I encountered a rather unfortunate blog post today. Upon examining it, and the posts it links to, I think it would be helpful to respond to, albeit briefly.
First, just to get it out of the way – why on earth would you use such appalling language when dealing, at least putatively, with Christian doctrine? (Let alone any other time.) It is, quite simply, outrageous on any level.
Second, while I’m sure Jon Stewart (and his devoted fans) are quite convinced that he is the epitome of the witty bon mot – he quite typically fails, rather spectacularly, in dealing with anything of substance. The quotation used for this post would, at best, apply to the most shallow of objections. It applies not a whit to the substantive ones. Having substantive religious freedom is a) irrelevant to the freedoms we are supposed to have and b) is irrelevant to his opinion of how many *professing* Christians were in the White House – or whether there were actually that many. c) That the “freedoms” discussed are *already* infringed upon, in a variety of ways, in nations which have parallel laws to our own – and which are being cited as justification for “human rights abuses” by others around the world. Of course, simply being able to worship is a tiny portion of the freedom of religion. The issue, of course, is how the “freedom” to sin impinges upon the (actual) freedom to practice righteousness.
So, to address his points in order.
1) The government shouldn’t force us to be nice
Except, obviously, that is the very issue under discussion. Should the government be able to force those “mean” Christians to be “nice”? What does Romans 13:4 say? “for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” So, now what? When the government defines “good” as something the Bible defines as “evil” – what then? Let’s use your sentence.
I think it’s a natural right and freedom for people to be awful within certain constraints (exempting murder, rape, soybeans etc.)
What if we change this to, say, this?
I think it’s a natural right and freedom for people to be awful within certain constraints (exempting murder, homosexuality, rape, soybeans etc.)
Why? Well, why not?
“law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching” – 1 Timothy 1:9-10
So, which constraints are we able to profess, as Christians? Do we have a “natural right” to be adulterers? Swindlers? Homosexuals? Hmm? Do we? On what basis?
Jesus was nice to everyone EXCEPT the overly religious.
No, he flipped over the moneychanger’s tables, and chased them out of the temple precincts with a whip. I’m not saying that we’re allowed to do so – I’m saying you forgot something. Also, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum. Didn’t get a “nice Jesus” stamp. Lastly, “overly religious”? Does Christ ever, even once, castigate the Jewish leaders for an excess of religiousity? Show me. One place. He castigates the Jewish leaders for perverting their religion. More accurately, His religion.
2) We should be nice
Except that you already, even by your own standard, made an exception to the rule. Jesus wasn’t nice to the Pharisees, right? Your non-exegetical non-argument aside, “love like Jesus”, right? Well, given that nobody can seriously argue that Jesus is faulting the Jews for being overly religious – what is He faulting them for? Perverting religion. What are you doing? Perverting religion. Harsh? Maybe. But if you can twist things around to paint the Pharisees as too religious – yet Jesus says to do what they say; just not what they do – then what would your position be? Love them the same? Okay, so let’s call folks who are hypocritical what they are – vipers, whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones. Sir, you are a hypocritical viper. A whitewashed tomb, full of dead men’s bones.
You link to someone who thinks that homosexual “marriage” is not a sin – and we should celebrate what the rest of us think is a sin – doubly. The service a Roman soldier could demand – by law – was to carry his stuff up to a mile, right? Was obeying a government edict a sin? Not in this case. It might be annoying, or even onerous – but it wasn’t disastrous. Cheerfully, brethren Cheerfully. Now, would that apply to their carrying a Roman eagle? Something tells me that you might have a hard time arguing that. Does service to a lawful ruler include sinful acts? No. Christians did, and should have, refused to render the worship of Caesar. Taxes? Not a problem. Those are due to Caesar. Worship? Due only to God. I refuse to recognize the legality or righteousness of same-sex “marriages.” They are a profanation of the creation order, and of God’s moral law. You would be subject to arrest if preaching from the texts that address homosexuality in several european nations (and increasingly, in Canada as well). Nations which carried very similar religious freedom laws on their books.
Read the homosexual advocates. Let them tell you what they want. They, like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and abortion advocates, want Christianity silenced in the public square. In politics, in business, in public speech. They haven’t achieved their goal yet – but that brings us to the next point.
3) This “religious persecution” is LAME.
Right now? Yeah, it is, comparatively. How do you think it got started elsewhere? Jewish persecution in Germany was LAME to begin with, too. It doesn’t stay that way. The sheer, unmitigated ignorance displayed in this section is astounding. Do you truly think that things stay the same? That those of us who are a little older, and couldn’t have imagined an adulthood where such moral and ethical insanity would be openly celebrated, are not amazed to behold such a disastrous slide into the gutter of history? Son, not only are we looking down the barrel of laws being passed to prohibit “discrimination” on the basis of sexual perversion, but we are looking down the the other barrel of laws passed to prohibit private expression of such views on homosexuality and its alphabet soup hangers on, in places like businesses – or even churches. There are already laws on the books that force children to visit bathrooms where children of the opposite gender are present. There are already laws on the books that equate sexual perversion with race. Don’t get me started on the sanity of even trying to cling to the concept of “race”, either.
In short, Andrew, as I told you in my initial, private response; This post is irresponsible, inaccurate, irreverent, and irrational.
It assumes things that are not true, it makes wild statements that are, frankly, unsupportable. It is not even remotely accurate on a factual level, and it uses language that a professing believer should refrain from, at very least to keep from shaming himself and His Lord. In short, I can’t find anything that would convince anyone of anything in this post.
For contrast, you might want to see this post, this post, this podcast, or, especially, this podcast – which deals with the same false dilemma perpetuated by Andrew. Andrew – read 1 Tim 1:7 – directly before the verses I cited at the beginning.
“wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.”
Vs. 6 – “For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion”
You have turned aside, and are engaged in fruitless discussion.
One more note: Your comments in your “apology” to homosexuals are unconscionable. You utterly and completely destroy any meaningful foundation for responding to homosexuality from the text of Scripture. You don’t bother to appeal to the Scripture to base your belief in the sinfulness of homosexuality at all. You appeal to a belief in omnibenevolence nowhere found in the Scriptures, and, frankly, directly contrary to it. It is so inarguably far from the Biblical depiction of God, His nature, and His moral demands on His creation that it leaves you absolutely no way to actually call homosexuality wrong for any meaningful reason whatsoever. Saying it is sinful doesn’t do the trick. If you toss out the justice of God to appease your idea of omnibenevolence, you have nothing left to base His opposition to the act or heart motive on. Nothing.