I was annoyed to read in the Faith Forum Sunday (March 19) that the learned theological panelists, writing about the “the coolest story” in the Bible, astonishingly ignored the story of the Good Samaritan.
Luke 10: 29-36 (King James Version ): “…who is my neighbour?…And Jesus answering said, a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his raiment, wounded him and departed, leaving him half dead.
“And by chance there came by a certain priest and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. And like wise a Levite came by and looked on the man and passed by.
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came by and had compassion on the man. And he went to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, gave them to the host and said unto him, take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more…I will repay thee. Which, now, of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him who fell among thieves?
“And Jesus said, he that shewed mercy unto him. Go, and do likewise.”
This story exemplifies what it means to be a Christian. Yet the panelists labored mightily in mini-essays to show their knowledge of the scriptures.
The panel moderator, Rajan Zed, set the tone of the panelists’ humdrum preachments with a wearying 93-word sentence:
“Well-known chronicles of various religions include: Crucifixion & Resurrection of Jesus Christ, David vs. Goliath, Nativity, Noah and the Ark, Adam and Eve, Life of Prophet Yusuf, Wiseman Luqman, Churning of the Ocean, Radha-Krishna legends, different episodes in Ramayana, The Mustard Seed, Blind Men and an Elephant, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Bhai Lalo, and Malik Bhago, Creation of Khalsa by Sri Guru Gobind Singh, Binding of Isaac, Story of the Prophet Moses, Childhood of Bab, Confucius meeting Laozi, The Eight Immortals, Amaterasu and the Cave, Lord Mahavir (sic) and the Cow Herder, Zeher-e-Khoosh, etc. (The et cetera spares us many more names.)
Kenneth Lacey, UNR religion professor who usually is the best of panelists, stumbled. He quoted from the Apocrypha, noting it survives in various versions in 13 languages. Lucey elaborated on the tale of a 5-year-old Christ playing by a stream and being chastised by Joseph for “doing something not allowed on the Sabbath.” And on and on.
One panelist, Steve Bond, a pastor at the Summit Christian Church in Sparks, raved about unbelievable stores: Jesus walking on water, ridding a boy of a demon and Jesus’ resurrection, “proving that Jesus really was God in the flesh, just as he claimed numerous times!”
Again, in my judgment, the panelists might also have quoted Matthew 7:12 (KJV): “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Or, John 15:13 (KJV): “This is my commandment, that ye love one another…Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
It’s particularly disturbing when I, an atheist, know more about the essence and spirit of Christ then the august panelists.
NECESSARY MUSLIM BASHING
French presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, was in Beirut, Lebanon, recently when aides to Grand Mufti Abdellatif Deriane insisted that she wear a headscarf for a meeting with His Holiness.
She emphatically refused. Rightly so.
Certainly, practice your religious beliefs fervently but don’t foist them on others. (Le Pen is a Christian.)
ISRAEL LEGALIZES LAND THEFT
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has passed a law legalizing theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank.
The vote was 60-52, meaning that just 52 Knesset parliamentarians disapproved of the land grab.
Human Rights Watch condemned the theft as did the United Nations Security Council, which called the land robbery a “manifest disregard of international law.”
The illegal law legalizes permanent occupation of the West Bank, creates separate and unequal laws for Israeli land grabbers and for Palestinians living in their land.
Even Dan Meridor, the former right-wing Likud Party minister of Israel, noted that Palestinians living in the West Bank “did not vote for the Knesset and Israel has no authority to legislate for them. These are basic principles of democracy.”
It also used to be a principle of Israeli law. But no one can stop its thievery. The Israelis do what they want.
Beaumont Fletcher in his 1611 play,“Philaster,” first used the expression: “The Devil take the hindmost.” (“Everyone should look after his own interests.”) That perfectly expresses the Israeli view.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. (Jake.Highton.firstname.lastname@example.org