Do fundamentalists understand parables

I wonder if fundamentalists understand parables. My own experiences lead me to believe they don’t. For example, I have had fundamentalists tell me that the reason no one stoned the adulteress when Jesus said “let he who is without sin throw the first stone” was because all of those men had committed adultery. If there had been just one who had not, he would have thrown the first stone and the woman would have been stoned to death.
“So,” I asked, “this story doesn’t pertain to you at all?” “Right,” he answered. I’ve never committed adultery so if I had been there, I could have stoned her.” It seems to me that is a story about judging others as in “judge not lest yea be judged.”
The parable of the Good Samaritan does not translate into “love thy enemies.” Enjoy this quote from a Christian site on the parables: “Like his aphorisms, Jesus’ parables were often surprising and paradoxical. The parable of the good Samaritan, for example, turned expectations on their head with the despised Samaritan proving to be the wounded man’s neighbor.”

Follows is a dialogue in which I tried to make a point using allegory:
Me: You believe life is a gift?
CF (Christian Fundamentalist): Yes.
Me: A gift from God?
CF: Yes.
Me: God the Father?
CF: Yes.
Me: Do you think life is a wonderful gift?
CF: Obviously.
Me: You are a father. Have you given your children gifts?
CF: Of course.
Me: Imagine giving your son a wonderful gift, the best gift you could imagine and he said “Thank you Dad. What else did you get me?” How would that make you feel?
CF: What’s your point?
Me: God gave you a wonderful gift, you say, but you turn around and ask for another life, a heaven that you know nothing about other than you are sure it is better than this life, this gift. How do you think that would make God feel?
CF: I’m not God.
Me: You believe you were created in God’s image. God shows lots of feelings and emotions that you can identify with including rage. You call him your Father in Heaven. If I gave my son a beautiful bicycle that he wanted and he said, “Thanks Dad. What else did you get me? I’d be pissed.
CF: I’m sure you are a good father.

Using allegory when having a discussion of religion with fundamentalist Christians may not help advance your point.

Democrat or Republican; liberal or conservative?

I asked my friend from college: “Work! I thought you retired?”
“Yes, I do work. I took a couple of years off and went back to work as an auditor-appraiser for the county assessor office. I put values on personal property (boats/airplanes) and business equipment and hand the values over to the tax collector department that translates my value into a property tax much like the real estate tax. I get every other Friday off, plus I needed health care coverage. If I work 5 years, I can retire from the county and get a monthly check based on my salary.”

Did you guess liberal Democrat? He is a bureaucrat, after all, and looking forward to being on the public dole with the retirement. I guess we can’t fault him wanting health care.

Actually, he hates bureaucrats, thinks pensions for labor are destroying the country, and doesn’t understand why people are whining about health care. He has never voted for a Democrat. He also hates taxes which takes all this irony over the top since he is working for the tax assessor. You already know I think there may be a link between fundamentalist republicans and fundamentalist Christians. My friend is a fundamentalist Lutheran.

This is a true story. The quote is an actual quote. Obviously he doesn’t see any disconnect between what he is doing and what he believes. There is way too much of this in our society: the people who bitch about taxes and scream at politicians for not fixing the pot-holes; the people who hate government but want morality laws—government in the bedroom. I have to accept that they don’t see the inconsistency so I watch the Daily Show on Comedy Central with Jon Stewart to get a laugh rather than an aneurism.

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