When Someone Says, “America Should Get Back to ‘Biblical Principles’”, this is all too often what they mean:
HT: Joel Watts
In light of recent claims that one most “possess the Holy Spirit” in order to interpret the Bible “properly”, I’d like to ask someone who believes he/she DOES possess the Holy Spirit and who is therefore eligible to translate this passage “properly” to interpret the following passage for me? (I only have a PhD in this subject, and have addressed this issue before, but those are the “thoughts of men” and multiple of my graduate degrees are from a “secular, public” university, so that doesn’t count to many who claim to possess the Holy Spirit.)
Would someone possessing the Holy Spirit please read the following verses and answer the following questions for me:
Lev. 25:44 As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that YOU MAY ACQUIRE MALE AND FEMALE SLAVES.
Lev. 25:45 You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; AND THEY MAY BE YOUR PROPERTY.
Lev. 25:46 You may KEEP THEM AS A POSSESSION for your children after you, for them TO INHERIT AS PROPERTY. THESE YOU MAY TREAT AS SLAVES…
Q1. Is this the “inspired, word of God”?
Q2. Is God the objective ethical foundation for all morality in the world?
Q3. Does God of the Bible – at ANY point – ever rescind this command regarding slavery?
Q4. Does the NT command slaves to continue to obey their masters?
Q5. Do you believe that foreign persons can be acquired as slaves, bought and sold, and passed on to subsequent generations as inherited property?
Q6. Have you written your local congressman, or donated money to, or supported a constitutional amendment banning the “redefinition” of slavery?
Q7. Have you stated publicly that regardless what our “godless, secular government” does, you’re going to still listen to a “higher authority” and condemn homosexuals and endorse slavery?
Leviticus 25:44-46 is just as much the “words of God” as any other biblical command regarding social institutions in the Bible. The Bible never rescinds this command(!!), and the NT only reinforces the institution of slavery by commanding slaves to obey their masters (Col. 3:22; 1 Pet. 2:18; Eph. 6:5 – thus, you can’t dismiss it and say, “Well the Old Testament was nailed to the cross”.) It doesn’t matter how one “defines” slavery; it has been defined quite accurately in the verses above above: owning people as property, and passing them along as inherited property to children. And we FOUGHT A WAR against people who attempted to argue that the above biblical endorsement of slavery should still be valid in this country in this modern time.
(Seriously, I must ask: why do so many of those who oppose same-sex marriage hail from the former Confederacy? Is there some demographic connection? Has any research been done on this?)
If you’re not going to embrace and defend slavery, then WHY ON EARTH, would you continue to condemn homosexuals?
WHY ON EARTH, then, would ANYONE continue to deny gays the same privileges and rights enjoyed by heterosexual individuals?
The God of the Bible CLEARLY says it’s OK to own and pass on slaves as property. HOW DO YOU ARGUE AROUND THAT FACT? Seriously: Have you given ANY THOUGHT WHATSOEVER about how you theologically argue around God’s endorsement of slavery in the Bible? And if so, WHY can’t you do THE SAME THING with homosexuality??
If you’re going to appeal to the “inspired, revealed Word of God”, from which you cannot pick and choose the verses you want to follow and dismiss because, “culture isn’t the final arbiter of truth, revelation is,” then why aren’t you using THE SAME LOGIC (and same hermeneutic) toward gay people as you do toward slavery?
THIS IS WHAT I MEAN when I say, “YOU ARE THOSE PEOPLE“. That’s you. When you condemn homosexuals and when you argue that they shouldn’t have the same rights and privileges as we have, THAT’S YOU defending slavery. THAT’S YOU making the SAME argument. That’s you appealing to the Bible to condemn a victimless so-called “crime” against God.
The irony, of course, is that in SLAVERY, there IS a DEFINITE VICTIM – THE SLAVE! - and it is therefore a crime. BUT, in a HOMOSEXUAL relationship between two consenting adults, there IS NO VICTIM!!!!! Point to the victim. There is no victim! And if there is no victim, there is no crime!
Slavery is ENDORSED and AUTHORIZED by God, DESPITE the obvious hardships imposed on the victims/slaves. And yet, there is no victim in homosexuality, and yet THAT is the verse you choose to defend, and not slavery????
