Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I feel that today it can be easily assumed that most Americans believe in the idea that all people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness an idea written into the United States Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson (a reimagining of Locke's life, liberty and property). Despite this fundamental belief the majority of American's throughout our history have a series of more deeply held beliefs that when examined more closely are the primary rationalization for the encroachment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What are these beliefs? Communism? Socialism? Uncontrolled Capitalism? Greed? Government out of Control? No to all of these. The source of much of the problems that we face today is religion. I'm not talking about beliefs in higher powers or an afterlife. I'm speaking here about the part of corrupted religion that preaches hate and exclusionism. By invoking a god something is placed above life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and by doing so rationalizes the encroachment of these rights.

We all know of cases such as Muslim extremism leading to the death of our fellow "infidels," but here I want to focus primarily on the hypocrisy of modern American Christians when cherry picking lines from the bible to rationalize political beliefs (using selected scripture to take the life, liberty and property of others). Now out of the hundreds of topics to focus on I want to talk about two specific ideas that are often supported with verse from the the Five Books of Moses. These being the use of the death penalty and anti-homosexual laws and discrimination.

The two verses that usually support these ideas are (Taken from The Five Books of Moses translated by Robert Alter):

The Death Penalty
Exodus 21:23-25 And if there is a mishap, you shall pay a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

Leviticus: 18:22 And with a male you shall not lie as one lies with a woman.

Now I'm not going to try and argue against the apparently clear point in these verses. The former obviously calls for the death penalty for murder and the later clearly bans homosexuality. If I were a Christian I could attempt to show how the teachings of Jesus have rewritten some of this old testament law such as John 8:7, but alas I am not religious and am not here to speak for any of the gods. What I will do however is point out the hypocrisy of following these old testament laws while ignoring so many others.

For instance Leviticus 20:10 states "And a man who commits adultery with a married woman, who commits adultery with his fellow man's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress are doomed to die". So if a married woman cheats then both her and her partner should be put to death (sorry ladies, no penalty for unfaithful married men or their flings as polygamy was common in the old testament). So Christians were is your outrage? Where is your consistency? Growing up in the church I knew of many cases of adultery. Most often a married man from the church with a married woman from the church. In every case forgiveness was preached. No one sought to put these sinners to death. Or an example even closer to my own life; I was once married and my wife's family was very religious. My ex cheated on me while we were married and I don't remember my mother-in-law offering to put my ex to death, but I sure as Hell remember her staunch stance against homosexual marriage and for the death penalty.

Obviously these are extreme cases and no sane person could argue for the death penalty for adultery. But what about other government intervention. How about we have some defense of traditional marriage here and just forbid adulterers from marrying? You cheat, the marriage is automatically dissolved and you are prevented from marrying again. Why not? The bible is against homosexuality so we don't allow homosexuals to marry. Isn't it just as bad to allow adulterers to marry? Aren't married Christians who cheat a bigger attack on the "traditional marriage" than homosexuals.

Obviously this will never happen either. But what gives? What lead to the hypocrisy here? I'll tell you what the source is. These "Christians" are not really using the bible as a source for there beliefs. I have read more scripture than most of them. They are using the bible where convenient to support some of their beliefs. They only point out the parts that agree with their views. Well I suppose it is fine to reference parts of something without accepting every aspect. But is this really true for your own religious beliefs? If you really believe that the bible is God's word don't you really need to buy in 100%? Christians, stop using the bible when it is useful and start practicing all aspects of what you preach. Americans, stop letting individuals and groups encroach on the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of others through the invocation of a magical being who gave out a magical book with rules to live by especially when these hypocrites don't even practice all of what they preach. Stop the madness. Keep your religion out of my government. Let your superstition govern your own life.

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