These quotes from below…
Love your enemy transforms the very core of human systems of meaning- i.e. our ideas of deity, as our highest ideal and authority. Love of enemy transforms that core ideal entirely.
Unfortunately, that transformed ideal has still not been embraced anywhere in world religions or other human systems of thought or belief. Unconditional deity has still not been permitted to express its consciousness-transforming influence on people. In fact, world religions have buried that great discovery under endless religious conditions.
Paul most egregiously buried it in his highly conditional Christ myth. There is no “love your enemy” God in Paul’s letters. Note, for example, the wrathful deity of Romans demanding the ultimate condition- i.e. the condition of the bloody sacrifice of a cosmic godman to pay for sin- and then threatening ultimate destruction for any who refuse to believe Paul’s Christ myth. Hence, Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy’s statements that the “diamonds/pearls” of Historical Jesus were buried by Paul’s Christology that dominates the New Testament (the “product of inferior minds”).
“Q Wisdom Sayings” scholar James Robinson got it right that a “love your enemy God”, a non-retaliatory, unconditional deity, was “Jesus’ greatest contribution to the history of human ideas”. That was the very center and core of the teaching of Historical Jesus, his main theme or message. His gospel. As Robinson notes, it was a stunning new break-through in theology that was rejected a generation later by Paul and his Christian movement. Paul retreated back to the retaliatory, conditional deity of all previous primitive mythologies.
See Paul’s direct confrontation and rejection of Jesus’ non-retaliatory God in Romans 12:17-20. Paul retreats to a retaliatory “eye for eye” God in re-affirming his theology as- “Leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’, says the Lord”.
In the Jesus Seminar book “The Five Gospels”, they point to this issue of a fundamental contradiction between core messages- i.e. that it is entirely contradictory to present Jesus stating “love your enemy” in Matthew 5 (the ultimate statement of love of an enemy), then a few chapters later (Ch.11) claim that he stated that those refusing his miracles and message were condemned to “outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth” (i.e. hell- the ultimate statement of hatred of an enemy). That is an irreconcilable contradiction to claim the same person said such entirely contradictory things.
This contradiction in fundamental messages, between Jesus and Paul, is at the heart of Christianity. No amount of endless defensive apologetics can paper over this basic contradiction between core theologies and messages in the New Testament. Its about the contradiction between non-retaliation and retaliation, non-violence and violence, unconditional and highly conditional, anti-sacrifice and pro-sacrifice, among other issues. Detail in sections and articles below…
(1) “There is no climate emergency”- the conclusion of over 1600 leading climate scientists in the “World Climate Declaration”.
Quote from article summary posted below: “There’s no climate emergency. And the alarmist messaging pushed by global elites is purely political. That’s what 1,609 scientists and informed professionals stated when they signed the Global Climate Intelligence Group’s “World Climate Declaration.”
(2) Some of the highest achievements in life are ethical/moral/spiritual. “Love your enemy” embodies the single most significant human achievement of all. “Love your enemy” takes us to the very heart of what it means to be authentically human, how we achieve human maturity, how we fulfill the hero’s quest and win the inner battle against our inherited monster, our inner enemy that is those inherited impulses to tribal animosity and exclusion of differing others, to domination of others, and to vengeful, punitive destruction of differing, offending others.
“Love your enemy” is the core ethic of the unconditional spirit, the authentically human spirit. Love your enemy offers the most potent solution to end “eye for eye” cycles of vengeance, prevent violence, and shift societies toward a more peaceful future and hence promote human progress toward the better future that we all want. Love your enemy is how we overcome the evil triad of (1) tribal exclusion of differing others (by full inclusion of all), (2) domination of others (by honoring the freedom and self-determination of all others), and (3) punitive destruction of offending others (by unlimited forgiveness and restorative justice).
That this ethic actually works at a societal level- Note that Nelson Mandela’s embrace of “love of enemy” guided his struggle to overcome his African National Congress colleague’s impulse to more aggressively confront their former oppressors. The millions of young South African men who wanted Mandela to lead them in taking vengeance on their oppressors could have erupted into bloody civil war in South Africa around the same time that Serbia and Rwanda rejected love of enemy and descended into the horrific violence of eye for eye vengeance. See “Mandela’s Way” by Richard Stengel. Mandela’s response to his former oppressors was not some form of pacifist “turn the other cheek”. He established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights abuses and hold offenders responsible, but also as a restorative justice response to heal the country.
(3) To embrace of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of primitive myths is to embrace of the most destructive ideas in history. Evaluate your own worldview to see if these themes are still present and working the varied forms of psychopathology noted by psychologists Harold Ellens and Zenon Lotufo in articles below (see “Cruel God, Kind God” by Lotufo).
(4) Kip Hansen on the fact that cold kills 10 times more people every year than warmth does. This fact renders the alarmist crusade over the mild warming of the past century, absurdly irrational and fraudulent. Where are the news media on cold as the real threat to life? We are still in the coldest period of our Holocene interglacial and on a long-term cooling trend since the end of the Holocene Optimum some 6000 years ago. All life would benefit from the much warmer climate that was the average over the past 500 million years- i.e. 3 to 6 degrees C warmer than today.
(5) The endless repetition of the same old damaging myths. This site notes the historical descent of primitive ideas from ancient mythology, then to world religions, and now embraced in “secular ideologies”, even science.
(6) History’s single most profound insight- “Love your enemy because God does”. This “ethic based on similar theology”, or “behavior based on similar belief”, presents the best of human insight into the nature of ultimate reality- deity. “Love of enemy” takes love to its absolute height in deity as humanity’s highest ideal and authority, to then inspire, guide, and validate authentically human behavior.
(7) Another on the real battle of life- i.e. the inner struggle against the evil triad of our inherited animal impulses to tribal exclusion, domination, and destruction of differing others. This inner battle includes the battle against the inherited ideas that validate our worst impulses, ideas that still dominate our narratives. Unconditional is the potent weapon to win the battle, to slay the monster/enemy inside us. Embracing unconditional love as our highest ideal overturns the worst ideas of the old mythical, religious meta-narratives that we have inherited.
(8) “Superlatives” to get the point across- Deity as no conditions love is about transcendent reality. Something infinitely and inexpressibly better than the best that we can ever imagine with our material brains limited by 3-dimensions and informed by 5 senses.
(9) Paul’s rejection of the unconditional message of Historical Jesus, and his rejection of the unconditional God of Jesus, resulted in the single greatest dissonance in religious history. It left Christianity with the most egregious contradiction in the history of thought/belief at the very heart of the religion and its holy book- the Bible, notably in the New Testament. Paul buried the Jesus insight regarding an unconditional God under his highly conditional Christ myth and that became the highly conditional atonement gospel of Christianity as we know it, a denial of the core message of Historical Jesus. That is a great belief contradiction in the extreme that has resulted in the major cognitive dissonance/disconnect that is lodged at the heart of Christianity.
The messages of Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christian “Jesus Christ” are two entirely different and opposite things.
(10) Jordan Peterson and Christine Brophy (different articles) on “the psychology of Left-wing authoritarianism” as compared with “Right wing authoritarianism”.
(11) Joe Rogan and Bill Maher on the pathology of Woke extremism.
(12) Incarceration, de-carceration- criminal justice issues and data facts.
(13) And some further comment on my “evil triad” of the inherited animal impulses to tribal exclusion, domination of others, and punitive destruction of differing others.
(14) Comment on the natural human fear of death and the human longing for continued existence, negative and positive arguments.
And much more…. Read the rest of the opening comment here