shintoism—much like Communism, Nazism and Islamism—leads to violence.”

All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.

Before we get to the Shintos, let’s discuss the Nazis. They were explicitly Christian. Now I know what Christians always say to this, “But they wouldn’t have behaved like that if they were real Christians. If they knew Jesus’ love, they wouldn’t have behaved that way!” This is the same thing they say when a Christian bombs an abortion clinic or does any number of other horrific things in the name of Jesus. But if that’s the case, then Christianity is totally unaccountable. I could say that only people who don’t read Frankly Curious lie. And then when someone who does read it is shown to lie, I could just say, “Yeah, but they weren’t a real reader. If they understood what Frankly Curious is all about, they wouldn’t lie.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but my understanding was always that the start of World War II was a fairly complicated thing. That is to say that bombing Pearl Harbor didn’t happen in a vacuum. But regardless, that was all much more about the emperor. I don’t think it had anything to do with Shinto beliefs. Regardless, we here in the 80% Christian United States decided to not so much fight the Japanese army as the Japanese civilian population, which we laid to waste. I don’t recall where Jesus said, “And if you are attacked, be sure to kill as many enemy civilians as you can because they’re just fucking Shintos who will murder you if they get half a chance.” Note, Wikipedia says, “Shrine Shinto is associated in the popular imagination with summer festivals, good luck charms, making wishes, holding groundbreaking ceremonies, and showing support for the nation of Japan.” I just don’t see the murder part of that, but moving on.

As for the Communists and Islamists, I just don’t see them as any more violent that the 80% Christian United States. But what the quote really says is, “Christianity is better than all the other religions, of which I am ignorant.” That’s usually a big problem when a group of people are overwhelmingly of the same faith. They start thinking that somehow they’ve got hold of the Truth. In this particular quote, we’re to believe that it is the lack of Jesus that makes people violent. But what about Jainism? Certainly that is a far more peaceful religion than Christianity. No one can question that. They don’t even kill animals to eat. What does the Christian say about the non-violence of Jainism despite its complete lack of Jesus?

Well, he was just providing an example! The point point always was that Christianity is it. This is why in America, Christianity and nationalism are so closely linked. When they chant, “We’re number one!” they mean both the United States and Christianity. This kind of intolerance and ignorance of other religions shows a shocking level of insecurity. Because as all good Americans know, there is nothing that need be taught to an American or a Christian. And sadly, there is usually nothing that can be taught, either.

6 thoughts on “Why Would Anyone Think Jesus Makes You Non-Violent?

  1. An interesting bit in that link about people getting fired for their political views. More or less, they shouldn’t be. Conservatives never mind that when it happens to liberals. But, conservatives have no concept of fairness; nothing new to report. They pushed for TLC to cancel a reality show about a normal, non-radical Muslim family:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-American_Muslim#Sponsorship_controversy

    In general, no-one should lose their jobs over their political views. You shouldn’t be fired from Target because a supervisor reads a comment you make on a website stating what your position is some issue. As long as you aren’t forcing your views on co-workers or customers, your right to those views should be protected.

    It’s different, though, if you are the public face of some company. If you’re the PR spokesperson for a business in Florida and making controversial statements about Castro, you can drive off customers. That’s exactly what happened to Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. It’s the equivalent of a Target cashier handing out political flyers with every sale.

    In this case, the fault lies with the cable network. They should have known what shitstorm they were about to cause. If they really had principled concerns about the show, they should have canceled it. Instead, they tried to mollify viewers potentially troubled by the comments, and keep their cash cow flowing. No doubt this will prove successful.

    That most Christians know nothing about Christianity is well-established. That most Americans know nothing about history is scandalous. How can a college graduate be ignorant of the Crusades, the Hundred Years’ War, the English civil war? I’m no expert on any but I’m aware of the basic concepts. That’s not even provocative stuff, like challenging the validity of our murderous inventions in other countries.

    I didn’t know this Robertson fellow was a ex-hippie. That explains a lot. It’s always the reformed penitent who’s most eager to condemn others still in error.

  2. @JMF – I remember [i]All American Muslim[/i]. As I recall, it was canceled because–What a surprise!–they were just another boring family. They weren’t terrorists. Weren’t they Canadian? Regardless, they didn’t blow shit up like the Robertsons, so who cares?

    No, the attitude of Phil is typical of American Christians. And like I said, I think it is all about insecurity. Serious Christians struggle with their faiths. They don’t "know." And they certainly don’t make cultural arguments like this. Now one can make a cultural or political argument based upon Christianity. But then it is a different thing than what he’s getting at. Basically, he’s saying, "No Jesus, no peace; Know Jesus, know peace." Of course he is doing it in a reactionary way that is inherently violent.

    I was interested in that bit about being fired for your beliefs as well. That does seem to me to be wrong. As long as you aren’t negatively impacting the company, I don’t see just cause.

  3. I watched a couple of episodes of Duck Dynasty out of curiosity. When did this show become popular, and with whom, and what do they like about it? Is the god squad rallying to protect one of their own from nassty liberalses? The men are presented, costumed, as hillbilly slobs who get food stuck in their facial hair. They shirk at their jobs and are bumbling oafs who inspire sympathy for the women who put up with them. There’s no Sarah Palin fake action hero stuff. It might as well be the fish tank reality show, or Ray Romano. Apart from the mealtime prayer scenes, I can’t hear the whistle. Wouldn’t they really prefer reruns of Little House On The Prairie? If I recall my childhood correctly that was an inoffensive show that had positive portrayals of observant Christians who were actually admirable people.

  4. @Lawrence – My understanding is that people like the "hijinks," such as blowing up a beaver damn. I do not think that the show appeals to the religious types, or at least, that’s not why they are watching. The religious types are [i]publicly defending[/i] the show, but they aren’t the audience. I think that the reason that the show’s ratings are down is because of [url=http://www.refinedguy.com/2013/03/27/duck-dynasty-cast-before-and-after-style-pics/#4]this picture[/url]. If the show is not real, then people might as well watch [i]Gilligan’s Island[/i].

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