Friday, April 13, 2007


RIP Kurt Vonnegut, humanist extraordinaire.

From A Man Without a Country (see here):
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes be posted anywhere.

"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!
As a result of passages like this (from earlier works), I credit Vonnegut with getting me to start reading the Bible with a bit of charity. At the time, that meant seeing Jesus as a socialist, which I wouldn't see as a particularly good characterization nowadays, but a heathen's gotta start somewhere.

Here's hoping he didn't have too much trouble getting through that death thing, whatever it is.


Paul said...

Well first off, its been a long time Toby, and I must admit this is a day I never thought I would see, but glad none the less. That being said, I have to comment on your post. I find it interesting as well regarding the 10 commandments as opposed to the beatitudes, but that being said people, in general, are far more inclined to look for rules and orders for their lives than the beatitudes provide. My thought would be why do they harp on the 10, when Jesus gave them 2. Especially considering if you asked 100 Christians I doubt more than 5 could tell you all 10. Drop me an email sometime I would love to catch up on things.

Micah said...

That's an awesome quote.