By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Don’t Hide Behind The Bible

May 2, 2012 1:46 pm Category: Memo Pad 38 Comments A+ / A-

Sometimes, people hide inside the Bible.

That is, they use the Christian holy book as authority and excuse for biases that have nothing to do with God. They did this when women sought to vote and when African-Americans sought freedom.

They are doing it now, as gay men and lesbians seek the right to be married.

The latest battleground in that fight is North Carolina, where voters go to the polls Tuesday to render a verdict on Amendment One, which would add to the state constitution the following stipulation: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Mind you, the Tarheel State already has a law on the books banning same-sex marriage. The would-be constitutional amendment is meant to double down on exclusion. And if you read the language carefully, you saw what many observers have seen — that it can also be interpreted as denying legal recognition to unmarried heterosexuals.

Not that this holds any sway with those who hide inside the Bible. “God has defined marriage,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a Sunday sermon quoted in the Charlotte Observer. “It is not up to us to redefine it.” In a letter to the editor, an Observer reader put it thusly: “You either believe (the Bible) or not.”

One wishes those people could spend a little quality time with Matthew Vines.

Vines is a Christian, a 22-year-old Harvard undergrad raised in a conservative evangelical church in Kansas. He is also gay and says he grew up being taught that the Bible condemns his sexual orientation. He took two years off from school to research and study whether or not that assertion is true.

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Don’t Hide Behind The Bible Reviewed by on . Sometimes, people hide inside the Bible. That is, they use the Christian holy book as authority and excuse for biases that have nothing to do with God. They did Sometimes, people hide inside the Bible. That is, they use the Christian holy book as authority and excuse for biases that have nothing to do with God. They did Rating:

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Comments

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    A lot of people like to hide behind the Bible. A great place for them to start their argments would be to actually read the book. Don’t just cherry-pick parts that back up your world view, but try and absorb all of the nonsensical portions as well. Look up all of the abominations, not just the ones that fit your opinions.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JWPCDWWOQJAS5UTZVN5CE3MZLU PamelaT

      Lynda you are so right these christians (Santorum like people) think the bible is like a cafateria you pick what you like and leave the rest behind. Leviticus also says that women should not cut their hair and should cover their heads. When christian women that hate gays start covering their heads and not cutting their hair then we can talk about gays. You can’t pick and choose leviticus its all or nothing.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JWPCDWWOQJAS5UTZVN5CE3MZLU PamelaT

      Lynda you are so right these christians (Santorum like people) think the bible is like a cafateria you pick what you like and leave the rest behind. Leviticus also says that women should not cut their hair and should cover their heads. When christian women that hate gays start covering their heads and not cutting their hair then we can talk about gays. You can’t pick and choose leviticus its all or nothing.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JWPCDWWOQJAS5UTZVN5CE3MZLU PamelaT

      Lynda you are so right these christians (Santorum like people) think the bible is like a cafateria you pick what you like and leave the rest behind. Leviticus also says that women should not cut their hair and should cover their heads. When christian women that hate gays start covering their heads and not cutting their hair then we can talk about gays. You can’t pick and choose leviticus its all or nothing.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JWPCDWWOQJAS5UTZVN5CE3MZLU PamelaT

      Lynda you are so right these christians (Santorum like people) think the bible is like a cafateria you pick what you like and leave the rest behind. Leviticus also says that women should not cut their hair and should cover their heads. When christian women that hate gays start covering their heads and not cutting their hair then we can talk about gays. You can’t pick and choose leviticus its all or nothing.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JWPCDWWOQJAS5UTZVN5CE3MZLU PamelaT

      Lynda you are so right these christians (Santorum like people) think the bible is like a cafateria you pick what you like and leave the rest behind. Leviticus also says that women should not cut their hair and should cover their heads. When christian women that hate gays start covering their heads and not cutting their hair then we can talk about gays. You can’t pick and choose leviticus its all or nothing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KOPKDFAUQPIIRAFI3HEXNMSHLQ Ed

    Most Christian Evangelicals believe only in the OLD Testament, not Christ’s teachings!

  • JohnRNC

    This debate is [or should be] about religious freedom. As Lynda pointed out, the Bible condemns many behaviors that are not addressed by state or federal law. Once you start using the Bible as the basis for law, you become more of a theocracy and less of a democracy. We are ostensibly free to believe whatever we want in this country. The state & federal governments aren’t supposed to infringe rights or discriminate against those with “different” belief systems. Hence, it’s legal to be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Native American, or atheist (are atheists allowed to get married?). It is also legal to be gay. To enshrine this belief about same sex marriage in a state constitution is to create an underclass of citizens whose rights are determined by their belief system. The churches can still choose whether or not to allow or acknowledge same sex marriage, but the state should not be allowed to prohibit it – especially not on religious grounds.

