The conservatives’ kill shot has always been a silver bullet with four words engraved into it: “It’s in the Bible.”
A wife is to submit to her husband. A woman shouldn’t speak in church. Spare the rod, spoil the child. The Earth is the center of the universe. God’s plan is for the white man to have slaves. Gay people are a moral abomination. People who die without having accepted Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior must spend eternity burning in the hellfire of damnation.
The conservative Christian makes this sort of ruinous proclamation, and then shrugs innocently, smiles with humble assurance, and says, “Hey, it’s not me saying it. It’s in the Bible.”
But much like the Hollywood movie publicist who cobbles together a glowing review from a savage one by carefully selecting from the latter a few choice words and then tossing the rest, the Christian right is ignoring the entire point of the Bible. Repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms, Jesus insists that equity, compassion, humility, fairness, and love supersede any specific “rule” in the Bible. Christ instructed us not by prohibiting specific behaviors and prescribing others, but rather, in principles and parables, making clear that he expects us to use our hearts, minds, and the Holy Spirit to translate his words into actions appropriate to our time and place…The Christian right only pretends to take the Bible seriously. But what they actually do is to take out of context, and then take very seriously indeed those few and far between words in the Bible that serve to bring them (gee, what a coincidence) the very power that they want.
They do not serve the Bible. They use the Bible to serve themselves. And, incredibly enough, they’ve learned to turn that fact into the ultimate in offensive weapon.
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