Okay, here’s my thoughts.
Catholics aren’t really big on teaching/studying the Bible. Or at least it wasn’t when I was in school and CCD. And thanks to a strong liberal arts program, I view the Bible as nothing but hearsay. I agree it’s a book inspired by God, but written by Man. We know for a fact that, for example, the Gospels were written years (sometimes hundreds) after the death of Jesus, usually by people who didn’t know him. Its an oral story that was finally written down. So we don’t actually know that Jesus said “Blah.” What we have is a book that says that someone said, that someone said, that someone said, Jesus said “Blah.” And I know I’m not the only one who’s ever played Telephone before. Even the simplest message gets seriously fucked up. So I take anything that quotes Jesus (or anyone else for that matter) with a large grain of salt.
That being the said, when I read something in the Bible, I tend to look for a deeper, simpler message. I take the Golden Rule away from the Gospels. That’s the basic message he was trying to convey. I think Douglas Adams summed it up best.
“And then, on Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change...”
While driving today, I was pondering this, and realized that another author made it even more succinct and uses a phrase that should resonate with today’s modern person much better. What went across my mind was:
I think it works. Maybe I should set up a Café Press site and make some money off it. Can't you imagine that a T-shirt? Think of all the cash those WWJD people made.