The Bible is Wrong: Part 1: Mercy, Suicide and Homosexuality

Religion is a political beast wherein spirituality plays a varying part.  It is therefore apt to go beyond discussing the role of religion in public life, to discussing the nature of religion itself.  It is essential to balance respect for beliefs and people’s freedom to have and express them, with one’s own freedom to express one’s own beliefs and criticize others.  Aside from a few brave atheists, the discussion in this country thus far has been tilted grossly towards the Conservative Evangelical Christian worldview, with liberal Christians, secularists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Atheists and others meekly keeping to the Church vs State debate.  Its time to step past that, and the only way to do that is to speak for one’s own beliefs, and use that as a platform to counter the beliefs you find harmful.

We need to be honest with ourselves.  It isn’t simply that we oppose conservative Christians using their religion to oppress homosexuals, it is that we abhore the belief itself that homosexuality is a sin (and all that entails).  So let’s bring that criticism into mainstream discourse.  In its absence we create a society where fear of blasphemy de facto retains its power unweakened by our distance from the dark ages.  The only way to move the frame of discussion back to a place of strength and equality is to make our opinions loud and clear, and no longer shrink back from voicing them.

Which brings me to my first topic in this series.  I was *finally* spurred to write about this after reading this post by Father Joe (and a particular comment in response), but I’d been meaning to write about the concept of suicide and mercy for a while now.  I’ve been hearing Disturbed’s Inside the Fire for a bit on the radio, and understanding the song plays a role in revealing how twisted a psychology the concept of hell and mortal sin raises.  The song is essentially David Draiman fighting the temptation to commit suicide and join his girlfriend.

The problem is with the concept of judgment, which is central to the judeo-christian-muslim tradition (growing up in conservative Judaism, we made a big deal out of the second most important holiday, Yom Kippur, the day of judgment).  In the case of a murderer, judgment, whatever the punishment, appeals to our sense of justice and revenge.  We want people who do bad things to suffer (however unholy that desire itself is).  However that same concept of judgment is extended to people who have not hurt anyone, or who themselves are suffering from a disease.  On this we should be perfectly clear.  Homosexuality hurts no one.  Suicide isn’t the act of a person who in a moment of weakness gave up on life.  Suicide is a fatal expression of clinical depression.  Condemning someone to hell for eternity for having cancer would be just as “just” and “compassionate”.

Father Joe writes:

When the topic of homosexuality is raised, immediately there are those who deny that we can make a moral evaluation. We are told, “It is not for us to judge, only God.”

Yes, it must be admitted that God is the judge of such things, but that verdict is not pending but has already been expressed by his revealed Word:

To those of us who do not buy the idea of “God’s revealed word” (finding the circular argument of “The Bible Says its So” unconvincing), that is a very hollow stance to take.  And it is one that serves a vision of God that is petty, vengeful, mean, flawed, violent, and utterly unholy.  What kind of God would condemn someone to an eternity of torture for loving another human being in a mutual relationship?

This is why I detest seeing the Bible used as a source for how to live one’s life, let alone how all Americans would be forced to live our lives.  The Bible describes a God who judges people for forbidden love, for depression, for believing in the wrong God, and condemns them.  Is that merciful?  Is that loving?  Is it holy?

Such beliefs have no place, no place at all in the running of our country.  And frankly subjecting people to them is a cruelty we seem unfortunately far from recognizing.  Its painful to think of the faithful relatives who think their loved ones are burning in hell, and whose hearts weep, confined by the belief that they will always be imprisoned there.

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5 Responses

  1. Are you trying to tell me the bible is full of bullshit? say it aint so dan…

  2. but yes when it is used as an excuse to do anything to gays, much like it was to slaves, it makes it even more sick.

  3. Problem is, not everyone thinks God will punish you for being homosexual. If it’s a sin, why did he make them in the first place. God (and I am Christian) doesn’t work that way. People use his name to justify their own prejudices, and all the other crap they want to bull. Just because some priest says so, doesn’t make it so. Suicide, is a different matter. I still haven’t figured that one out. I’d like to think he’d be pretty lenient towards someone who obviously had issues(like my 2 older brothers).

  4. 2 things i want to say. first to kat, God did not make sin. he made the possibility of sin when he made free will but he did not make sin, humans (adam and eve) made it when they broke God’s will. all sin is is going against God’s will. second i want to speak something from the old testiment. now remember the old testiment is different from the new cause before blood sacrifice had to be made to atone for sin, nowadays Jesus had his blood shed for our atonement. so i dont think homosexuals should die but it does show how God sees it. leviticus 20:13 if a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both have done what is detestable. they are to be put to death; there blood will be on their own head. so back then the atonement was death to them. this shows just how greatly God disproves of homosexuals. the problem is with God we cant go off and think what we want, we should make sure all of our wisdom is founded with God’s word, which is truth. and i seriously dont mind homosexuals, i know a few and i hold nothing against them but i disagree with them in this. final words are these, because we have broken God’s laws and we dont have a relationship with God and don’t believe in Jesus what it says in the bible has come true. our generations have become more corrupt then ever. remember all truths come through God, God bless

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