Monday, August 2, 2010

A Question

I have a poem & a hymn that I will post as soon as I figure out the formatting issues. Blogger does not let give you as much control over spacing as I would like.

In the meantime, consider the following question regarding the major social justice issues of our time: gay rights and immigrant rights.

Assumption: The Hebrew Scriptures require harsh treatment of gays, but gentle treatment of aliens. You can tweak these, obviously. The scriptures actually address gay sex, and only between men. Likewise, the discussion of aliens in our land doesn't touch on documented versus undocumented immigrants. Nonetheless, I think it is fair to say the Bible is kind to immigrants and unkind to GLBT folks.

Question: Are you required to be consistent in how you treat these scriptures in analyzing these issues? If you say the scriptures on gays dictate the social policy on gays for which you advocate, must the scriptures on aliens dictate the social policy on immigrants for which you advocate? Put another way, if you relegate the scripture on gays as "merely" cultural, must you treat the scriptures on aliens similarly?

1 comment:

  1. One of the pitfalls of interpreting scripture is that without benefit of some scholarship we can make them say about anything we want. Our societal realities are not the same as that of the Israelites during the last millenium BCE when the Hebrew scriptures were written, so we have to go digging for an understanding of what these scriptures would have meant to them. Once we do that, we need to apply that meaning to our era and ask if the meaning even applies to our current situations. Usually (and I think in this case it is true) we can find applicable meaning. And yes, we have to apply the same discretion to both questions or we're really just playing games with ourselves.