    If you read the Federalist Papers (the debates between the authors of the US Constitution) one particular idea is irrefutable: a primary purpose of the Constitution is “to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority”

    • joyscarbo

      Wow…well stated!!

    • msgwdn

      I liked what you said however you are incorrect when you say “underclass of citizens whose rights are determined by their belief system.”, if you are born black, a female or gay that is not a belief system, it is what you are.

      • JohnRNC

        I see your point and I’d like to point out my distinction. Opposition to gay marriage as it was promoted in NC is primarily based on religious grounds. The Ads featured the Bible and prominent religious leaders (Franklin Graham). Much of the discussion (even here) has focused on what the Bible does or doesn’t say about homosexuality etc (an argument that is virtually a stalemate)

        Clearly gay couples don’t buy into the “belief” that homsexual love is a mortal sin or they would continue thier internal struggles and never “come out”. Therefore we have differing belief systems in play, and one group has enshrined in the NC Constitution the denial of rights based on those differences in beliefs.

        This IS very much an issue of people having the freedom to be who they were born to be and being free to love and create families like everyone else. But it ultimately boils down to who believes what about whom and whather they can legally disenfranchise citizens of their right to marry.

        The only way to beat this will be a well orchestrated constituional fight at the highest level.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

    What many Christians miss, and that includes Catholics, is that God never gave them the right to be vigilantes, i.e. to take it upon themselves to root out who they consider ‘bad people’ by establishing rules by which people should live (outside of those given in the Ten Commandments). Jesus addressed that specific issue in the parable of the tares, or the weeds among the wheat. He made it clear that bad people would be sown among the good (weeds would be sown among the wheat), and when the diciples suggested that they go out and roundup the ‘tares’, or bad folks, he sad NO, that God would bundle up the tares and throw them in the fire when He (Jesus) returned. Because, it trying to roundup the bad people, they would likely also err and roundup some good people. God did not abdicate his right to pass judgement, not to priests, not to laypeople, not to the Pope. The problem is that most Christian churches don’t under the word ‘NO’ so they keep going around trying to do exactly what Jesus told them not to do…trying to define rules by which people should live based on misguided understandings of the bible. And that goes beyond cherrypicking verses out of a testament (the Old), that has been superceded by the NEW…which is exactly what the Pharisees and Saducees were doing when Jesus came, which is why the majority of the Jews refused to believe in him. They held on too tightly to the teachings of Moses. They refused to believe that God may have changed what he wanted to put emphasis on in the way people lived. A good example of that change is in keeping of the Sabbath. In the early Old Testament, there are numerous versus that say if a man does not keep the Sabbath that he shall surely die. Yet, when the Pharisees criticized Jesus for his disciples picking corn in the fields on the Sabbath as being a contradiction to that, Jesus pointed out that it was not breaking that rule if we were doing something deemed necessary.

    • majong13

      Well said!

  • William Deutschlander

    They misuse and misinterpret the BIBLE as ZEALOTS and HYPOCHRITES!

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • biglt

    Since, on a per capita basis, the religious are OVER represented in prisons throughout the world, (note that atheists are UNDER represented – again, per capita) it is clear that their “reasoning” produces more criminals. Hardly something to recomend their way of living.

  • howa4x

    The bible has been used over history to justify many crimes against humanity and provided the moral basis for the murder and torture of millions of men women and children. Today many muslim countries like Iran use the Koran to justify the hanging of homosexuals, and in some countries in Africa people are killed because of it. The bible was written by humans and was amended over the centuries to fit what the acceptable cultural mores were at the time. In this country it was used to justify slavery, the suppression of women’s rights, and corporal punishment of children. Southern states have always led in the supression of human rights. Using the bible has always provide the moral justification for this behavior. I think people who want to really be free should just leave these areas and create a brain drain until they realize their backward ways.

    • SaneJane

      I know. I have lived in Alabama all my life but am still surprised when I discover this blind spot in seemingly normal people. There are few people in my life with whom I can discuss politics, religion or prejudice. It is a relief to find that there are some people out there who agree with me.

  • DD162542

    PLEASE SOMEONE INFORM ME AS TO THE CORRECT WAY TO UNDERSTAND / INTERPRET THE TEACHING OF TYHE BIBLE WITH RESPECT HOMOSEXUALITY !!

    • mah101

      Ok, let me take a shot…

      Judge not lest ye be judged

    • joyscarbo

      Go to youtube and search for “Matthew Vines.” Listen. If it doesn’t give you pause to really think- if you’re not moved in the very least- you weren’t listening.

