24 February, 2010

I Can Prove That "One Man, One Woman" Is Not "Biblical"

West Virginians who argue for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as “between one man and one woman” on the grounds that this is the “traditional”, Judeo Christian view of marriage and that the USA is a country based on Judeo Christian principles apparently haven’t read their Bibles. While I’ll stipulate that I am aware of no Biblical examples of gay marriage, the idea of marriage being between one man and one woman is of fairly recent Biblical origin. Many of the Bible’s heroes including Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Jacob and David, just to name a few, had more than one wife. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

And even if the Judeo Christian “tradition” about marriage were not fluid, the problem with using religious principles to define marriage is that the USA is not made up exclusively of religious people. And it’s certainly not made up exclusively of Christians and Jews. The founding fathers wisely didn’t adopt the Old Testament as the constitution of the USA – though theonomists and other theocrats wish they had. Instead of adopting a religious book as the constitution of the USA, the founders wrote one. The constitution the founders wrote specifically doesn’t establish any religion. Later, when Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists assuring them that there is a “wall of separation” between church and state, the Baptists were relieved.

Jefferson’s “wall of separation” was like Roger Williams’ “hedge” between the “garden of the church” and the “wilderness of the world.” Williams founded the first Baptist church in the new world.

While early theonomists were killing "the Indians" to clear the way for their "city on a hill" Rogers befriended and was trusted by the "Indians."

For readers who were taught that our nation’s “founders” came here to establish a Christian nation, let me correct you. Our nation’s founders didn’t “come” to America they were born here. I don’t think it’s accidentaI that elementary school plays confound and co-mingle the arrival of the Pilgrims with the establishment of the nation even though those events were 150 years apart and the Pilgrims and Puritans were long dead when post-Christian founders like Jefferson and Franklin and Washington founded the nation. I’m aware that theocratic books like Peter Marshall and David Manuel’s The Light And The Glory and all books by David Barton and George Grant and Gary North and R J Rushdoony have popularized the idea that Jesus wants conservative Christians to make the USA a Christian nation based largely on the Old Testament, but “reconstructionists”, theonomists and people who believe in “dominion” will find no foundation for that sentiment in the founders and would need a constitutional convention to overturn our current constitution in order to make this a “Christian nation”.

I’m embarrassed that, not only do I live in a nation where voters think of Pilgrims and Puritans when someone says the word “founders” but I live in a nation where some voters think it’s OK to charge taxes and impose Christian ideas about sex and marriage on Muslims, Hindus and atheists.

I often ask right wing theocrats if they think Jesus supports theft because that’s what it is to take taxes from everybody then use those taxes to build a society that provides the rights to pursue life liberty and happiness only to a specific subset of Christians.

Here’s what reconstructionists, theonomists and other theocrats would do if they had the courage of their convictions: First they would absolutely strip all homosexuals and atheists of their US citizenship. If they aren’t citizens, they have no rights. Next they would refund all taxes paid by atheists and homosexuals because it would be unchristian to take taxes from people who have no rights.

This, of course, will never happen because the hypocrites who want to deny gays the right to marry or the right to rent an apartment or the right to work at jobs for which they are qualified also want to collect taxes from them and keep them in a sort of second class citizenship where our laws and our courts make some people more equal than others.

I’m not unsympathetic to evangelical Christians. I used to be one so I understand that when politicians want to pass laws that make it OK for gays to marry voting for those politicians feels like condoning homosexuality.

But then I realized that voting for people who want to deny gays the right to marry is condoning theft of tax money.

You don’t have to be gay or condone homosexuality to want all tax-paying, law-abiding citizens to get the freedoms and the happiness their tax money is supposed to assure. You can still think gays are going to hell. You can still think gay sex is gross.

You can still hate gays – though you’ll have some trouble reconciling hatred with Jesus - or imagining a Jesus who hates gays.

And because I used to be an evangelical and even flirted with the “reconstruction” movement, I know that evangelicals have lost sight of what they call “The Great Commission” which is to convert people to Jesus.

No gay was ever converted to Jesus because somebody was unkind to him.

Evangelicals know full well that hating gays and denying them jobs and denying them apartments and denying them the right to marry whom they wish has never and will never convert any gay to Jesus so I can only conclude that when evangelicals insist on being mean to gays it’s not because they love them and want to save them and keep them from going to hell.

The last time I wrote a post in support of gay rights I got hateful comments from so-called Christians and I expect to get such hateful comments again. If those comments are clean and civil I will publish them.

Lots of gay people and gay orgs started following me on Twitter. Just for the record, I have to approve follower requests and I don't approve them just because you agree with my blog.

As "Flo" the Progressive insurance woman says, "there's no discount for agreeing with me."

Here's what I would like to happen this time: I would like for my elected officials to write legislation that makes it illegal for cities, counties and the state of West Virginia to deny jobs or housing or marriage to gay people who pay their taxes and have a right to all the protections that our tax money is supposed to pay for.


Higginbotham At Large welcomes all comments – especially comments that provide an opposing point of view. Just keep it clean and civil and I’ll be happy to publish your remarks.

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