The Washington Post Hates the Bible. If You’re Christian, It Hates You Too.

By Tom Gilson Published on June 16, 2018

Satire can’t explain it. It has got to be hatred. Raw, unfiltered hatred for Christians and for the Bible.

Yesterday the Washington Post published a commentary by the often-funny Alexandra Petri, titled “Jeff Sessions’s Other Favorite Bible Stories.” It’s a response to Sessions’s use of Romans 13:1 in support of administration immigration policy. She says he’s misusing it, but not in so many words. Instead she puts her own view of the Bible on display:

Judgment of Solomon: As King Solomon so wisely and clearly admonishes us, babies should be taken from their mothers and cut in half. …

Daniel: If someone objects to the laws of a land, authorities are within their rights to punish him, for instance by throwing him into a den of lions. …

As Jesus so wisely said: “Suffer, little children.”

Satire That Isn’t

I get that it’s supposed to be satire. I get that she’s telling us Bible verses can be misinterpreted. So I’m trying as hard as I can to read it with a sense of humor — but it’s just not working for me. And I don’t think I’m the one to blame. This isn’t satire; not really.

I’ve seen sharp satire before, and I know when it’s used: when there’s something horribly, obviously, deeply, ethically wrong with the object of the satire. What horror spurred this attack? Get ready for it: Sessions cited Romans 13:1, then added, “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”

How evil can an attorney general get?

Satire Aimed at the Bible Itself

But wait! It wasn’t his take on the law that she swung at. It was the fact that he put a Bible verse in front of it.

Just that. Someone used the Bible, and she slashed the thing to pieces.

Someone used the Bible, and she slashed the thing to pieces.

It wasn’t about his interpretation of the verse. She made no comment on his exegesis. I doubt she knows if he got it halfway right or not, and I doubt she cares. She was too busy mocking the man merely for mentioning the Bible.

That’s what her attack was about. Nothing more.

Satire Too Distorted to Work

And she brought it with all the divisive, angry invective she could muster. Not to mention her ignorance; her take on Solomon, Daniel, Jesus and the rest is unbelievably distorted. Satire ought to have at least some connection with reality; this has none.

Which means it could only work as satire for those who know nothing at all. For the rest of us, it’s ignorance, not irony; anger, not humor.

But let’s try to understand her point anyway. Best I can tell, she’s saying that when you use the Bible you’re bound to blow the message. Whatever Sessions thought Romans 13:1 means, he must be wrong, since other passages can be taken so wrongly, too. That’s my best shot at what I think she was getting at.

Satire That Slashes at Every Christian

But if that’s her message, it’s a broad, sweeping, hateful one. She’s not just saying people don’t always get the Bible right. She’s saying the Scriptures mean nothing at all. That Christians through thousands of years have been fools. “Look at them all!” she tells her friends with a smirk. “They. Never. Even. Noticed!”

And still today, millions of us in the U.S., and billions around the world, who think we can read the Bible and learn something from it, are too blinkin’ stupid to see it doesn’t have a thing to say to us. Or so she seems to be saying.

The Hatred We Must Prepare For

This is hate. Prominently published hate. Washington Post-endorsed hate.

Christians, this is what we’re facing, more and more these days. We have got to gear up for it.

We’ve got to be alert, so we can recognize and call out this kind of thing for what it is. We’ve got to be spiritually ready, so we can respond in love.

And we’d better be intellectually prepared, so we can return truth when we see lies and distortions like Alexandra Petri’s. 

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  • Stephen D

    Sessions was wrong to quote that verse if he meant it in support of the government’s immigration law, to which it is clearly irrelevant – or to which it is no more relevant than it is to any other law. The Atlantic currently has an excellent article on the use and misuse of Romans 13:1 in political debate.

    • Tell me, if Romans 13:1 does not mean that, in general, we are to obey the laws of the land, unless they are compelling us to do something wrong, what does it say? Or does it just not mean anything at all?

      • Wiffle

        There appears to be something completely intertwined about the ability to submit in a thoughtful way to a flawed and fallen authority and ability to believe in Christ and love God.

        • I admit that there are exceptions, where God’s law must be obeyed before man’s. We must not burn even a pinch to Caesar. But enforcement of immigration policies? Really? This is that clear-cut and obvious? Hardly.

