*I understand that this does not apply to all Christians, nor does it apply to most Republicans. This is my response to the loud, ignorant, obnoxious ones. You know who you are.
I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.
They are so unlike your Christ. – Gandhi
American Progress by John Gast: See how the angel oversees the Americans fulfilling their Manifest Destiny. Our country has long relied on religious imagery to justify its actions.
All men are “created” equal. They are “endowed by the creator” with the same rights. Famously, and as I was taught, these two phrases are what is known as “American scripture” and it’s easy to see why. They appear to make direct reference to God, or at least a “creator,” which must imply that the framers of the Constitution were monotheists, more than likely Christians as they came from Britain.
Makes sense. Plus, we know it’s true. (Well, many of the big ones were Deists, but it’s similar. They still believed in God.) So it’s a pretty small jump from there to say that the “intent of the framers” was to govern America in such a way that is in compliance with God’s will! … Right?
Good old, TJ. You’ve always been one of my favourites. Just can’t get past that whole slave thing.
WRONG. Because one major framer was VERY clear on that topic: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State… ” – Thomas Jefferson, 1802.
So, to put that in terms you’ll understand: #explicitlymentioned #separationofchurchandstate #therefore #intentofframers #notveryambiguous
Now I fully expect this to piss American Christians off – and it’s funny that pointing out the unpopular truth is so offensive to Christians since, according to Christians, that is all Christ ever did – but my country should not be ruled by God; this is why we have elections. Democracy v. theocracy, you keepin’ up?
How can a large enough portion of such a large, “first world” country, that likes to think of itself as so advanced – so far beyond all the other people of the world in their primitive little mud huts with their flame-powered lamps and animal-drawn wagons – allow itself to be governed by a book that still encourages people to sell their daughters? Better yet, why do they pick and choose which passages bear relevance to modern life and which don’t, particularly when those passages come literally just before and after the supposedly irrelevant ones?! The answer is that they realize that using the WHOLE Bible would never work. So many instances abound that render it an impractical solution to current problems. All you have to do is put their favourite verses in context!
Let’s go over the (ONLY TWO EXISTING) parts of the Bible that have to do with homosexuality, since that’s the one topic that angers me the most, because this is perhaps the most perfect example of religious ideology being used to strip legitimate citizens of political freedom:
It is from Leviticus that we get the order not to eat such an unclean animal. And yet, somehow PETA is the crazy fringe group, and NOT “Christians Eating Ribs”?? Oh, wait… that’s also known as “Texas.” So of course not.
The Old Testament verse condemning homosexuality is Leviticus 20:13. It reads, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Ok, that’s more or less the idea I get from Republican Christians today… But let’s put that verse in context, shall we?
Leviticus 20:9 “If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.” Really? How many times have YOU cursed your mother or father … TODAY?
Leviticus 20:10 “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” In that case, I’m still waiting on Newt Gingrich’s trial! And sooooo many others…
Leviticus 20:11 “If a man sleeps with his father’s wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” If mothers-in-law are off-limits, when is Daniel Stout’s execution?
Leviticus 20:12 “If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads.” George Roche III, president of conservative Hillside College? Beverly Russell, county chairman of the Christian Coalition and county coordinator of the South Carolina Citizens for Life? Hmmmm? And these are just Republicans that did it with their daughters-IN-LAW! The list of those who did it with their own daughters is much longer.
Leviticus 20:18 “If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people.” Pretty sure lots of people do this… You know, without fear of being ostracized.
Leviticus 20:19 “Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible.” Again, pretty sure this happens all the time. Especially in the South and other regions where it’s considered ok to sleep with your family members. You people realize it’s legal to marry your cousin in North Carolina, right? Just not if they’re the same sex as you.
Leviticus 20:25 “You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground–those which I have set apart as unclean for you.” I don’t even have anything to say about this.
…And the ridiculousness continues!
[To be clear, when I say “ridiculous,” I mean in the context of the responsible governing of a modern society, NOT that the religion is itself ridiculous.]
#69 on Maxim’s Hot 100 List 2012: Stephen Colbert. Not even joking. I mean… I’d hit it.
Now that we’ve ruled out the Old Testament, let’s move on to the New one.
The verse in the New Testament that condemns homosexuality is Romans 1:27.
Romans 1:26-28: “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”
To put that in context, let’s read on:
Romans 1:28-32: “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
Such a good Christian. Never lied, stole, cheated, committed adultery, or did an arrogant or boastful thing in his life!
Ok, so… gossips and slanderers (Donald Trump), insolent (Rick Santorum), arrogant and boastful (Mitt Romney) individuals with no understanding (Sarah Palin), no fidelity, no love (Newt Gingrich), and no mercy (Dick Cheney) are… bad? Like homosexuals (several members of the Catholic Church)?
So, to summarize: The Bible mentions homosexuality in the Old Testament but also teaches us the proper protocol for slavery. Thus, the Old Testament cannot be a credible absolute source for moral teaching on homosexuality unless you’re cool with slavery. This of course ignores the Old Testament teachings on the role of woman, eating shellfish, cotton blends, working on Sunday, collective punishment and the execution of your children, for the sake of simplicity.
Then, in the New Testament, homosexuality is condemned only in the Epistles of Saint Paul, a man who in fact never even met Jesus, but still included in his epistles instructions on the proper treatment of your slaves. So, again! There goes the moral credibility of the Pauline Epistles unless you feel slavery is just fine.
So Christians who cite religion as the reason why they are against marriage equality, either don’t know what is in their Bible, don’t understand it, are hypocrites, or are charlatans. I don’t know which is worse, but I do know Jesus had to kick a lot of charlatans out of his father’s house once before; maybe he needs to do it again.
And frankly, this does a huge disservice to all of the GOOD parts of the Bible! Why do we conveniently ignore the bits about loving everybody and giving to the poor and healing the sick? Matthew 25:31-46, The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, is when Jesus explains how we should give our love to others in the same way we would to God. In Luke 10:30-37, The Parable of the Good Samaritan, he explains that people should love everyone and not only those who “should be loved.” In Luke 15:8-10, The Parable of the Lost Coin, Jesus demonstrates that God values everyone highly and desires to be with everyone. This, to me, sounds more like the loving God I was raised with (before I gave in to my radical monstrous hedonism and forsook the God of my fathers).
Doesn’t look like they’re making much progress. If I were Mitt Romney, I would start preparing for my descent by buying a lot of warm weather clothes. I mean, I could totally afford it.
So can we finally say that homosexuality is a) NOT an affront to Jesus, who never had anything to say on the subject and b) like other things, not necessarily STILL offensive to God?? I mean, come on! If God is no longer offended by the pigs we eat every day, the consenting adult women straight males screw every day, and the slanderous, insolent politicians who say arrogant things every day, then it’s about time he got over his homophobia!!
Also, if we’re going to continue this torrid love affair with religious law, let’s stop our torrid love affair with corporations and lowering taxes, because the two don’t mesh:
Matthew 19:24 “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” So, the way I see it, either Republicans know something we all don’t, or they’re not true believers in the word of God.
And since they’re all about slashing funding for education, the chances of them knowing something we don’t are pretty slim.
– THE DUEL CITIZEN