In years past, when Christian theologian and master debater William Lane Craig was at the top of his game, I used to debate him in the shower and I inevitably won. Sorry, just to clarify, we weren’t in the shower together. Rather, I would have vociferous debates in my mind with him between lathering armpits. It reminds me of my favorite meme:
Time has moved on, and it seems unfair to continually defeat the poor man. He’s now had a 407- debate losing streak.
Three things are top of my agenda in terms of what I think about and argue over these days: religion and politics (obviously), but also the Ukraine War.
It was only the other day that I was arguing with Marjorie Taylor Greene in the shower about all of the above. Again, to clarify: washing in the shower, arguing in my imagination. Nobody would want to see that alternative scene in reality.
It went something like this… [And, for the record, most of the content of her imaginary comments here are direct quotes from her from various places.]
Hi Marjorie, and thanks for taking the time to have a calm and reasoned conversation with me. Tell me, do you call yourself a Christian?
Of course I am, Jonathan. A god-fearing Christian woman.
Do you see Christianity and politics as interwoven?
We need the GOP to be the party of nationalism and I’m a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists.
Interesting. I was just reading the Daily Mail (er…), and learned that you apparently ‘openly cheated’ on your husband of 25 years with a polyamorous tantric sex guru and then moved on to another affair with the manager at your gym. Is that what Jesus would do?
Hey, look, if…
Sorry, Marjorie, I thought I’d deleted that question from the list. Forgive me. Let’s start again. What do you think about the church and the teachings of Jesus?
As I’ve said before, the church is not doing its job, and it’s not adhering to the teachings of Christ, and it’s not adhering to what the word of God says we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to live. So the more we adhere to the teachings of Christ, the better our society will be.
Okay. Interesting. Let’s move on to politics, and specifically the Ukraine War. In February, you introduced legislation stating “the United States must end its military and financial aid to Ukraine.” Tell me more.
It’s crazy. Ukraine is not the 51st state of America. We should not be funding a proxy war with Russia. I’m only focused on her work for the American people. It’s not about what’s right and wrong in Ukraine because we’re the United States of America. We’re ignoring our own people’s problems. Anyway, it’s a country whose government only exists because the Obama State Department helped to overthrow the previous regime.
Innnnteresting. Just to get this straight, you are committed to the idea that we should better adhere to the teachings of Jesus?
I don’t know what your favorite Bible story is, but mine is the Good Samaritan. What do you think that story tells us?
That one’s easy: it teaches you to be kind and helpful.
I guess so. Well, I would qualify that a bit. It is about being kind to someone who is not like you, someone not in your “in-group.” We shouldn’t be all about thinking only of ourselves, but concerned for our neighbors.
Yeah, so where is this going?
This is one of Jesus’ teachings. Actually, it’s one of the most famous parables in the Bible. Here’s the story that Jesus uses as a teaching: A man going from Jerusalem to Jericho is attacked by robbers who strip him and beat him. A priest and a Levite pass by without helping him. But a Samaritan stops and cares for him, taking him to an inn where the Samaritan pays for his care.
Okay. And what’s your point?
Here we have someone going out of their way to help another person, someone from their out-group, after they have been attacked. The Samaritan—someone that Jesus is teaching we should be more like—goes out of his way to help and pay for the further assistance of the beleaguered man.
You see Marjorie—or perhaps the problem is that you don’t—the man lying battered on the road is Ukraine, attacked, beaten, and robbed by Russia. And here you are, America. The question is, are you the priest? The Levite? Or the Samaritan? Jesus teaches that you, a God-fearing Christian nationalist whose nationhood is an extension of their Christian ideology, should seek to assist Ukraine, to pay for its assistance in light of the violent attack by Russia.
Far be it from an atheist to tell you this, but be more like Jesus, Marje.
Of course, I’ll never get a chance to have that conversation in reality. So back to the shower it is, then.