Sunday School Lesson Submitted as Legal Brief

A group of Christian theocrats — Public Advocate of the U.S., Joyce Meyer Ministries, the Lincoln Institute, the Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund and pastor Chuck Baldwin — have filed a Sunday School lesson as an amicus brief in the Supreme Court marriage cases.

“Should the court require the states and the people to ‘ritualize’ sodomite behavior by government issuance of a state marriage license, it could bring God’s judgment on the nation,” the brief warns. “Holy Scripture attests that homosexual behavior and other sexual perversions violate the law of the land, and when the land is ‘defiled,’ the people have been cast out of their homes.”

The brief cites Leviticus 18:22 and 24-30, a biblical passages that seldom finds its way into popular discourse.

Verse 22 states, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

And the subsequent section warns against such defilement.

“If you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. … Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them,” the Old Testament passage states.

The court filing, citing the book of 2nd Peter, continues: “Although some would assert that these rules apply only to the theocracy of ancient Israel, the Apostle Peter rejects that view: ‘For if God … turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly’” (King James Version).

The brief says the “continuing application of this Levitical prohibition is confirmed by the Book of Jude: ‘Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

There have been dozens of amicus briefs filed in these cases. Some of them will be taken seriously enough by the justices to be read and considered; this will not be one of them. Nor should it be.

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  • John Pieret

    I’ve seen Bible quotes in briefs before … as you might see a quote of something Mark Twain said. But I’ve never seen the Bible quoted as an authority on a question of law before.

  • raven

    As usual, xians misrepresent their magic book the bible.

    Ezekial 16:

    Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy

    Sodom today is the fundie xians and the Tea Party/GOP. I’m sure jesus would be horrified if he actually existed. “I spent an afternood nailed to two sticks for…them!!!”

    giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh,

    Fornication is perfectly legal if that means premarital and nonmarital sex. It’s also very common in the USA. Fornication is also now an archaic word. I wish they would write in modern English. I’m sure they use “fornication” because otherwise it sounds even dumber.

    Strange flesh means what? I’ll try to look it up but it probably means being involved with nonxians sexually or by marrying them. Which is also legal.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Some of them will be taken seriously enough by the justices to be read and considered; this will not be one of them. Nor should it be.

    Not by the majority. However, some of the players on Team Republican (Scalia, Thomas notably) will be nodding along in agreement. Of course, they’re not exactly swing votes anyway.

  • raven

    NET Bible Jude

    So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

    It seems no one is quite sure what strange flesh is. The various translations differ all over the place as to what this actually means. It’s obvious the translators are just putting in whatever they feel like at the moment.

    From some of the translations it probably refers back to Genesis with the angels who came down to earth and bred with human women to make the Nephilim.

    In any event, what this has to do with US law is also obvious. Nothing.

  • grendelsfather

    These chicken shits cited the nice version if this prohibition in Leviticus chapter 18. If they really meant this, they should have cited the same prohibition from chapter 20, which lists the punishment as death. I am sure that is where they want to go, but they are afraid that saying it outright would give away their true position.

  • cptdoom

    …the Apostle Peter rejects that view: ‘For if God … turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample [sic] unto those that after should live ungodly’” (King James Version).

    Ah, the delicious irony of “quoting” Peter in a book written some 1600 years after Peter’s death.

  • marcus

    I call dibs on “Going After Strange Flesh” as the title for my memoir!

  • Michael Heath

    John Pieret writes:

    I’ve seen Bible quotes in briefs before … as you might see a quote of something Mark Twain said. But I’ve never seen the Bible quoted as an authority on a question of law before.

    Don’t forget these Christians are framing their assertion as if it’s also scientific fact; nay superior to what science confidently predicts since their assertions aren’t couched in provisions. I.e., if behavior A occurs, then we know the results; with the Bible as the citing reference of this asserted causal relationship.

    This level of delusion is an inherent and critically important part of conservative Christianity. It can’t survive without this sort of defective thinking framed in delusional certainty. What’s odd about it is when Christians present such in a legal document though I’m confident this rhetorical ploy’s been used before. It’ll probably be helpful strengthening the loyalty of their faithful who are at the thinking level of a Sarah Palin.

    From my perspective, the more they assert their faith in the public square, the more obvious their faith is based on delusional idiocy.

  • Trebuchet

    But where do they stand on formication? Which is the feeling that ants are crawling on your skin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DocMonkey mickwright

    “…a biblical passages that seldom finds its way into popular discourse.”

    The discourse that involves that passage also usually involves ‘Meanwhile in the same spot there’s thisbit about executing unruly children, so why aren’t you lobbying for that?’

    Of course that discourse isn’t popular with WND.

  • anubisprime

    @ OP

    A group of Christian theocrats

    Ahh…so that would probably be just errr….pastor Chuck Baldwin then?

    That screed is so obviously a subjective take and would perfectly relate to one critter and his own particular translation of the nonsense.

    If however it is an actual gang of jeebus fans…then the collective IQ still has not made it out of the minus column yet it is to be noticed!

  • busterggi

    Citing foreign laws? That’s Sharia isn’t it?

    Besides, don’t they claim Jesus fulfilled those laws so they no longer apply? That’s why eating bacon cheeseburgers is no longer a capital crime.

  • Jackson

    Ah, the delicious irony of “quoting” Peter in a book written some 1600 years after Peter’s death.

    I’m no historian, but I believe 2 Peter was written in the second century, not the seventeenth.

  • theguy

    As I’ve said before, nobody seems to question the (im)morality of God committing mass murder against a nation because he disapproves of homosexuality or disbelief. The attitude seems to be “might makes right” and that everybody has to be made to conform, often under threat of imprisonment or execution.

  • eric

    @3: Actually I think the reverse might be true. The pro-SSM side might cite these sorts of submissions (but not read them) because they clearly point to a primarily religious motivation for anti-SSM laws, thus failing Lemon. While the con-SSM side will not cite them (but probably read them) because they are going to have to claim that anti-SSM laws have nothing to do with religion.

  • John Pieret

    Michael Heath:

    these Christians are framing their assertion as if it’s also scientific fact

    I can understand how the clients might think that way but I can’t understand how a marginally competent lawyer would put that in the brief … especially when, as eric points out, one of the key questions in this case is whether these laws were passed based (at least) on a rational basis. A religious animus against LGBT people would support applying at least a heightened scrutiny test and no legal expert thinks these bans could survive that.

  • Matrim

    You know, I’m kinda surprised that there isn’t a bigger Christian environmentalist movement. That “defiling the land” bit really lends itself to it. I guess True Christians™ are too concerned with gays to worry about being custodians of the earth or anything.

  • raven

    but I can’t understand how a marginally competent lawyer would put that in the brief

    1. For money? They better get paid up front.

    2. Because that is all they have?

    3. You are assuming their lawyers are marginally competent. Probably not. It’s a xian thing.

  • D. C. Sessions

    That “defiling the land” bit really lends itself to it.

    I don’t think that’s the kind of “defilement” they have in mind. Theirs has less to do with heavy metals and more to do with semen.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Holy Scripture attests that homosexual behavior and other sexual perversions violate the law of the land, and when the land is ‘defiled,’ the people have been cast out of their homes.

    So we had a real boom in perversity 2007-2012 when over-two-to-nearly-four million American families underwent foreclosure each year? Damn, I missed it!

  • Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence

    Interesting . . . no johnatangray . . .

    Funny thing about scriptures. They cut all ways. Always.