The Religious Right is in a tizzy because a Religious Left candidate is running for the office of president and is offering a different viewpoint on Christianity. The Religious Right has been the loudest (and most obnoxious) voice of Christianity since the 70s, and for many non-Christians, it is the voice they identify with Christians in general.
Buchanan in a recent opinion column responds to Buttigieg’s statements that God isn’t upset with the LGBT community and in fact as his creator, created him as gay.
Buchanan begins with a series of questions to set the stage for morality being unchanging truth revealed from God.
“Is moral truth subjective? Does it change with changing times and changing attitudes? Or is there a higher law, a permanent law, God’s law, immutable and eternal, to which man’s law should conform?”
Of course, Christians on the Religious Right are going to answer that God’s law is immutable and eternal. They also believe that the Bible should be the basis of laws for our country.
“Are, for example, the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, Christian teaching and natural law unchangeable and applicable to all men at all times? Or can some of the 10 be consigned to the dumpster of antiquated moral prohibitions?”
This is a nice piece of rhetoric. I can hear the religious right screaming “No, we can’t lose the Ten Commandments.” Except, the Ten Commandments have nothing to do with homosexuality. Let me check to make sure (Exodus 20:1-17)
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall make no idols.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
Hmmm. I’m not seeing any gay stuff in there. Here’s a nice piece of misdirection. Does the acceptance of homosexuality somehow trash the Ten Commandments? Nope. Hey, you know what is in the Ten Commandments? Adultery. Does Pat Buchanan call out his fellow politicians for their adultery and multiple marriages? Nope, sounds like double standards to me.
Buchanan moves on to a favorite trick of the Religious Right; he claims a historical tradition that doesn’t exist.
“For what Buttigieg is saying is that either God changes his moral law to conform to the changing behavior of mankind or that, for 2,000 years, Christian preaching and practice toward homosexuals have been bigoted, injurious and morally indefensible.”
First, God does change moral laws. When was the last time you stoned to death a rebellious son? When was the last time you Stoned an adulterer? How about stoning someone the last time their bull got loses, again, to gore someone? How about paying a fine for slut-shaming your new wife even though her parents have the bloody bed sheet?
Moral laws from the Old Testament have been set aside many times.
Second, has homosexuality really been condemned for 2,000 years? As Progressive Christians will point out, the Old Testament prohibitions often misquoted as prohibitions against homosexuality are in reality prohibitions against temple worship and abusive sexual relationships such as pederasty. The Religious Right screams that “the Bible is very clear.” but what must be remembered is that neither the Hebrew language nor the Greek language has words that equate to homosexuality. These ancient cultures didn’t have a concept for the modern idea of homosexuality. The Bible can’t have been condemning something it didn’t have a concept for. However, throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, there are laws preventing the sexual abuse of others. Heather White in her book Reforming Sodom, points out that before the 1940s in Christian culture there was no “plain condemnation” of homosexuality. However, once the RSV mistranslated key Greek words as “homosexual”, an invented “tradition” was fabricated by the Religious Right.
Hey Pat, commandment number nine says not to bear false witness. Inventing a fake history and tradition sounds pretty false to me. Remember, lies in the name of God are still lies.
Get ready for the political season and the Religious Right getting apoplectic over the voice of Progressive Christianity going out to the masses. Fundagelicals demand that their view of Christianity, their view of the Bible, and their moral code is the only acceptable view. They will admit that they aren’t perfect; just forgiven. However, everyone else is just going to hell for the specks in their eyes. “God’s Law vs. Moral subjectivity” is just a smoke screen for the Religious Right trying to maintain their political influence. If they have to bear false witness about what the Bible says and lie about their political opponents, then a quick sin management prayer of forgiveness will make it OK with Jesus. repentance though. . . out of the question. There’s a culture war going on.
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