Using the Sword
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Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 09:12:34 AM EST
It is well known that a Baptist minister in Kansas, Fred Phelps, has a national "ministry" focusing on hatred toward gays and lesbians. I was not aware of other Christian organizations being so extreme and explicit in their hatred until I read this article from Covenant News.
I am hoping that Covenant News is as marginal and non-influential an organization as Phelp's church, but it is still disturbing to read such an explicit endorsement of violence. Some excerpts:

Civil officials have a God ordained duty to execute sodomites. [   ]

Since Magistrates have such a sure Biblical mandate to protect the innocent people in society by using the sword to execute sodomites (he that doeth evil), why then, are Christians encouraging civil officials to ignore the commandments of God concerning homosexuality?

Where does it say in the Bible, "If a man lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, you shall pass a Marriage Protection Amendment?"

Such legislative efforts make the commandments of God of no effect, and Christian men involved in these efforts should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in pharisaical deceit against the ordinance of God in front of His people. (Matt.5:17-20, 15:7-9; Rom.13:2)

Back in 2003, when the Supreme Court issued an opinion against Texas sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, Republicans started pushing the idea of a "Marriage Protection Amendment" as a solution to the "gay problem." As we now know, the amendment idea is not a solution but a red herring used by crafty politicians to distract Christians away from obedience to the commandments of God concerning homosexuality. It is a political trick used to lure the Church into a humiliating situation of begging the State to "defend marriage," while allowing civil officials to circumvent their God ordained duty to administer Justice upon sodomites! [     ]

The word of God commands that sodomites are to be executed, and God gives our civil officials the sword to do the job. Until our civil officials turn from their wicked way by administering Justice, we can only be judged with the most depraved pagan nations in history:




Display:
For a less extreme, but still far religious right perspective, look here.

by Carlos on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 09:23:31 AM EST
It's fairly common knowledge that Christian Reconstructionists/Theonomists also advocate reinstating "Biblical law" which includes capital punishment for homosexuality, adultery, disobedience to parents, etc.  Promoters include Gary North, Gary DeMar, and George Grant.

These are not people out on the fringe but are highly influential figures in the so-called "Christian" Right.

I seem to recall that Jesus told the Pharisees, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone."

Everyone left.  And he didn't cast the first stone either.

THAT is Christianity.  Unfortunately, here instead we have Pharisees posing as real Christians.

by ulyankee on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 11:10:44 AM EST
Parent

and the covenantnews site...I think I got there from Don Wildmon's site.  Yeah, I had the same concern - they are really pumping out the slime; I hoped it wasn't popular.

I was checking out Wildmon's site because a fundamentalist I know was fulminating over the University of Oregon Insurgent cartoons depicting Christ as a homosexual - the targets of a Wildmon letter writting crusade.  I now watch regularly to see to whom I need to address a letter of support.

by montpellier on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 01:57:09 PM EST
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Could someone please explain to me how these people get to ignore the rest of the Levitical cannon?  Why is homosexuality the one they choose to rail against?  Leviticus has plenty of sins that demand execution.  I have never understood why they get to pick and choose which laws are sacrosanct and which are able to be ignored due to the "new" covenant.  I get so confused with their double-talk.  I want a straight answer--as it were.  

Paul

by Pauljaxon on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 11:25:28 AM EST

I meant canon, not cannon....how do I edit a post????

by Pauljaxon on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 11:28:00 AM EST
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Well, once they get used to the smell some people would ignore a two-week dead cow rotting in their living room.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 11:58:56 AM EST
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Wonderful image!  Thanks for that....NOT.

Paul

by Pauljaxon on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 04:59:23 PM EST
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No one wants to be a bigot. No one wants to think of himself that way, and you certainly don't want to try to create a politically powerful following that way. You need a justification, whether it's scripture, pseudo science, traditional values or whatever. You won't get very far by just saying: "I hate these people, therefore they should all be killed." You need justification so we don't all think of you, (and you don't think of yourself), as nothing but a scared, hateful bigot. So the reason they don't have to obey all the other commandments is because it's not about the Bible. It's about finding a reason why your hatred is not only not bad, but is in fact, noble and loving. Of course, this all (or mostly) goes on subconsciously. Also remember, this irrational hate comes from a different part of the brain than reason. You can't reason it away no matter how hard you try. But before we start feeling to superior, the fact is we're all victims of this. Who you love or don't love is frequently irrational, though it may have some rational elements. I just ate a big unhealthy dessert for which I have no good reason. I think the best we can hope for is to try to identify which of our beliefs are rational and which are irrational, and react accordingly.

by Dave on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 04:11:02 PM EST
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upstage my cow analogy with thought, and insight !