  • tz1

    But there would be screaming if there was even a perfectly truthful quote and commentary from the Quran.
    She should just be clearly called an anti-Christian BIGOT, and Christians should cease being extra nice not to call out attacks.

    • Jacob Miller

      >> But there would be screaming if there was even a perfectly truthful quote and commentary from the Quran.

      I didn’t know we Christians based our ethics on what Muslims do.

      • tz1

        Hypocrisy and pride were the sins Jesus pointed out at the Pharisees, the “brood of vipers”, and the “sons of the Devil”.
        They are also not merely Christian ethics but universal ones.
        But when Muslims do things, Christians need to respond ethically, but that might involve a crusade.

    • GLT

      I don’t think Petri is as much a bigot as she is an arrogant pseudo-intellectual who believes she is morally and intellectually superior to those professing to be Christian. She sees Christians as weak-minded and lacking intellect and therefore fair game for her superior abilities. That type usually land with a very loud thud.

  • Trilemma

    I think her point is that anyone who uses the Bible in relation to the laws of the land cannot be taken seriously. She illustrates this by intentionally not taking the Bible seriously.

    Ironically, the verse where Jesus says, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” is used against deportation.

    • Andrew Mason

      Why not? Why should anyone who opposes the Bible be taken seriously?

      • John Connor

        The same could be said for those who believe in the bible.

        • Andrew Mason

          Because the Bible has largely provided the basis for Western culture, provided the basis for ethics, provided the grounds for developing science …

          • John Connor

            The Bible is nothing more than a book of fables. It has provided us with absolutely nothing except falsehoods.

          • Andrew Mason

            Nothing except morality, history, law, art, culture, and philosophy for starters.

            Compare that with say Atheism which has provided absolutely nothing except death, destruction, devastation, misery etc.

          • John Connor

            Fictional works support and produce nothing.

          • So you’d be fine if we destroyed every last copy of the works of Shakespeare, including electronic? If he was erased from history? That would be no problem for you?

          • John Connor

            Where did I even hint at book burning? smh

          • Your words, imbecile: “Fictional works support and produce nothing.”

            So if fictional works “support and produce nothing”, they fundamentally don’t matter and it would be no big deal if they were entirely destroyed. Do you stand by this or not?

          • John Connor

            Imbecile? LMAO!

          • You make sweeping categorical statements which you apparently completely fail to understand the implications of. What else am I supposed to call you?

  • Linda Choquette

    Isn’t her problem with the Bible being quoted by the top lawyer in the land to justify separating children from their parents? His application was most unfortunate.

    • Jacob Miller

      Using the bible to justify breaking up families seems like a much more offensive abuse of God’s word.

      • What about the fact that their parents were breaking the law? Do they bear any responsibility for that? Or is it all our fault for trying to enforce our laws and protect our children from people with unacceptable standards?

    • Sessions’ use of the Bible is one thing, Petri’s is another. In this article I focused on the latter.

      • Linda Choquette

        Why did you reprimand the non-Christian for not understanding or loving the Bible, while giving the professing Christian a pass? Very, very typical response from the present day American church and from The Stream.

        • I read the full context of what he said, and the entire scope of the policy he was speaking of. I don’t think his misuse of the Scripture was as egregious as some do.

          If the common misunderstanding of the policy were the true understanding, I’d have spoken to it.

          We are not averse to criticizing our own, when criticism is needed. I did it in an article published just hours before this one.

    • What about using Bible quotes to justify destroying a free nation? Is that “unfortunate”? What about using Bible quotes to justify subjecting children to rapists and other predators? Is that also “unfortunate”? Or is it only “unfortunate” if you don’t like it?

  • Jacob Miller

    This article seems a little hysterical. To go straight from an irreverent article to hating all Christians is a ridiculous leap.

    • Linda Choquette

      The Stream is sadly not the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight paths for the Lord. It has become a frequently hysterical voice of hateful rhetoric, not of love for the lost. It’s actually quite awful.

      • Linda what do you think love would look like in context of her abuse oh the Bible and Christianity here? And what would a responsible warning to Christians look like here, in your opinion? Serous question, I want to know what you think. Thanks.

