Wednesday, February 24, 2010

License to Shrill: The Bible Says So

Once again there is controversy in the California Miss USA pageant. Coming off the heels of the Carrie Prejean "opposite marriage" comments last year, the self-proclaimed Miss Beverly Hill USA Lauren Ashley states that the Bible is "pretty black and white" on the whole gay issue. She refers to Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." This verse is commonly used not only to denouse gay marriage, but also recently in Uganda it was used to create a law that would execute gay persons.

I am about to make some assumptions about Miss Ashley. I could be wrong, but if I was a betting man I would be I'm going to be right. I assume that Miss Ashley hasn't been trained in Biblical exegesis. I assume that she probably has never read the Bible completely or even reads it on a regular basis. I am also going to assume that she does not attend church regularly. Here is a person, with no qualifications to exegete any part of the Bible, proof-texting that old stand-by from Leviticus. Those of us who understand basic Biblical scholarship see this statement for what it is, stupidity and homophobia. We could allow this kind of garbage go unnoticed and unchallenged. However, there are those with limited biblical understanding and hate embedded in their hearts who see words like this as a holy mandate to kill or hurt GBLT people. There are also those people who long to hear another voice from the Church. One not of hate, but of the love and grace demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

Why do people automatically assume they are biblical scholars just because they've read the Bible front to back? I could read a textbook on quantum physics. I would understand the language. I know what the words mean, but I most assuredly would not comprehend what I was reading. Just because you or I have read the Bible front to back does not mean that we have comprehended every jot and tittle. There are scholars who spent their entire careers studying and scrutinizing the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek and they STILL do not comprehend every jot and tittle. We show great arrogance when we claim that we know the exact will and word of God.

Perhaps there needs to be a licensing system put into place. One would need a license before randomly proof-texting verses to suit one's own agenda. A crazy idea? One needs to demonstrate proficiency before driving a car or handling explosives. Misusing holy Scriptures, the self-professed Word of God, is equally dangerous. People have and continue to die because of it.

1 comment:

Todd said...

So are you saying that God condones this type of acts? or does it anger Him?