I really try to be apolitical in my comments. There are, in the church I pastor, people of all politcal parties. I like that. My thoughts, here, are not coming from the heart of a Republican or Democrat, a Conservative or Progressive.
They are coming from the heart of a guy who is tired and frustrated with people using the Bible to justify wrong.
It’s been done a lot and for a long time.
We are about to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For a lot of Americans, however, it’s a Day of Mourning for what was done to the Native Americans by the settlers from Europe. For many it is “a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, and the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture.”
Much of the horrific acts were committed by those using the Bible as justification.
Stealing the land from the Native Americans? Justified! The Puritans saw themselves as Israel of old, God’s Chosen. The land of the Native Americans was the Europeans’ inheritance from God. As Israel was given the land of Canaan then, these European Christians are given this land of America now! Want a Scripture? They had one. No, they had several:
“However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes (Deuteronomy 20:16).
“My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittties, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out (Exodus 23:23)!
“I will establish your boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you (Exodus 23:31).
“Since God gave this land to us, we can take it from you!”
The use of the Bible to justify horrific behavior continues. This week.
Allegations of sexual misconduct with teen-aged girls by Senatorial candidate Roy Moore when he was in his 30s, broke in The Washington Post. One of Moore’s defenders, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler, used the Bible to defend Moore:
“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became the parents of Jesus…There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual…There’s nothing to see here.”
Did he really say that? Is he serious? Here’s the thing:
A 32 year old man dating a freshman in high school? “A little unusual,” Zeigler says. You think? I can think of other ways to describe it. How about, Gross. Creepy. Wrong.
And now, Zeigler justifies and defends Moore with the story of Joseph and Mary. Really? Is that how we read and apply the Bible?
In the culture and time of Joseph and Mary, women were property of their fathers, then of their husbands. Yes women married much older men and men had multiple wives. Is that a Biblical mandate for us today? “They did it then, let’s to it now!”
To equate the molestation of a minor with marriage customs of an ancient culture is ridiculous. It is dangerous.
Unfortunately, history is filled with the ridiculous and dangerous when it comes to interpreting and applying the Bible.
The allegations against Roy Moore are disturbing. So is justifying his behavior with the Bible.