        • Linda Choquette

          She is not a professing Christian and the Washington Post isn’t a Christian paper, therefore, we cannot hold them (the lost) to Biblical standards and expect them to revere the Word of God when they don’t know Him. They (the lost) will know we are Christians by our love. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and as the Father sent Him into the world, so He sends us. It is Gods kindness that leads the lost to repentance, not the church spouting off high and mighty indignance which the lost do not understand. Feed the poor, shelter the homeless, be kind to strangers. Biblical standards are for Christians, not the lost.

          • I understand they won’t revere the Word of God. By their own standards, though, it’s extremely odd how much hatred they express toward Christians and our faith.

            I am giving thought to your words here. I appreciate your sharing them. I agree that if the primary purpose of an article like this was to evangelize the persons involved, it would not do that job. Not, that is, unless they saw their own hypocrisy and decided to give it up. John the Baptist called some people a brood of viper, which is worse language than I used here, so this is not without biblical precedent anyway.

            At any rate, our primary purpose here isn’t to evangelize those who are not readers, but to inform those who are. I’m convinced readers need to know how much anti-Christian hostility has arisen in their world. Too many believers still sleep blissfully unaware. That’s what this article was for.

          • Linda Choquette

            They hate “Christians” because “Christians” don’t love them with the love of the Lord. They quote from the Bible in judgement, carry placards, and condem the unsaved for not living like Christians!! Ugh. Who would be attracted to that? We need to be more like Mother Teresa.

          • Jesus gave us a lot of reasons besides that for the world’s hatred of his people, Linda.

          • Ken Abbott

            Jesus loved with a perfect love, Linda. What was his community’s response to him?

            I further suggest looking up the opinion of Christopher Hitchens regarding Mother Teresa on the idea that her model is more attractive to the world.

    • Actually it’s not. What Tom is talking about is our cultural elites. Most average Americans regardless of their political or apolitical orientation are very much live and let live, just as are most Christians contrary to Linda’s claim below. Progressive/liberal/leftist/Democrat cultural elites HATE Christians, and the examples are legion. To deny this is to simply not want to see it.

      • Jacob Miller

        >> Progressive/liberal/leftist/Democrat cultural elites HATE Christians, and the examples are legion.

        If the examples are legion that they all “HATE Christians”, it’s odd that you don’t give even one example.

        I don’t doubt that some some-called “elites” hate Christians. More hate what some Christians are doing in the name of Christ.

        But all of them hate all Christians? That seems untrue, on it’s face. Aren’t some of these supposed “cultural elites” Christian themselves?

        And who in the heck are these “cultural elites”? It’s seems like a straw man. “Cultural elite” seems quite similar to the old anti-Semitic term “rootless cosmopolitan”? People will use “Hollywood elite” or “New York elite” the same way.

        • Read George Yancey, sociologist, who has documented it quite thoroughly and scientifically. You can search his name on this site. Be sure to find Yancey, not Yancy, another social scientist but not the expert in this.

        • Fair point, Jacob. I was way too inclusive. All is a terrible word to use in most instances. I’m sure there are many of these “elites,” and by that I and most people mean those who have authoritative cultural influence, would not say they hate Christians at all. But if you go on most any college campus today, for example, and proclaim traditional biblical sexual morality, you will be branded as a bigot and hater, and made to either conform to the secular cultural norms, or be made to shut up. Hollywood and the media are notoriously anti-Christian (e.g., Joy Bahar said that Mike Pence is mentally unstable because he talks to Jesus and believes that Jesus communicates back to him). How about the CEO of Twitter having the temerity to eat at a Chick Fil A, and then being “made” to freaking apologize for such a horrible transgression against polite society. Or the Civil Rights Commission of Colorado and their animus against Jack Phillips’ Christianity, forcing him to bake a cake for a same sex “marriage.” This anti-Christian sentiment (whether you call it hate or not) is pretty much ubiquitous among the most powerful cultural influencers in our society.

        • And who in the heck are these “cultural elites”? Do you mean Jews?

          Huh, where did you get that idea? I don’t see that implied anywhere at all. Are you perhaps reading your own biases and neuroses into this? Are you Jewish? Are you feeling guilty about your own hostility to Christians and Christian culture?

          • That’s hilarious! Did you see my last name by any chance?

          • Oh, sorry. I forgot that we’re all legally required to present our correct names on the internet.

