They Quote the Bible. So Can We.
by Ed Klein, Peoria, IL
The fundamentalists feel it gives them a rock-solid argument. To quote them, marriage is a contract between a man and a woman, period. Likewise, contraception is murder. Another period. Since this controversy has reached biblical proportions, let’s open our Bibles and shed a little light on the subject.
Sidney J. Harris, the esteemed Chicago Daily News columnist, has some interesting things to say about using the Bible, as those opposed to gay marriage and contraception do, to make their points.
Harris cites Corinthians 6:9, which should help them confirm their position: “Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind … shall inherit the kingdomof God.”
Harris asks if you are going to use the Bible to condemn, or penalize homosexuals and those who practice contraception, wouldn’t simple justice demand that you do the same with every other sexual category St. Paul condemned in that passage of scripture? Paul didn’t give any more weight or importance to any one of those offenses over another.
Let’s start with “idolaters.” If you believe what St. Paul said – and you must, because the Bible tells you so – almost 90 percent of the population is already disinherited from the kingdom of God. Of course, no one worships Baal, Baphomet or Kadish, but we worship at the shrines of pleasure, of power, of money, of prestige, all of which we plainly place above service to God. Moses followers had their gold calf and we have ours.
As for the “fornicators and adulterers,” Harris says, the nation’s prisons would be overflowing with millions if we made the slightest effort toward punishing that multitude of offenders. Indeed, they don’t even consider themselves offenders, since they practice “normal sex” even though by Judaic and Christian standards they are as culpable as the “perverts.”
How often we use the Bible, especially when we cite its authority, to blithely and comfortably ignore those portions that might apply to ourselves, and selectively concentrate on those we dislike or disagree with. Certainly the Bible indicts homosexuals; but it is no less severe in condemning heterosexuals who violate the commandments of chastity and the sacrament of marriage – whether between a man and a woman, lesbians or gays. And where in the bible does it even mention contraception? The “sin of Onan” is often cited, albeit loosely, as a condemnation of contraception. But anyone who is aware of ancient Jewish marriage law knows that it deals with matters of inheritance and has nothing to do with the reasons why people turn to contraception today.
Harris tells us that we cannot pick and choose; “you cannot decide that on particular group of offenders is more loathsome in the sight of God than another group.” The Pharisees despised the Samaritans, and Jesus made the “good Samaritan” an eternal system of loving care. And that loving care and acceptance Jesus taught applies to everyone.
I don’t think that 90 percent of us are what people ought to be – beginning with myself – and that’s where all of us should begin.
Headlines & Pundits – Setting the Record Straight”
by Dolores M. Klein, Peoria, IL
Pat Buchanan, nastily and negatively, blamed “radical Feminists” for the furor created by a comment that Anne Romney hadn’t done a day’s work while staying home caring for her sons! Remembering being a revolutionary act, I began that “process”: I recalled a Phil Donahue interview years ago, with families of mothers/homemakers who had received little real compensation from those responsible for their deaths, for the valuable services those women had given their families. The subject that day: Homemaker’s need for legal equality.
I recall our favorite button: “Mothers Are Working Mothers Too!” as a Housewife for E.R.A. When I joined the local National Organization for Women, I was attracted to it by its Homemakers Bill of Rights. Today, one can see that its successful objectives were achieved by those “radical feminists.”
Another recent headline: Stay-at-Home Dads Choose Kids over Careers.” I’m reminded that some years ago, men having to change careers, depended on their educated wives to go into the job market; they soon discovered how little their wives’ worth was to employers. Locally, and across the country, feminist-led Displaced Homemakers programs were formed, assessing the valuable skills housewives had developed running their homes.
WOMEN NOW MUCH SAFER IN THEIR HOMES SHOULD GIVE CREDIT TO FEMINIST WHO, EARLY AND STILL TODAY, focused on Violence Against Women. (Womenstrength in Peoria started as a Peoria NOW Rape Crisis Line.) Feminists everywhere brought a focus on incest and sexual abuse of children in a society needing to hear it. It’s interesting to recall that we were told that we were telling women to leave their husbands; today those kinds of detractors are firm supporters of The Center for Prevention of Abuse!