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Misaimed Fandom: Myth And Religion
ďIt wasnít about what Christ was saying, but about the people who followed Him Ė the ones who for the next 2,000 years would torture and kill each other because they couldnít agree on what He was saying about peace and love."
Monty Python member Terry Jones, on Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Examples of Misaimed Fandom for characters in mythological and religious stories.

  • Many mythologies and religions preach for universal brother- and sisterhood and that people should be kind and forgiving to each other. Yet humans have killed, tortured, fought, bickered, doublecrossed, betrayed, stolen, vandalized, raped, lied to, hurt and slaughtered each other throughout the centuries in name of their god(s) or ideology.
    • Most religions try to give exceptions as to exactly who you need to love and forgive, but the point certainly stands that plenty of the tortured and killed probably didn't quite qualify.
  • In many health food stores, one can find "Ezekiel 4:9" bread, which, as prescribed in the verse cited, is made from wheat, barley, lentils, beans, millet, and spelt. The problem is that the bread is being made as penance; the next few verses tell them to cook it over human feces.
    • Though when Ezekiel is unwilling to use that as fuel even to make a point, God allows him to use cow dung instead. And the point they're gleaning from it, while not the main thrust of the passage, is that if you can live off of nothing but about 12 ounces of it a day (a little more than 340g) of it a day for 390 days, it must be reasonably nutritious. (Though yeah, they probably diverge from the original recipe in that don't bake it over any kind of dung these days. And that's not even getting into cinnamon raisin...)
    • In general, Christians who treat every word in the Bible as though it is on equal ground. This is not even going into the issues of whether we should interpret it literally or allegorically; we could be here all day with that. But even with a literal interpretation, there are some books which are intended to be read as histories, not as rules to follow. And even as far as rules go, some of them were laws only meant to be followed by Jews (e.g. the ones in Leviticus); indeed, the first dang Church Council, attended by Paul and the Apostles themselves and recorded in Acts, specifically said that Gentile Christians (i.e. those who are not ethnically Jewish) are not bound by Jewish law. (Eventually, this came to be understood to mean that all Christians are not bound by Jewish law, but the black letter of the Council's judgment at the time was limited to what was required of Gentiles and did not address whether Christianity abrogated Jewish law for Jewish Christians.)
      • That said, Matthew 5:17-20 reads like a fairly resounding endorsement of the law which is backed up by John 5:46. Despite the fact that these words were likely intended for (and spoken to) a Jewish audience, they have resulted in OT morality seeping through to modern society.
      • This overlooks the fact that those verses cover events that happened before Jesus' death, when (according to most prevailing Christian theories) the Mosaic Law was still in effect for Jews. Jesus' death, according to subsequent Christian theory, removed the necessity of Jewish Law even for ethnic Jews.
  • One verse which is often misinterpreted due to cultural changes is Matthew 5:39 "turning the other cheek". People overlook that the verse specifies the right cheek. In society at that time to strike someone with the back of one's fist was considered a insult and as most people are right handed a backhand to the face lands on the right cheek. With this in mind it reads as "Don't feed the trolls" and not "let people walk all over you".
    • There's also the fact that if you turn the other cheek, they'll have to slap you with the palm of their hand, hurting them more than you
  • A lot of weddings like to use the blessing from Deuteronomy 28:2-14, where the Lord promises a lot of juicy blessings for for his people who obey his commands, including blessings for their city and country, their offspring, their produce of the ground, their herds and flocks, their tools and houses, their jobs and relatives, when they come in and go out, etc, if they obey his commandments. What newlyweds who pick that passage forget is the passage RIGHT AFTER, 15-64, where the Lord promises that if they donít obey him, they will be host to a whole horde of punishments, including curses on everything he listed above, as well as defeat in war, conquest, death and rape of your family, exile, etc. Not much fun to read at a wedding, hence why itís important to read in context.
  • Feminists really seem to love viewing Athena as some sort of role model. The reasoning's justified (Athena was the Goddess of Wisdom and War, after all), but it completely disregards the fact that Athena was quite the opposite of a feminist; due to never having a real maternal figure in her life, Athena grew up siding more with men than women.
    • Case in point: She sides with Orestes against the Erinyes for killing his mother, Clytemnestra (who had killed his father) and concedes a belief that, in a marriage, the man is more important than the woman, citing the fact that she was born from Zeus without a mother.
    • A more famous case involves one of her own priestesses, who was raped by Poseidon in her temple. Athena showed less concern for her priestess being brutalized and more concern with the fact that sex of any kind occurred in her temple (and involving Poseidon—with whom Athena had an intense rivalry—no less). For this, Athena gave the priestess a swift and brutal punishment in the form of a terrifying transformation. The name of that unfortunate priestess? Medusa.
  • While not characters per se, the suicide bombers and similar in Real Life are the result of Misaimed Fandom of their own religious texts.
  • Depictions of Judas as a despicable villain, cowardly betrayer and an agent of Satan are pretty mainstream. Judas was meant to betray Jesus, so he can die for humanity's sins. Also remember that Satan actually wanted to prevent Jesus from dying, so why would he send a guy to sell him out to people who want him dead?
    • At least one of the gospels has Judas possessed by Satan when he betrays Jesus. When Satan leaves him, he desperately Must Make Amends, and is so wracked with guilt he hangs himself. Yet, his name is shorthand for evil and a lot of people think he's one of the Bible's greatest villains.
    • We have Word of Dante to blame for that one, of course. The Church (for quite some time, Christianity really was Catholic) demonized Judas for various reasons, a portrayal cemented in our culture by...well...Dante, whose Inferno has Judas be one of the three great historical traitors (with Caesar's traitors Brutus and Cassius) deemed bad enough to be chewed upon by Satan for all eternity.
    • Judas wasn't entirely innocent, though, as he makes the deal with the Pharisees before Satan enters him at the last supper. John also records that Judas was greedy and would often help himself to the contents of the disciples' moneybag, and at one point called out Christ for wasting perfume that could have been "sold to the poor" when he really only intended to get more money for himself.
    • And Jesus' own condemnation of Judas, saying "betrayal must come, but woe to the one through whom it comes!" While it's acknowledged as a necessary evil, Judas is definitely a villain in the Bible. Pointing out ways in which he maybe wasn't so bad is Misaimed Fandom in itself.
    • There are other gospels than the ones the Council of Nicene chose to put in the Bible, with just as much (or little) claim to being accurate accounts. A few of them have Judas acting under direct orders from Jesus at the time.
  • Rastafari is a highly conservative religion, both for better and for worse. Followers maintain strict dietary restrictions, swear off alcohol and most other mind-altering substances, cut themselves off from the corrupt world around them to varying degrees, treat women as second-class citizens, and despise gay people, especially gay men. They also smoke ganja, grow dreadlocks, and are associated with reggae music. Guess which of these aspects are embraced by middle-class Americans.
  • The vast majority of Christian theories about the apocalypse are a result of reading large numbers of passages in unintuitive ways that were largely not meant to go together. A large cornerstone is Revelation, a book that could just as easily be read as a veiled criticism of Roman policies at the time than any kind of warning about the world's demise. But this confusion pales before one of the resulting theories, which is that an Antichrist will come forth proposing peace, but truly desiring war, who will begin all of the troubles. While it is true that people can deceive others in their bid for power, this often results in followers of these theories who will absolutely refuse to follow any leader who argues in favor of policies that promote peace. Which, as you know, was a concept Jesus often supported himself.
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