Whaaa? Criticise the Sermon on the Mount? How could I do such a thing! Even non-Christians think this is a pretty good set of values to go by. Still, I disagree and its best to explain why…
1. AND seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him :
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The poor are not blessed. A life of poverty is a shorter life of hardship. This obnoxious creed has been used to excuse the vile excesses of laissez-faire capitalism and to exalt the state of suffering. It creates an excuse to leave people wanting and for greed to continue.
4 Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted.
A false comfort. An accommodation to refuse reality. In the long run, this is an avoidance of actual mourning and unhealthy.
5 Blessed are the meek : for they shall inherit the earth.
Progress requires boldness, questioning. To be meek and passive will not move us forward. Nor will aggression, but extreme passivity is a problem with some eastern religions as well.
6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be filled.
A dangerous excuse to enact religious law and extremism over others.
7 Blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see God.
There is of course, no god. So promulgating the idea of god and believing it for no reason is directly and indirectly harmful in and of itself.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Legitimising the actions of those who, often on no basis, consider themselves persecuted. Consider the American right in the USA today.
11 Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
This passage is often quoted by believers and used to defend their delusions. Essentially ‘Jesus said you wouldn’t believe his bullshit. He was right!’. Again it allows for a feeling of superiority and a means to ignore justified critique.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad : for great is your reward in heaven : for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
There is no heaven. This sort of thing, valuing an afterlife over this life is what excuses and enables suicide bombers, dominionism etc.
13 If Ye are the salt of the earth : but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand ; and it shineth unto all that are in the house.
16 Even so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets I came not to destroy, but to fulfil.
The Sermon on the Mount cannot be taken outside of its context and this passage in particular reaffirms that every obnoxious, hate-filled law of the Old Testament must still be followed. Jesus is meant as an exemplar, not a replacement within this mythology.