Thursday, July 10, 2014

How Biblical Ignorance Doesn't Make Angry People Smart

(yes, I know it's been a while. moving on)
I make it a point not to read because they post some of the most liberal, ignorant things on the internet. Not all liberal publications are ignorant, but Salon gives everyone a bad name. A young woman I follow on twitter responded to the author of a Salon article and posted the link. Given the subject, I couldn't help myself. Last week the Supreme Court ruled in Hobby Lobby's favor, saying closely held for-profit companies can refuse to cover birth control that violate their conscience and/or religious beliefs. CJ Werleman, the author, titled his article (originally posted on AlterNet) "How America’s Biblical ignorance enables the Christian right". He's accusing the Christian Right of biblical ignorance, and judging by some books he's written I believe he is an atheist. Here's the first paragraph:
The Bible doesn’t mention anything about contraception or abortion, but this hasn’t stopped 89 million American evangelicals acting as if “thou shall not consume a pregnancy pill” were one of the Ten Commandments. For the benefit of my mostly American audience, it’s not. In fact, the first four of the Hebrew God’s Decalogue amount to nothing more than “maniacal throat clearing,” to steal a phrase ,a from the late Christopher Hitchens
Remember: He accuses the Christian Right of being biblically ignorant. I don't know what it is with atheists thinking they know the bible better than Christians, when nine out of ten they get it wrong, which confuses me because the Bible is not that complicated. I was the same way when I was an atheist. I read lists of "contradictions" online and left it at that. Why? I think I was afraid that if I dug in deeper on my own I would find myself believing it. I was right.

And he's right. The bible doesn't mention either of these two things by name, but he's still wrong. The words don't need to be in there to be objectionable, you just need to understand God's character. Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 136:13 makes it very clear that God recognizes us as life in the womb, that his plan for us starts not when we take our first breath but before we're even a human thought. Exodus 21:22-25 says striking a pregnant woman and causing harm to the unborn is punishable. Genesis 1:26-27 says we are made in God's image and Genesis 9:6 says, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image." One of the Ten Commandments is "Thou Shalt Not Kill". God recognizes life in the womb, we are made in his image, abortion is destroying life God calls precious. What is abortion? What does God say about life in the womb? How does God see us? And there it is. Not that complicated.

Not all Christians feel the same about birth control. I'm much more conservative on the subject than my mother. When I was eighteen I used birth control for about six months, and I stopped because I wasn't having sex and I wasn't planning on being that stupid and I was wasting ten dollars every month. I was still an atheist at that point. I still feel the same way, but now my faith is tied into it. No there isn't a verse that says birth control pills are bad, but Proverbs 3:5 is good enough for me:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." 
If I want Jesus to take the wheel, then I need to get off the breaks. I want to trust God with my whole life, not just parts of it, that includes how many children I will have. I've been abstinent for 27 years; it's not that hard. It's about respecting yourself and making a commitment and trusting that God knows best and He's with you every step of the way. Not that complicated.

That's my personal view, and most people who reject birth control for religious reasons feel the same way. It's about trust.

He then goes into the old as time tantrum of throwing "violent" Old Testament verses around claiming Christians don't follow everything. He then uses Matthew 5:17-20 to prove his point. Dan Savage gave a similar argument in front of high school students over a year ago and I responded to that, but I'll repeat myself. For starters, we're Gentiles. OT Law was intended for a particular people and a particular time. Romans 2:12 makes that distinction. Mr. Werlemen obviously doesn't understand "abolish" and "fulfill" in this context. "For the wages of sin is death..." and a pure sacrifice is still required to atone for sin. None of those things have changed. What Werlemen doesn't understand is Jesus took all of our sin onto himself and suffered the way we should suffer under the Old Testament law, died the death the law says we should die. Then he rose from the dead. The law is not abolished the way we see understand "abolished'; it exists. but we are not bound by it because Christ's resurrection is the completion of the law. Not that complicated.

This article isn't the first time I've seen someone try to pull this, and he won't be the last, but who is he, ignorant as he is, to tell me or anyone about my faith or my God. These are typical atheist counter-arguments that are easily debunked. The truth is, most of the objectives to the Hobby Lobby decision are really dumb and not based on fact or simple logic.

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