      • Must be tough being a Christian in the US today. I pray for the day when a political candidate can be open about his Christian beliefs and still get elected.

      • Phil

        We don’t hate the christians, we hate religious hypocrosy. Isn’t that how it goes, as in don’t hate the sinner but the sin?

        • What do you mean religious hypocrisy? Isn’t hypocrisy part of the human condition? Show my someone who is not a hypocrite in some way, and I’ll show you a corpse. Somehow because so many Christians have turned Christianity into moralism (i.e., it’s all about being a “good” person), when Christians do wrong (i.e., sin) people call it hypocrisy. Whether that wrong is hating another sinner or indulging in sin, that’s what sinners, including Christians, do sometimes.

          So you set up a false standard as if it were possible for sinners, including Christians, not to sin, and then hate them for it. Of course I’m assuming your assessment of the situation is correct, that calling a moral evil, evil means we hate the person committing the moral evil. I’m not, of course, but we need to be done with the hypocrisy charge. Jesus came to save hypocrites! Like you! Repent! He can save someone even like you, Phil. I know, he saved me!

  • Patmos

    The Washington Compost is a blatant Deep State rag. Operation Mockingbird is still in effect, and they either blackmailed Jeff Bezos, or the guy sold his soul to be part of the club with his CIA deal. He claims to be hands off, which is ridiculous when you consider the turn for the worse the paper took under his ownership. The guy is scum, and will get what’s coming to him.

    That’s the part that cracks me up: All these progressive fools puffing themselves up, and merely setting themselves up for a great fall. Reminds me of telling a kid don’t touch the stove because it’s hot, then they go and touch the stove and burn themselves. There’s a certain humor to it.

  • Up_Words

    Well said, but prepare intellectually? Yes, and more: pray, and pray fervently. For it appears that what is being fingered here is more than mere intellectual aggression—it’s pointing to another “13:1” within Scripture. Can it be that as we approach the time of the “Apocalypse” that John’s Revelation warns of, the daily consequences of its fulfillment can be more nasty and distasteful than we at first imagined?

    Scripture presents a world in which the most powerful man on earth will be marked by mannerisms and a perspective that is most aptly described by the word “blasphemy” (Rev. 13:1)—an irreverence for things normally considered sacred and holy. As normal restraints on decency and decorum are being stripped away by our society’s recent embrace of unnatural sex, so too are our perceptions of simple decency taking a dive into the sewer, as God gives society up to a “reprobate mind” (Romans 1:26-28 AV).

    Resisting this new peer pressure to conform to this politically INcorrect reality, I believe, will be a preeminent challenge for the faithful, from here on (Matthew 24:12).

    • Danske

      Well said; all born again followers of Christ need to symbolically put on ‘the full armor of God’ each day because the battle with the Fallen Ones (Eph. 6: 10-20) is becoming more & more intense as we see the “Day” (Plural: the final end times before the return of Yeshua.

  • Andrew Mason

    An easy test is what would the response be if you subbed in Koran verses. If you think the Washington Post would deem it a hate crime, unacceptable ridicule, then an obvious double standard is being applied.

  • Boris

    You Christians cherry pick the Bible and then get angry when other people do it. Gilson is the head cherry picker too. He doesn’t believe the Bible says what it means, he believes the Bible says what he means.

    • True

      Care to point an example of “cherry picking”? Christians would say otherwise.

  • Dave

    This author writes with glee.

    • Philmonomer

      (Some) Christians need to see the “world” hating them. This 1) validates their worldview and 2) provides something they can rally around (gives them unity/common purpose). They embrace it (and, yes, “glee” is a good word.)

      One of the great realizations of my life is that essentially everyone believes he or she is a victim/discriminated against/downtrodden/etc.. It is (I believe) a universal human trait, and one of the ways we give meaning to our lives. (“I am a member of X group–and X group is defined by a,b,c.–where at least one of these characteristics is victim/discriminated against/etc.)

    • Ken Abbott

      Elsewhere, perhaps. Here I don’t see that.

  • Phil

    Poor persecuted US christians. If only you had a president, dominant party in power and the courts fighting for you and discriminating against everyone else. Perhaps Jesus needs more money to fix it for you.

    • True

      The persecution is real, and you are a perpetrator. Do you dispute that, Phil?

      • Phil

        Go to Pakistan to understand what true persecution is.

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