Paul writes a letter to a congregation in Rome. He starts off with a very flowery, very flattering, very long introduction that includes the expression God is my witness (v. 9) which I seriously thought was something Margaret Mitchell made up. Learn something new every day.
And why is this letter so full of praise? Well, see, Paul is coming to Rome but lacks funds. He entices them to contribute by telling them that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift (v. 11). This isn't the first time he's promised to come, but this time he really means it.
He assures us that he isn't ashamed of the gospel and thinks all believers can be saved, Jew and Gentile alike. You can show you're saved by living by faith (v. 17). If you don't: wrath of god, which you ought to know for God hath
shewed it unto them (v. 19) and there's no excuse for not seeing it. Some people, according to Paul, knew god, but ignored him or made things up, and are confused as a result. They claimed to be wise, but really were foolish, worshipping god in the form of an image made like to
corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things (v. 23) so clearly this is a dig at all those pagan religions, what with their many gods that allow you to hedge your bets, rather than the Jewish god, who forces all your eggs into one highly unpredictable basket that's subject to random divine temper tantrums.
God eventually gave up on those pagans, who had an orgy and worshipped idols as a result. Sounds pretty accurate. Now we get to the fun bit: Paul specifically condemns lesbians and gay men, although if you read the passage carefully God gave them up unto vile affections (v. 26), so homosexuality isn't a choice, it's a punishment from god. I'm sure that's very comforting to the LGBT community. Anyway, god abandons them, and they turn to all sorts of sins. There's a list you can read, and if you haven't done every single thing on it at least once today, you're just not trying. Paul condemns them all to death.
If only the bible weren't otherwise full of vile bullshit condemning people to death for things god makes them do, I might agree with the first verse of chapter 2: Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest:
for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that
judgest doest the same things. We're assured that god will judge us any day now, so there's no need to do it for him. People who follow him will be rewarded, people who ignore him will be punished. This is regardless of whether you ever had the chance to find out about god because apparently gentiles can obey the law by instinct, which is probably easier to do now that they don't have to get circumcised.
As for people who call themselves Jews and claim to know the law, well teach yourselves and don't disobey it by committing adultery or robbing temples. Apparently this has got so bad that gentiles are blaspheming because of the Jews' hypocrisy and breaking the law is the same as de-circumcising yourself. In fact, uncircumcised gentiles who follow the law are better than circumcised Jews who break it, because circumcision is really of the heart, not the penis. Is it not kind of creepy how much attention god pays to a half-inch long piece of skin?