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View Diary: Levite Be Gone: Releasing the Samaritan Within (6 comments)

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  •  Good reading, although (0+ / 0-)

    the Good Samaritan parable isn't actually about humanitarianism.  I'm not sure if your Bible is annotated, or if you know a bit about ancient Jewish history, but Samaritans were hated by mainstream Jewish culture.

    To make a long story short, after the Assyrians defeated Israel they forced most of the Jews into exile.  A handful remained, intermarried with the conquerors, and practiced a different genre of Judaism than the Jews who eventually returned from exile (although the Samaritans maintain theirs is the older).  At any rate, they were a despised minority among the returned Israelites.

    So the Good Samaritan parable is really about racism, prejudice, and stereotype.  People of the Jewish priesthood (Levites) left a person to die, but someone from the despised minority (Samaritan) took pity on him!  A contemporary version might go: "A man was dying on the street, and a priest walked by, and a nun walked by, but a Muslim man stopped and took care of him."  Could you see the heads of right-wing Christendom explode?  That's exactly the effect (and result) of Jesus' parable, which offended many of his Jewish listeners.

    There is that humanitarian element you point out, but it's not the main thrust of the story.

    By the way, there are plenty of atheists in foxholes.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 03:27:48 AM PST

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