The Substance Matters

Some bearded celebrity wants to compare gay people to pedophiles and stay on television.  A company that wants to sell wedding cakes in the public space but ignore his state’s anti-descrimination laws.  A group of nuns want to run a hospital and prohibit their employees from getting contraception through health insurance related to, without perhaps being paid for by, the nuns.  All in the name of religious freedom.

There are many complex issues related to efficient market places and application of subtle legal doctrines.  Today, I want to make a simple right/wrong argument.  My radical position is that not all religious beliefs and practices are equal.

Churches need to stop resisting the march toward equality among those of minority gender identity and sexual orientation.  Churches need to stop opposing birth control.  When people maintain these positions in the name of faith, it pisses me off.  Not because I think positions cannot be maintained in the name of faith, but because these positions are wrong and stupid.

I think this deserves saying because we respond to “X is immoral” with “who cares what is moral” when we should often respond with “no it’s not.”  At least, that is my humble opinion.

8 replies on “The Substance Matters”

Of course, I agree. The "wrong" part is so clear. Just yesterday I was reading Numbers 5. This puts the lie to the entire anti-abortion/pro-life stance of "wrong in every case".

Numbers 5 details what to do in case of a husband accusing a wife of adultery if she's clearly pregnant. The priest is to administer "bitter waters" whatever that is. If the woman is guilty she'll abort, and if she's innocent (it's her husband's child), she'll carry to term.

So there you go–God detailing a very specific directive for when and under what circumstances to cause an abortion. Now, it says nothing about potential other times when you might cause one and if it's wrong or right, but here's an unambiguous godly command to abort.

Further reading into this topic suggests that one viable (but perhaps just a bit too modern and hopeful) interpretation of this passage by some Rabbis. They will maintain that this is test of the bitter waters is actually a protection of women against willy nilly accusations by jealous men not those not wanting children. Perhaps that's true, and if it is, then this is really about protecting women with the threat of abortion. If that's true, then it's a small step toward abortions for protecting women from unwanted babies.

As I said, I think that interpretation sounds very, very modern to me, but in any event, according to Numbers 5 intentional abortion is clearly not against God's plan. And Numbers 5 is still in the bible for evangelicals, no?

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