YOU ARE THOSE PEOPLE! Those who oppose slavery yet condemn homosexuals are UNABASHED HYPOCRITES, because they read the Bible one way to dismiss slavery, and the opposite way to condemn homosexuality.
YOU ARE AN ILLOGICAL, UNASHAMED HYPOCRITE if you condemn homosexuals and do NOT endorse slavery. You are unworthy of being called “righteous”, or “scholar”, or even “humane”.
It’s that simple: YOU ARE “THOSE PEOPLE”. You should walk around with a sandwich sign around your neck saying, “I’m a Christian hypocrite, because I think some explicit social commands of God can be ignored, but others must be maintained”, especially those commands that condemn victimless activities like picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36) and homosexuality.
Let me say this to those who oppose same-sex marriage – ESPECIALLY IN THE NAME OF GOD: You are deserving of all public shame, chastisement, loss of reputation, and abandonment of friends and colleagues (both secular and Christian) that accompanied those who freely chose to defend the divinely ordained institution of slavery. You deserve the loathing you receive, for you have chosen to suppress the rights and privileges of your fellow human because you think God told you to do so, but you don’t condemn evenhandedly. You deserve to be intellectually exposed and called out publicly, because you condemn in the name of a god who ENDORSED, LEGISLATED, and MAINTAINED SLAVERY!
YOU ARE “THOSE PEOPLE”.
Filed under: christianity, gender issues, idiocy, religion | Tagged: christian, fundamentalism, gay marriage, homosexuality, hypocrisy, Leviticus 25:44-46, marriage, prop 8, proposition 8, same-sex marriage, slavery, theology | 56 Comments »
Even the Bible(s and dictionaries) support marriage equality for all Americans.
Filed under: art, causes, christianity, gender issues, judaism, religion, robert cargill | Tagged: bible, california, christian, gay marriage, hebrew, homosexuality, marriage, marriage equality, prop 8, proposition 8, same-sex marriage, Supreme Court | 5 Comments »
Come on folks. It’s time to stand up and be heard on this issue. Marriage equality for same-sex couples is now before the Supreme Court.
Stand up and be counted.
PLEASE DO NOT stand idly by and hold the coats of those who would openly discriminate against the civil (not religious, civil) rights of other Americans!
I am ON RECORD as a professor of RELIGIOUS STUDIES at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA in support of marriage equality for all Americans!
Filed under: christianity, gender issues, politics, religion, robert cargill | Tagged: california, christian, divorce, fundamentalism, gay marriage, homosexuality, marriage, marriage equality, on record, prop 8, proposition 8, same-sex marriage, sharia law, slavery, Supreme Court, theology | 20 Comments »
NonStampCollector (@nonstampNSC; YouTube; blog) has just posted a short comment on attempts to use Christianity – and especially Christian appeals to biblical mythological accounts like the story of Adam and Eve – in the fight against same-sex marriage in the modern state.
In short, the reason so many otherwise sensible Christians oppose same-sex marriage is Jesus’ appeal to the “marriage” of Adam and Eve in Matthew 19:4-6. In this passage, Matthew records Jesus as speaking about divorce, and in doing so, citing the mythological story of Judaism’s primordial humans, Adam and Eve.
Matthew 19:4-6 reads:
Matt. 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’”
Matt. 19:5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
Matt. 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (NRSV)
Note that Matthew records Jesus as having done a little prooftexting of his own, pulling from the summaries of the two different creation accounts in Genesis.
Gen. 1:27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (NRSV)
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. (NRSV)
Matthew records Jesus as pulling from two different texts to defend his stance on divorce, specifically, that Christians should NOT divorce.
AND YET, we see no constitutional amendment on state ballots banning divorce, and prohibiting divorced individuals from remarrying, but rather, we find conservative and fundamentalist Christians lining up and spending all kinds money to ban and prohibit same-sex marriage, EVEN THOUGH the text is CLEARLY talking about divorce.
It is yet another example of conservative and fundamentalists deliberately ignoring the glaringly obvious context of the biblical passage (divorce), and instead using said verse to prooftext against something the passage is not at all addressing (same-sex marriage).