;)

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 08:08:00 PM EST
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Thanks!

Paul

by Pauljaxon on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 04:57:00 PM EST
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There are those who say the Bible is literal truth and that everyone should live according to the rules in it. Maybe I have missed it amongst the warnings of the war on Christmas and the anti-gay marriage actions. Has any group campaigned to force businesses to close on Sunday? What of the prohibition against eating shellfish? If this is truely about obeying Biblical laws and not phobic prejudice why aren't groups protesting in front of seafood restuants?

by chiaroscuro on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 10:10:58 PM EST
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....cursing your parents should result in death--you can't mix fabrics--menstruating women have multiple rule--mildew must be blessed--and on and on....so back to my original question: Who decides which parts of the "law" remain and which get discarded.

Paul

by Pauljaxon on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 10:26:28 PM EST
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As always, many claim to know the mind and soul of god.

That's a big claim.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:06:52 AM EST
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Oh goodie ... I get to use one of my FAVORITE quotes in response to this:

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

-- Susan B. Anthony.



by ninewands on Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 03:42:25 PM EST
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The prohibition against shellfish is an example I used concerning the interpretation concerning child discipline.

Sean Paddock

In considering inerrancy and cleaving to all-that-is-inerrant, I've never seen a cookbook with recipes for rat fritters (unclean creeping crawling critter), thank goodness.  But when we lived in Maryland at the tip-top of the Chesapeake Bay I did see lots of ads for crabcakes (unclean finless, scaleless critter).  I assume that there are at least some Evangelical advocates of Old Testament child `discipline' in Maryland who eat crabcakes.  Are 21st century CE crabs cleaner than 6th century BCE crabs?  Did God get something wrong, or should 21st century crabcake-eating Inerrantists be flogged?


by ValerieM on Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 04:45:21 PM EST
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He's got another page where he construes the Bible as overtly condemning abortion as murder. Isn't it wonderful what a combination of translational ambiguities coupled with 400-year-old English can do to one's theology? There's a reason a lot of extreme right Christianists just love the King James Version of the Bible.
- -
Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Those who study history are doomed to know it's repeating.

by Alice Venturi on Wed Jun 07, 2006 at 03:34:23 PM EST
Alice,

One of the most ironic things about the King James Version is that James I himself had a penchant for "pretty young men" and definitely didn't like women. I truly believe that those of us who study history should make "Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves" our unofficial motto.

by Frank Frey on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 10:56:04 AM EST
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You surely purely got that right, Frank! I'm very glad to see I'm not the only smart-aleck around here.......

OTOH, I readily admit I LIKE reading the KJV even though I know it's full of outdated scholarship and errors in translation, because its language is so wonderfully poetic. (There's also the sentimental reason that when I was a kid 40-something years ago, it was still in widespread use by the mainline churches, but that's a whole 'nother story.............)

It's the "Living" and the NIV I can't stand -- the former because it's a paraphrase rather than a translation, and the latter (much to my shame) at least in part because of my own prejudice: It's the darling of a large portion of the right wing.

As for me, I go to the RSV (the original, not the new one) first, and from there if it's a New Testament thang I pull out the Greek interlinear......... I also dip into the JPS Tanakh from time to time..........


by anomalous4 on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 03:15:48 PM EST
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Actually, if they value the Torahic law at all, they have to let abortion go.  According to the law, if two men are fighting and hit a pregnant woman causing her to miscarry, it's an eye for an eye accounting for any injury done to the mother and an optional fine for the miscarriage which the father can impose, but the judges put a max on the fine.  In other words, accidentally killing a woman is murder, but accidentally killing her fetus is property damage.  Nothing at all is said about a deliberately induced miscarriage, accept that one presumes there'd be no fine imposed.  This makes perfect sense considering the Israelite notion of life/spirit/self was the breath.  Until the newborn takes their first breath, they apparently aren't a person.

I lived by a strict interpretation of the entire Torah Law for about a year and a half as I gradually came into my faith through academic study (which means I don't keep Torah Law now, but that's a different story).  It's hard, I'd like to see these hate mongers try it.  For one thing, it forces you to study what you're doing in a way that moralizing from a pulpit does not, which is how you discover tidbits like the one about abortion.

by TheGlimmering on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 02:18:43 PM EST
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And it makes me wonder that the point has languished.

It seems like a clear line of rebuttal to me.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 12:05:00 AM EST
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