If Fundamentalists really believed the Bible . . .

I loved this cartoon from Russell’s Teapot (ht The Redheaded Skeptic, click for a bigger version).

I’ve often thought that if literalist Christians in this country really, truly believed that the Bible is completely divinely inspired, inerrant, and literally true, most of them would be living completely different lives.  After all, Jesus had quite a bit to say about people who go through the forms of religion but don’t actually live up to the standards of holiness required to make it into heaven.  And he explicitly includes caring and providing for those in need as one of those standards:

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25)

Can you imagine how different the world would be if so called biblical literalists actually took Jesus’ words in this passage seriously?  If they actually believed not caring for the vulnerable, poor, sick, hungry, and incarcerated would mean eternal damnation?