Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tired of being Bible Bashed?

More sophisticated Christians understand that the Bible is not inerrant and literal--indeed, it contradicts itself frequently.

Thus, whatever you believe, you can find a "proof text" in the Bible, and the person who believes the polar opposite can too.

From the HuffPo:
The idea that we can derive our beliefs from an unbiased reading of the Bible is as pervasive in American discourse as it is untenable. And that fact has significant implications for how we think about the Bible's role in politics. 
When a community claims they can't help but oppose homosexuality because the Bible requires them to do so, or that Jesus would support a liberal economic system, or that if you really read the Bible carefully you should end up supporting Party X, they're showing naivete. What the Bible "requires" depends on the beliefs one brings to it. 
So as the election season heats up, let's stop pretending our ideology comes straight from what the Bible says. The reality is, "what the Bible says" comes straight from our ideology.
Read the whole thing.


JCF said...

Without reading them, I'm certain there will be comments @ HuffPo that address the author, saying, "If you'd JUST READ THE BIBLE, you'd learn you're wrong!"


Want Some Wood said...

Well... Yes and no. Yes, you will find verses that contradict each other (although sometimes, study reveals that they aren't necessarily as much in contradiction as they seem). On the other hand, there are themes that are both pervasive and consistent; the theme of helping the poor and less fortunate, for example, appears most famously in Matthew Ch. 25, but is all through both the Old and the New Testaments, and doesn't vary much in form or content. (The point I like to make to modern-day conservatives is that the Bible doesn't say help only the less fortunate who don't take government money, or help only the less fortunate who are working hard to become independent; it just says *help the less fortunate,* period.)

Want Some Wood said...

I should add that, especially when seen in context, the verses so often cited as prohibiting homosexuality are less like those pervasive themes and more like the obscure rules in Leviticus that nearly all Christians and Jews have ceased following (and which, for Christians, were supposed to have been made obsolete by Christ's laws anyway).

IT said...

since the writers of that time had no conception of what we now know as homosexuality, it is much more likely that their proscriptions refer to prostitution, promiscuity, and sexual abuse and degradation. It's consistent with the modern Bible Bashers who are hung up on the physical act of sex (the "ick" factor) and oddly obsessed with any sexual variant. They manage not to see us as complete people with real relationships.

JCF said...

For any given heterosexual, you could find a sexual act by some OTHER heterosexual, that would make them go "Ick" . . . but it wouldn't define that person. The heterosexual wouldn't say "that OTHER heterosexual (couple) can't marry", for example.

Only in *homosexual* sex, are we totally defined (in heterosexual, homophobic eyes) by this comparitively small aspect of our relationships. "What they do, it grosses me out---do NOT call it 'marriage'!!!"

The hypocrisy, it grosses me out. Don't call it "following Jesus".