The Samaritan Lady

waterwell
Courtesy of Stockvault.net

Recently a law was passed in Tennessee that allows mental health counselors to refuse to treat patients based on the therapist’s religious or personal beliefs. Unfortunately, it is just one of many laws, passed or being discussed, that allows the religious to deny service because of their beliefs.

Obviously, as a non-believer, I feel this type of discrimination is wrong-wrong-wrong.

However, since I have a few Christian followers, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of a story from the bible related to the woman who came to get some water at the community well. As you probably recall, Jesus was there when she arrived and he asked her for a drink of water.

It’s important to remember this woman was a Samaritan, a race of people the Jews utterly despised and regarded as the worst of the human race. In fact, according to John 8:45, they believed the Samaritans were possessed by demons. The woman obviously knew this because when Jesus asked her for a drink, she commented (John 4:9):

How is it that you, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 

There is considerably more to the story (Jesus also discusses the woman’s husbands and a few other things), but the church primarily highlights the moment when Jesus tells the woman he could have given her “living water.” In fact, they use it quite extensively to minister to the “unsaved.”

However, for me, there’s a much deeper message to this story.

Doesn’t Jesus’ ministering to this despised outcast of Jewish society reveal that all people are valuable to God? Doesn’t this indicate that Jesus desires for his followers to demonstrate love to everyone . . . including those who are “different” or who do not share one’s “religious or personal beliefs?”

Hello, Christians. Do you not get the message? In spite of the hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans, this woman was accepted by Jesus. During this brief encounter, he was able to break down barriers between the two groups. And what happened as a result? She hurried back to her village to share her wondrous experience (she even left her water jar!).

Now let’s consider the law passed in Tennessee.

If believers are allowed to deny service to others simply because they don’t share the same beliefs (I don’t think I need to be specific here), isn’t this going against the teachings of Jesus as exemplified in this story?

You may go to church regularly, listen to Christian music, you may even carry a bible around, but if you’re going to proclaim to yourself and those around you that you’re a Christ-follower, how can you legitimately refuse to serve others in your community — whether or not they agree with your religious or personal beliefs?

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25 thoughts on “The Samaritan Lady

    • archaeopteryx,

      Yes and maybe no. It is called our U.S. Supreme Court. However, depending on what political-societal backgrounds the nine Justices have been influenced by and the President who appoints them, sometimes there is an IMBALANCE in the equality of justice. 😦

      Currently, 6 of the 9 justices have Conservative ideologies or have mostly Conservative tendencies. It is very long and arduous for a case to make that far up. Many cases are ‘stopped’ in district, appellate, circuit, and state courts. But in the rare times a case makes it to the top, the USSC is supposed to hear and judge cases according to the laws “the people elected’ into legislation (including Constitutional ammendments) done by their representatives.

      However, that protocol too was greatly undermined by Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission in 2008-2010, making wealthy individuals AND corporations heavily influence elections. (drops head in shame)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nine Justices? I thought there were only 8. Apparently there are only 9 when the Republicans allow the President to do his job and they do theirs, which, of course, they’re not going to do. Can you blame them, though? The President is a black guy, after all. Ah, America! Where Democracy and Liberty run rampant throughout the land! And we wonder how B.S. like this Tennessee law happens. We live in an oligarchy controlled by rich, Christian conservative billionaires who’ve no regard for anything or anyone, especially not the mindless drones who vote them into office.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well damn Jeff! You got me on a technicality — the death of Justice Scalia this past February. Currently there are 8 Justices with warm bodies. However, there are 9 seats. I can’t slip ANYTHING past you! 😉

          Ah, America! Where Democracy and Liberty run rampant throughout the land!

          Check that… “rampant throughout the land IF you have a bottom-less checkbook with bank accounts overseas!

          Indeed. The current political-socio trends indicate that plutarchy-oligarchy are on the near horizon if not just around the corner. This is all quite familiar and reminiscent for my family. In the 16 and 1700’s we fled the Chambons-Mentoulles of Cluson Valley France and northwest Italy from the Roman Catholic Church “police”; a few of my ancestors escaped the Piedmont Easter Massacre in 1655. Then after a Prussian Princess (Holzapfel-Schaumburg) gave my family refuge, whe immigrated to Texas in 1845 to escape increased religious oppressions. HOLY F*CK!!! Will we be forced to flee again when this was EXACTLY why we came here in the first place!? 😮

          It baffles me Jeff, how religious American zealots today know little-to-nothing about U.S. and world history, especially their own between 200 BCE to 330 CE in and around Jerusalem!

          Liked by 2 people

        • They don’t know because they refuse to learn. American = defiant, aggressive, proud, anti-intellectual a-hole who insists they’re right about all they believe….just because it is THEY who believe it. God bless America! And God bless FREEDOM!!!!

          Liked by 2 people

  1. “Obviously, as a non-believer, I feel this type of discrimination is wrong-wrong-wrong.”

    Nan, as a believer, I think this type of discrimination is wrong-wrong-wrong. Jesus never denied healing to anyone. Shame on them.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Just wait until a pious Muslim refuses to offer governmental service to any woman unaccompanied by male family member, or any divorced man. Only then will the principle of the unjust law be exposed for what it is: a clear breach of the separation between Church and State. This is so patently unconstitutional that it boggles the mind that anyone who can comprehend the written word could think otherwise.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Many times psychiatric patients — typically those off their psych-meds — who have caused some sort of public or domestic dispute/violence, often arrive into Emergency Room lobbies (severely or noticeably) hurt and in need of immediate stabilizing care and treatment. Following this sort of Tennessee Deep Woods Bass-akwards logic — because Nan, you’ve adequately covered the biblical exegesis of what Jesus/Yeshua would do every single time; well done! — then any whacky psych patients, or probably Gandhi-like Hindus or Dalai Lama-like Buddhists too, badly in need of emergency care… should be refused and turned away in Tennessee.

    And how close is Tennessee and other “Red states” to doing just this? This honestly reminds me of the earliest political tactics used by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) in the 1930’s and Zionist-Israelis to Palestinians in the 1950’s and ’60’s! 😮

    Seriously? There’s more similarities than there are differences.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We are slowly, as Americans, shaping ourselves in the image of Yahweh: proud, belligerent, haughty, vengeful, parochial, vicious, nasty, genocidal, etc. Just as you would suppose a Christian Nation to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Nan;
      Read this intro on Scottie’s post and came here to read your posting.
      I couldn’t help but notice that the Samaritan lady was not asked to stop being a Samaritan. These were a people despised for their ancestry and philosophy, but used a lot in the Gospel as an ‘even the least of you’ type example. In a time in which the Jewish nation was occupied by the Romans, the Jews were demonstrated as (at least often) an obstinate, arrogant, and (ironically) piggish people looking down on others not so “blessed”. All seems sort of familiar, doesn’t it? This whole ‘those who don’t read history are doomed to repeat it’ thing gets a bit tiring, doesn’t it.
      Thanks Nan for the posting, and thank you Scottie for the redirect.

      hugs;
      randy

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the visit and the comment, Randy.

        What I find rather interesting is Christians of today place themselves in the role of the Romans of yesteryear. They claim superiority and continually berate and condemn (better than beheading or crucifying, I suppose) anyone who does not honor their “Caesar.” To them, unbelievers are seen as “obstinate, arrogant” (especially) and, as you put it, “piggish.”

        Indeed. History does repeat itself.

        Like

      • Hi Randy and other great people. I am in bed with the cats watching the newest fantastic four movie. I will get back to everyone after the movie and if I can get Milo off my leg. 😀😊. Hugs.

        Like

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