Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Legislating Morality - the biblically founded case against "Pro-Life" and Anti-Gay legislation

Driving over 2400 miles in one week gives a person a long time to listen to Aerosmith CD's, marvel at how cows can eat while being rained on, and think DEEP THOUGHTS©.

This one has been rattling around in my head for a while now, and last weekend I tried it out on my (oxymoronic as it sounds) open-minded conservative fundamentalist christian friend. Even she said that the logic has merit, so here goes:

I believe the Bible supports "Pro-Choice", and most other liberal "agendas". First off - I choose to say "PRO-CHOICE" deliberately, as Pro-Choice is not "Pro Abortion" - nobody I've ever met who is Pro-Choice believes that the ONLY choice should be abortion, and that anyone who gets knocked up should ride the rusty coathanger, but that the CHOICE should be available to and ONLY between the family involved and their medical professional. That said, let us start first in the book of Genesis:

Genesis 2:9 tells us:
And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Note that God did not place these trees in the far corner of the garden, covered up and inaccessible. No, they were planted SMACK dab in the center where they were visible and easily accessible.

Now moving along, Genesis 2:15-17 says:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Ok, note again - it isn't the TREE OF LIFE that is going to be a problem. The tree that will cause problems is the tree of THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. And God did not take that tree away and put it somewhere that was hidden and unreachable. No, he put this tree in the CENTER of the garden.

Take a minute here and think about this. God did not make this decision FOR the man. He told him not to do it, but He didn't make it impossible to do. He gave the man FREE WILL to obey or to make his own mistakes. To CHOOSE.

God already knew how the humans would choose. God knows all - the Bible says, "Lord, thou knowest all things." (John 21:17) and "God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things" (1 John 3:20). The writer of Hebrews teaches that "All things are naked and open unto his eyes" (Hebrews 4:13). Didn't God tell Jeremiah "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee" (Jeremiah. 1:5)?

So He knows beforehand that they're gonna screw up. He knows before He even plants the trees - and yet He goes ahead and puts them RIGHT where they can be seen and touched. Even conveniently puts a snake with a contrary agenda into the garden.

But it is obviously ENTIRELY important to God that the humans have free will. That they are given the right to CHOOSE whether to do what He tells them, or whether to do as they wish, or are persuaded to do by snakey acquaintances.

Adam and Eve had no prior experience to tell them that God would toss their butts out of the garden and make them work for a living and all that. They had to take His word for it that eating from that tree would be bad. There was nobody shown as an "example". God seems to have felt that these choices need to be based on trust and respect and free choice - not based on fear.

We also note that God did not decide to allot the punishment to other humans - he banished the pair from the garden on his own. Deuteronomy 32:35 says:
"Vengeance is Mine, and recompense."

It is also notable that God did not set Himself up as the government. (John 18:36 - Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”) While He gave rules to Moses and others, He didn't put Himself in the place of the rulers of the government. Matthew 22:21 - "Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

So if the Bible itself preaches against a Theocracy, and God Himself has decided that even given the possibility of a less-than-desireable outcome it is MORE IMPORTANT that men and women be given Freedom of Choice - then how can the Fundies possibly go so far wrong by trying to enforce their morality through legislation? And if (as the Fundies believe) homosexuality is a CHOICE rather than a genetic "feature" - then where do they get off trying to deprive those people of their right to choose their gayness?

Luke 6:37 - Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven

John 12:47 - And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

61 days


Amanda said...

mom, how appropriate this post is because Brad and I just went (last saturday) to a protest against proposition 8 which bans gay marriage in california and a measure just past here in Arkansas which prevents unmarried individuals (gay or straight, but we all know it was about gay) from adopting a child or being a foster parent. My thoughts? There needs to be more emphasis on seperation between church and state. I find it reprehensable that someone would shove their religious morality in my face by way of legislation. I think that view of mine is also applicable to the abortion issue.

Rauf said...

What's the point Sew ?
You are God, you make apple pie and put it on the dining table.
So far so good.
Children come screaming apple pie apple pie
and you say wait wait
That apple pie is not for eating.
Even your three month old would protest ' why did you make it in the first place Mom ? Are you Nuts ?
pardon my ignorance Sew, some incident about LOT where he protects the Angels from the people and allows his daughters to be gang raped ? i forgot.

Howare you Sew ? i have been traveling a lot and exhausted, no energy left. Hope you are doing fine

Catmoves said...

Thought it very good, Sew? An accountant who studied logic.
As we kids used to say "Marvy".
I'm all for the "leave me alone" --I'm good enough to make my own mistakes" outlook.