So to clarify, conservative and fundamentalist Christians are citing a scientifically debunked primordial religious creation myth from nearly three millennia ago, and then using it out of context in an effort to suppress the modern rights of gay Americans in a state that is founded on the principle that the church and state should be separate.
That is just how far conservative and fundamentalist Christians must stretch – how far they must contort the Bible as well as the founding principles of this country – just to suppress the rights of other Americans. They must cite:
“a moral imperative implied (out of context I might add), within an ancient Middle Eastern story involving a woman made of a man’s rib, being convinced by a talking snake to eat the fruit of a magical tree.”
THAT’S the rationale for denying homosexual Americans the same right of marriage that heterosexual Americans enjoy: magic trees, talking snakes, rib-women, and primordial mythology.
Of course, the real reason this argument is even entertained at all is the much larger problem, which just also happens to be the reason why so many conservative and fundamentalist Christians still cling to the historicity of the six-day creation and worldwide flood myths, despite all of the scientific and contradictory intertextual biblical evidence against them: Jesus quoted them both!
Jesus refers to Adam and Eve in Matthew 19:4-6, and their child Abel in Luke 11:50-51 (and their parallels), and to the flood in Luke 17:27 (and its parallels). And if Jesus referred to things that are mythological or ahistorical or simply did not happen, then people might question his all-knowingness, and maybe even his divinity. And thus, many conservative and fundamentalist Christians cling to scientifically debunked primordial myths, despite all the evidence to the contrary, just so they don’t have to deal with the problem that Jesus is recorded as having appealed to debunked creation and flood myths.
So while they’re at it, why not just take the quotes out of context and use them to oppress gays as well. It makes just as much sense…to fundamentalists.
Anyway, watch NonStampCollector’s video.
Filed under: atheism / agnosticism, bible, christianity, gender issues, religion | Tagged: biblical, constitutional amendment, divorce, ethics, gay marriage, god, homosexuality, humanism, magic tree, morality, mythology, nonstampcollector, primordial mythology, prop 8, rib, same-sex marriage, science, slavery, talking snake, youtube | 14 Comments »
Eric Hoover writes for the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Last week the University of Iowa added an optional question to its application for undergraduate admission: “Do you identify with the LGBTQ Community?” The university has also given applicants a third gender option, allowing prospective undergrads and graduate students to identify themselves as “transgender” instead of “male” or “female.”
This is good move on the part of my university, and I foresee optional questions like this one – that are NOT used in evaluating admissions, but DO allow students to self-identify as a part of a minority group – becoming commonplace on other national universities’ applications.
It will allow the University’s various social services to better identify and assist those students who want to be recognized as LGBTQ students to receive desired social services.
Likewise, it affirms that there are, in fact, gay, transgender, and intersexual students in America, and recognizes them (again, should they desire to self-identify and be recognized) as equals along with their peers, all of whom possess diverse, personal characteristics including race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran.
I am very proud of my university for, among other things, leading the way with regard to issues of equality and student psychological health.
Filed under: gender issues, things that rule, University of Iowa | Tagged: admissions, applications, chronicle of higher education, equality, Eric Hoover, gay, iowa, lesbian, LGBTQ, pride | Leave a Comment »
First there was Rick Santorum saying that women made pregnant by forcible rape should “make the best of a bad situation” and be forced to give birth to their “horribly created” baby.
Then there was Todd Akin‘s “Legitimate Rape” comment.
And now there is Indiana Republican senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who offered this gem:
“Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
The Mitt Romney’s campaign has already released a statement saying that he ‘disagrees‘ with Mourdock. And yet, just this past Monday, Mitt Romney released an ad endorsing him.
You be the judge. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Three times??? They’re not fooling anyone.
If you follow the “life begins at conception” logic through to its logical end, you get moronic statements like what we see and hear above. GOD INTENDED FOR IT TO HAPPEN!
I’ve argued this issue for a long time, but this gutsy pastor actually lived it – in front of his City Council!
The Rev. Dr. Phil Snider of Brentwood Christian Church stood before the Springfield, Missouri City Council on August 13, 2012 and made one of the bravest 2:30 arguments against* gay marriage I’ve ever heard.
Watch the video, and then remember: when contemplating your position on social issues, you must read the Bible in the same way you must watch this video: ALL of it, all the way through TO THE END.
