Are we all subject to God’s Law?

A blog on the The New Republic’s website about the progressive narrowing of the religious right’s social agenda reminded me of a question that’s buzzed around in my head from time-to-time.  We all know this agenda includes banning gay marriage and abortion, because the Bible says these are no-no’s, but the question is, why does the religious right seek to make these social issues, subject to punitive legislation, rather than merely private concerns?

Because God hates them?  Well, God hates lots of things, including adultery, divorce, and linen-wool blended clothing (Lev. 19:19), but no one is proposing to outlaw them, which I suppose is fortunate for a few mega-preachers.

Because they violate the Ten Commandments, upon which the entirety of western civilization is allegedly based?  That might work for abortion (Commandment VI), but gay marriage?  Is there some secret 11th commandment they’re not telling us about?  Should we also ban other religions (Commandment I)?  Playing golf on Sunday (Commandment IV)?

Because Jesus specifically forbade them?  No good there, either; he was completely silent on these issues.

Because they’re personally harmed?  It’s hard to see how two same-sex individuals uttering marriage vows harms anyone.  And wouldn’t aborted babies get a ticket straight to heaven?

Because they’re slippery slopes, leading inexorably to the complete destruction of society? I’d think the religious right would want society to fall into moral turpitude, do everything to hasten it, in fact, since that would fulfill prophecy of Jesus’s return (2 Tim. 3:1-4) and the moving in to their new heavenly mansions.

I’m trying quite hard, but I fail to see the religious right’s method for determining when a Biblical injunction should apply only to themselves, and when it should apply to society as a whole.

Even more curiously, these behavioral autocrats believe that man is inherently fallen and will always do all sorts of nasty stuff.  So why should they even care what any non-believer does?  Are laws against certain sins supposed to make the country more moral?  If so, why not scrap the entire legal code and make the Bible the basis of our laws, turn our democracy into a theocracy?  Because, as we know, that’s worked so well in the past.

As a libertarian, I find their professions of faith in freedom hypocritical.  Liberty is not granted piecemeal; it’s not even a grant, but our inherent right.  The best protection of one’s own freedom is the protection of everyone else’s.  A government with the right to trample on your neighbor’s freedom also has the right to trample on your own.  If the religious nannies really practiced what they preached, they would cease being obstacles and live their lives as an example.

If you wish to observe a particular day as holy or refrain from pre-marital sex in compliance with the dictates of your particular religious brand, more power to you.  Just don’t extend those rules to the rest of us, or you may find yourself living by the rules others think you should live by.

3 thoughts on “Are we all subject to God’s Law?

  1. Robert: We all know this agenda includes banning gay marriage and abortion, because the Bible says these are no-no’s, …

    Actually…er…*cough, cough*…you give ‘em more credit than is due. The Bible does NOT ban gay marriage, as there was no such thing for the writers to even think of banning. We may as well claim the Bible banned violent video games—something that did not come into existence for another 1900 years or so.

    Yes, the Bible considers homosexual acts sin. (Romans 1.) Yes, gay marriage would almost necessarily result in gay acts occurring. However, the Bible also considers adultery sin. If the statistics are accurate (60% of men commit adultery; 40% of women) then marriage results in adultery occurring a majority of the time as well!

    As well as divorce, dissensions, etc.

    The Bible is silent as to abortion. In my opinion, the better argument is that the authors of the Bible considered life starting at breathe. Even more interesting, the Epistle of Barnabas DOES say abortion is sin. (Barn. 19:5) Yet that book was determined by the Church to not be the true word of God. Not be inspired. Not be in the Canon. If a book says, “Don’t abort” and God didn’t say it…
    Robert: I’m trying quite hard, but I fail to see the religious right’s method for determining when a Biblical injunction should apply only to themselves, and when it should apply to society as a whole.
    Upon study, a methodology appears. It is simple; as old as earth. If it doesn’t cost them anything—they impose it on everybody. If it costs them—they ignore it. I ranted on about it at length a long time ago in Do as you say, not as you do.

    Look, homosexuals are in the minority. Homosexuals in the Christian community self-repress. How easy to tell people who do not have the same temptations you do “Don’t be a homosexual.” We have a vast majority of heterosexual Christians smugly imposing a rule over all, which they never have to fear addressing in themselves.

    As I point out in my blog entry—the Bible is clear about giving to the poor. Do you see Christians calling for a mandated tax to help the homeless? Hardy Har Har The Bible says Christians should not go to court—either against other Christians or oppose those who would sue them. Do you see them trying to pass a law saying Christians—TRUE Christians—are barred from legal proceedings? Another belly-laugh.

    Oh, the method is clear as a bell. If it don’t cost me nuttin’—make it law! If I have to reach in my own pocket, or go against my own wants—make it go away!

    Love your enemy?–not applied. Do not murder?—claim every society that manages to figure out the same law only did so because of a “Judeo-Christian” heritage.

  2. Who cares what the bible says. It is just a piece of literature., that came together by popular vote, not critical analysis. They call it holy because it is full of holes. Mostly its the opinion of the people who wrote it, and worse the interpretation of the people who read it.
    Take a look around you. This is gods law. If it is happening, then god has allowed it to happen. If it is not happening then god has not allowed it to happen. Simple enough? Keep in mind murphys law. “If it can happen it probly will. If it cant happen it probly wont.”
    Just keep in mind that the creator of the universe is probably a lot smarter than you or me or all the religious nuts put together. Just because You dont like something dont mean that god has forbibben it. The difference between an adult and a child is an Adult will accept reality, a child will embrace
    Fantasy.

  3. DagoodS wrote,
    The Bible does NOT ban gay marriage…The Bible is silent as to abortion…
    I’ve done some research into what the Bible actually says about these topics and of course you’re right. Instead, what Christians arguing against them do is create a mash-up of scripture to make their case. What I should have wrote instead is that many Christians believe the Bible bans gay marriage and abortion.

    Upon study, a methodology appears. It is simple; as old as earth. If it doesn’t cost them anything—they impose it on everybody.

    Bravo! Well done! Now, can we just get them to admit it? 🙂

    I would still love the official line, so to speak.

    Thanks for dropping by!

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