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Raw DS Article: Pastor Tom Short Needs a New Act

September 14, 2008

Like the proverbial great-aunt with sloppy kisses smelling of cigarettes and mothballs that shows up at Thanksgiving, Pastor Tom Short returned to the UND campus a week ago to stand outside and share with us his own version of “THE TRUTH.” His diatribe of condemning various groups of people to hell unless they change their ways was welcomed by some, queried by others, and protested by several students, including members of the UND Ten Percent Society, who (rightfully) argued that the opinions of this pastor and his preaching were at best ignorant and at worst hateful. The verses preached and arguments Short used, however, have been used over and over again for hundreds of years. They are tired and worn out. Quite frankly, there is so much more in the good book to be discussed and interpreted.

As someone who is always interested in talking about religion and being entertained, I’ve compiled a list of several bible verses and potential points of discussion Tom Short should use on his next visit to Grand Forks:

Verse 1- Mark 14:51-52 (New American Standard Bible):

“A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.”

The Bible has set the precedent for the fraternity right-of-passage known as the Anchor Run down University Avenue!

Verse 2- Deuteronomy 23:1 (JPS Tanakh):

“No one whose testes are crushed or whose member is cut off shall be admitted into the congregation of the LORD.”

What a perfect way to enter into a discussion about masculine hygiene!

Verse 3- 1 Samuel 18:25-27 (English Standard Version Bible)

“Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.”

College students get married to one another all of the time. This verse is the perfect starting point into a discussion of proper gift-giving etiquette for major celebrations and how to properly engage your future father and mother-in-law. Regardless of what might come about during the discussion, it is clear that Martha Stewart Living needs to address the proper way in which to wrap a gift box containing 200 foreskins.

Verse 4- Ezekiel 16:17

“You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them.”

I can’t believe Gilly’s has been open since the time of the Bible!

Verse 5- Ezekiel 23:20 (NIV Bible):

“There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

Can you imagine walking to class and hearing someone preach on this in the quad? It’d be a surefire way to increase your audience at least tenfold. This would also be a good way to earn some sponsorship money for your church from Cialis or Viagra.

Unfortunately, I seriously doubt any visiting religious clergy on campus will be discussing these verses and their implications on UND students. Those more fundamentalist and evangelical are sadly too busy reusing the same phrases and verses which share the same book as the above mentioned quotes to support a doctrine of intolerance and hatred.

As a Jew, I’ve found that going to school here can be uncomfortable at best and oppressive at worst. While I’ve yet to have someone outright tell me I’m going to hell for what I may or may not believe in, the amount of people who I’ve encountered that held ignorant and/or intolerant beliefs about my religion and those of my Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic and atheist friends from around the world is staggering. Evangelical and fundamentalist groups of all religions need to drop their act, open their eyes and see the dynamic and diverse world around them. There’s no reason the peaceful teachings of the Torah, the Bible, or the Koran (yes, that too!) should be misinterpreted like they are now.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2008 11:16 am

    Excellent!

  2. Ryan McBride permalink
    September 21, 2008 2:24 pm

    Some fundy submitted an attempt at a rebuttal.

    http://www.dakotastudent.com/media/storage/paper970/news/2008/09/19/Opinion/Letter.Deserving.Tolerance-3441830.shtml

    Almost nauseating, really.

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