I see no reason to omit Old Testament scripture when it makes up the bulk of the Holy Bible. If you want me to disregard it, I would assume that you also believe that Christian churches should tear out the first several hundred pages of your most sacred text?
First off, you need to look at how I framed the topic. I'm basically saying that Christian teaching is powerful regardless of whether you believe, as many of us do, that he is the Son of God. Talking about the Old Testament in that secular context, makes no sense. Either Jesus is a powerful philosopher, useful for anyone concerned with human ethics, or he isn't.
Whether John Lennon believed literally in The Way, the Truth and The Life is up for debate. You say he had a change of heart, but then again, later in 1977, he claimed to be a born-again. He may have gone back and forth. Where he ended up, nobody knows. But what we can say is he never questioned the value, of Jesus' ethical teaching.
To briefly address your OT comments in a religious context though, you're guilty of several cardinal sins
in your interpretation, many of which we've seen on here before.
First, the mere mention of something in the Bible does not make it law. Some stories are just there to be documented, but that doesn't mean that those events were condoned by God as they were written about. This would be akin to claiming the "9/11 Commission Report" was really a book on "How to be a Terrorist" because it documented some stuff terrorists did.
Second, you quote (or maybe some atheist site quotes) scripture selectively, sometimes leaving out preceding (and qualifying) verses that completely nullify the point you're trying to make.
and Third, you judge Christianity by the law it was intended to replace. Laws that were written for a different time, and a different world entirely. Think, in a loose parallel, of judging the Law of the United States by quoting precedents of the British Monarchy. In some cases it might be relevant. In others, obviously not. One obviously led to the other, but at some point most of it was changed, and for good reason. We no longer live in that world. In alot of ways we can't even begin to understand it.
As far as my ace-in-the-hole, you need to read more about the outright religious persecution in both the Soviet Union and China. In outright persecution, I mean wars waged against people of literally any faith simply for not conforming with the one true non-faithy faith.
But on the other hand, we have a kind of double-standard at play. A theocratic state, when engaging in tyranny, by necessity has to have a theocratic explanation for all its bad behavior. You take advantage by claiming all that tyranny was "religious." Obviously not the case. The reasons for violence were the same as in any other dictatorship. But a (usually false) religious justification was required to keep things in line.
Yet, when Stalin wanted to murder a million or so, his professed atheism meant no religious justification was required. He could say he had a Fever and the only Prescription was more Gulags for all anyone cared. So he was free to eliminate virtually all churchgoers or anyone else he saw as a threat. And you get to claim it wasn't "religious" I say if all tyrannical actions of a theocratic state are "religious" then so are all the tyrannical actions of an atheocratic state.
[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 1/12/2009).]