If you’re going to make claims about “biblical values” on social issues, you had better be prepared to use that same hermeneutic (manner of reading and interpreting the Bible) consistently on all of the Bible’s social commands. AND, you had better read ALL of the Bible, lest you make an argument on ONE social issue, and then paint yourself into a corner and force yourself to defend some abhorrent position on ANOTHER quite ‘biblical’ social issue, like slavery or the suppression of women, or genocide, or the taking of foreign women from conquered people as your wives.
I say the preacher is gutsy because he actually stood up and did it for the public record. He took the SAME religious arguments from old social issues and applied them to same sex marriage. THAT just happened!
(HT: Matthew Paul Turner)
Filed under: bible, christianity, gender issues, politics, religion | Tagged: bible, biblical values, Brentwood Christian Church, city council, Council Bill 2012-226, Dr. Phil Snider, gay marriage, homosexual, matthew paul turner, MO, pastor, same-sex marriage, Springfield | 19 Comments »
Some people ask me why I spend so much time debating the issue of the legalization of same-sex marriage. Apart from the academic side of the intellectual argument, and the textual/theological argument, we often forget that the outcome of this debate and the charges and claims made during the debate itself hurt real people and adversely affects their lives. And I’m not just speaking about those gay individuals who are discriminated against on a daily basis, but I’m also referring to the children who are taught to mock and even hate by their parents from a very young age in church!
For example, watch this latest video taken from the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana, the same town where a gay high school student at Greensburg Community High School in Greensburg IN, Billy (William) Lucas, recently took his own life apparently due to the anti-gay bullying he was receiving from his peers.
Listen to the lyrics of the song sung by the child, and watch the reaction of the adults in the audience.
The child sings the following lyrics:
I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong.
I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong.
Romans one and twenty-seven (Rom 1:27)
Ain’t no homo going to make it to heaven.
Watch the room full of white adults stand and cheer and laugh in approval. The pastor nods and laughs. They are celebrating bigotry. They are celebrating their belief that gay Americans are going to burn in hell. One person is even heard to yell proudly, “That’s my boy!” And toward the end of the video, they have the child sing it again. Note that in the first performance, there is another child standing with the boy, and they boy ends after one verse, but in the second performance (see the 1:07 mark in the video), there is no second child, and the little boy sings the verse multiple times. This was no accident or lapse in judgment, it was an encore performance!!!
And what’s worse, from this point on, this child knows that every time he calls a gay individual a “homo,” he’ll have the cheering support of his church behind him. Remember, he’s a child: someone taught him this song! Every time he condemns a gay individual to hell, his parents will applaud. They might even invite him up in front of the church to sing of the gay individual’s condemnation to the church, who will shower him with applause and laughter.
This is child abuse. It is hateful indoctrination at its worst.
The pastor in the video is Jeff Sangl of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle at 1114 Westridge Parkway W in Greensburg, IN 47240. You can email Pastor Sangl at email@example.com or call him at the church office at (812) 662-8224. You can also contact him at his family business (I kid you not), the Flatrock Whitetail Deer Farm, where they raise whitetail deer to hunt them at (765) 525-9488.
Apparently, shortly after this video was posted online, and the public outrage began, the pastor abruptly left on vacation. The church immediately posted a statement on its website, stating among other things:
The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives.
We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.
So once again, while the church simply denies that they teach hate, the video shows otherwise. AND, we see that the church is quick to excuse and dismiss its abhorrent behavior by invoking religious freedom stating that “we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.” Once again, even in their non-apology, “religious freedom” is used to excuse hatred taught to children.
THIS is why I take this issue so seriously. What “thoughtful conservatives” see as the simple upholding of “traditional marriage” is all too often manifest as teaching children to mock and hate their neighbor…in church. It has to end, and I for one as a scholar of religious studies, will stand with the oppressed on this one.
Filed under: bible, christianity, fundamentalism, gender issues, religion, sexuality | Tagged: Ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven, Apostolic Truth Tabernacle, bigotry, california, christian, Christian sharia law, Flatrock Whitetail Deer Farm, fundamentalism, gay marriage, hate, heaven, homo, homosexuality, iowa, Jeff Sangl, marriage, north carolina, prop 8, proposition 8, same-sex marriage | 15 Comments »