      It’s definitely worth it.

      • Daniel .

        But if you watch the video, make sure you also review of a critique of the video, to ensure you are getting both sides of the story.

        • joyscarbo

          No disrespect, Daniel, but I’ve heard the “other side of the story” all my life in church. It’s often serves only to further divide our fellow man- our neighbor- who we are commanded to love more than we love ourselves.

          Matthew Vines didn’t cite any biblical scripture that I wasn’t already familiar with. The six scriptures mentioned are hauled out every time the issue of homosexuality is mentioned. There were many scriptures cited when interractial relationships and marriage was considered “an abomination” to the church.

          I have never struggled with homosexuality, since I’m a heterosexual. It’s difficult for me to fully understand the depth of their struggle to be recognized as anything but, “broken.” They are human beings with the same aspirations to love and share their lives together that hetersexuals have. always enjoyed or taken for granted. Being gay is not a choice. They are not “bad seed,” or “faulty.” God’s love is too expansive and infinite to exclude homosexuals.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XWNK5E33OIFUMQVAGQQA7GDM2M Bigspender

    Christian evangelicals like Rick Santorum can find the answer to every dilemma in the Bible. But as with all religious fanatics around the world, its essential to believe that my way is the only way and all other religions or sects violate God’s law. And therein lies the justification to kill your neighbors. In this way our evangelicals are indistinguishable from islamic radicals whose only goal is the furtherance of ideological zealotry.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XWNK5E33OIFUMQVAGQQA7GDM2M Bigspender

    Christian evangelicals like Rick Santorum can find the answer to every dilemma in the Bible. But as with all religious fanatics around the world, its essential to believe that my way is the only way and all other religions or sects violate God’s law. And therein lies the justification to kill your neighbors. In this way our evangelicals are indistinguishable from islamic radicals whose only goal is the furtherance of ideological zealotry.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XWNK5E33OIFUMQVAGQQA7GDM2M Bigspender

    Christian evangelicals like Rick Santorum can find the answer to every dilemma in the Bible. But as with all religious fanatics around the world, its essential to believe that my way is the only way and all other religions or sects violate God’s law. And therein lies the justification to kill your neighbors. In this way our evangelicals are indistinguishable from islamic radicals whose only goal is the furtherance of ideological zealotry.

  • jebediah123

    I will say it again, as I did in other discussion forums——–Give to me the name of the person (from the hundreds of billions that have existed before me) that has seen “god” face to face. In fact, if god does exist , for what logical reason would there be for him (or her) to not present himself (or herself)???

  • joyscarbo

    I watched the entire lecture by Matthew Vines on youtube and I urge every person who believes that gay people are an abomination of God to watch it with an open mind and heart. I didn’t need to be convinced that God doesn’t hate gay people, but I think this presentation could make some devout believers in the Bible think twice. No self-proclaimed Christian can watch this and say that they are completely unmoved.

    I am proud to say that I have never condemned gay people. My niece is a lesbian. My oldest brother, who is an Evangelical minister, is her father and he “doesn’t accept her lifestyle,” and I know he prays for her to somehow rebuke this “choice.” I believe that my niece was born a lesbian and is as perfect as any of God’s children. She only wants what Matthew Vines wants- a stop to the dehumanizing and condemnation of homosexuals. A recognition that they have genuinely loving, comitted and monogamous relationships that are as legitimate and deeply spiritual as any heterosexual marriage. To religiously condemn gay people is diametric opposite of the teachings of the Bible. If you don’t believe me, you should DEFINITELY listen to what Matthew Vines has to say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorrie.miller.18 Lorrie Miller

    It’s not anybody’s business to condemn two people who are committed to each other enough to marry each other when so many nowdays are looking to keep from getting married why not let someone who desperately wants to be able to legally? Some will stay married to each other and others won’t just like anyone else. Fundamentalists portrayals of gays and lesbians also include in coffins for halloween too go figure. What ever happened to god loves all his children?” Either we’re all god’s children or we’re not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gary-Godfrey/100000665142650 Gary Godfrey

    I could be mistaken, but I don’t think “thusly” is a word. Thus is already an adverb and so if thusly is used, at the very least it is awkward. This is, of course just nit-picking.

  • turnipgreens

    It does not matter if two people are taking care of one another as married or not, they should have rights as a couple. If children come from the bond, they have rights. The “family” has rights. If gay, lesbian or straight, why do we stress over this issue? You take care of what you need to in the eyes of God, and let me do the same. I will not judge you, lest I be judged by the same standard. Live and let live. Why can’t folk leave other folk alone?

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