Jesus Will Do Away With Democracy!

Perhaps in the comments someone can document what Fred Kohn wrote on Facebook. It needs some extended elaboration into other important areas, like theocracy and punishment.

Christianity is inherently theocratic, just like we find with the Hebrew religion in the Old Testament. It's wrapped in the language and culture of its day, which includes theocracy. The same language in Revelation says Jesus is expected to reign in a kingdom over people on earth, and later in heaven.

A reign over people assumes a theocracy. That was the political philosophy adopted in the Ancient Near Eastern world. The biblical god and his son are tied to a form of government that is rejected by modern, educated, civilized people. One cannot have a kingdom without doing away with democracy. So Jesus will do away with democracy! Christians still talk of a kingdom and a reigning Jesus. Heil Jesus! We also see this includes ancient forms of punishment that a king will inflict upon the disobedient. What could be problematic about this?


What would the reign of Jesus on earth for period of time, or a millennium (or eternity in heaven), look like? Would it look like the kingdom of Yahweh in the Old Testament, who meted out grotesque punishments for trivial offenses, promoted slavery, misogyny, racism, and the killing of gay people, nonbelievers, witches, and so on? Why would those kinds of disobedient people be in his future kingdom in the first place? If they are, then why? If not, would everyone obey god's laws? If they would all be obedient, why would a god need to reign over people who love Jesus? What does king Jesus do? Would his reign be like a traffic cop who decides the speed zone on every street? We can do that for ourselves! Or would Jesus be a mere figurehead to be worshipped, while the rest of us take care of buiness, sort of the what we find in the United Kingdom. If this is the case, there would be no reason for the reign of Jesus, or to enforce his laws. It wouldn't actually be a kingdom at that point, nor does it need a king who has anything to do with his people. Plus, there would be no need for soliders to fight off a different deity with his army, or fortified walls to protect his kingdom from such an attack! Think on that!

As for punishments, the god of the Bible is tied to the barbaric punishments found in the Ancient Near Eastern world, with its eye for an eye revenge form of justice. They were to cut off the parts of bodies that inflicted harm, or were harmed by an offender. Plus there was genocide, the taking of women as spoils of war, the stoning a son who was disrespectful of his parents. Plus, in Christianity there is an eternal conscious torment in hell, or torment by other means for what may seem like an eternity in Purgatory, or annihilation by an excruciating amount of pain into non-existence (does anyone think these barbaric people thought of a quick and painless execution?) Why was this draconian punishment handed out? Because "these people deserved it", would be the unanimous barbaric reply. God apparently agreed, since he understood nothing about what we have leaned in the last century from psychology, which overwhelmingly shows us we are not evil so much as ill, based on our environment and genetic makeup. So with the rise of psychology and prisons also comes the fall of the barbaric, biblical, kingly god.

The rise of a prison as a punishment had to wait until the late 18th century. God didn't reveal this to us because it never occurred to him. But it replaced whippings, stocks and pillory, being drawn and quartered, being dragged through the streets by a horse, or being tarred and feathered. By contrast prisons, counseling, and treatment are much more humane forms of dealing criminals, and has the benefit of keeping them out of society so we can live in peace and safety.

So likewise, as draconian punishments go by the boards, so also goes the sacrificial atonement of Jesus on the cross. Since we are not sinners so much as ill, there is no need for someone to be a scapegoat for our sins. Nor is there any reason why we must be punished before we can be forgiven, nor can any sense be made that we dishonor god so his honor must be restored, nor any good legally binding law that someone must pay a debt with torture in order to be forgiven of that debt. An informed and good god could just forgive our sins as we forgive people when they do some harm to us.

The language and culture of the Bible tell us these things. It's hidden from the eyes of Christians who are blinded from seeing what is obvious as daylight to the rest of us.

John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 12 critically acclaimed books, including The Case against Miracles, God and Horrendous Suffering, and Varieties of Jesus Mythicism. Please support DC by sharing our posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying our books at Amazon. Thank you so much!