I was talking recently with a liberal Christian, when the conversation turned to the Bible. At one point, I said that I didn't see any value in trying to extract the "true" message of Jesus, given the contradictory verses that are purportedly his own words, not to mention the problem of trying to read the book as a coherent text written for the purpose of providing a historically accurate account of precisely what was done and said. He stuck to the party line, though, insisting that there is a common message of love to be found through the Gospels that takes primacy over any inconsistencies or disturbing passages. Anyway, that's standard stuff. I then said that I personally didn't find his words to be all that inspiring in the first place, to which his immediate, incredulous response was, "Not even the Beatitudes?"
In case you hellbound deviants don't have them memorized, here's a refresher:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are they who mourn,for they shall be comforted.Blessed are the meek,for they shall inherit the earth.Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they shall be satisfied.Blessed are the merciful,for they shall obtain mercy.Blessed are the pure of heart,for they shall see God.Blessed are the peacemakers,for they shall be called children of God.Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I said that I actually preferred the Beach Boys song, "Wouldn't It Be Nice":
Wouldn't it be nice if we were olderThen we wouldn't have to wait so longAnd wouldn't it be nice to live togetherIn the kind of world where we belongYou know its gonna make it that much betterWhen we can say goodnight and stay togetherWouldn't it be nice if we could wake upIn the morning when the day is newAnd after having spent the day togetherHold each other close the whole night throughThe happy times together we've been spendingI wish that every kiss was neverendingOh, wouldn't it be nice...Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come trueBaby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't doWe could be marriedAnd then we'd be happyWouldn't it be nice...You know it seems the more we talk about itIt only makes it worse to live without itBut let's talk about itOh, wouldn't it be nice...
Same sappy, pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, but with good music in this case. Did Jesus ever write any songs as brilliant as Brian Wilson? I rest my case.