Sunday, November 9, 2008

Obama Mocks the Bible

Really? Check it out for yourself...

Whatever your religious or political beliefs are you have to understand the point he's trying to make. He asked the question which passages of scripture should we use to guide our public policy. Since the scripture in question is the Bible we have say that he means the ENTIRE Bible. What he is saying is that if we, as a nation, decide to base our public policy on this book then the whole book is fair game to be used. When he says "folks haven't been reading their bible" he means that there are passages, if taken literally, would send chills down anyone's spine if they were enforced. Now the vast majority of Christians say that the New Testament Laws override the Old and therefore makes them null and void. The issue is about 1) which passages to pick (of course avoiding the nasty ones) and 2) how to interpret them. If you pick only the passages that coincide and support today's morals and interpret them in a 21st century context then you can safely build your public policy with a clean
conscience. Obama's point is that even if you build your public policy on a religious text you still come across these two major hurdles of picking the right passages and how to interpret them and eventually we end up deciding what WE THINK what God says is morally right or wrong by modifying God's law.

Now I believe it is perfectly fine to base your public policies and laws on morals found in and beneath the scripture but not on scripture itself or even any single scripture alone. Basing laws on "do not steal, do not kill" the morals themselves instead of an interpretation of the words in the scripture themselves [for example:
If you are in a fistfight with another man, and his wife grabs your private parts, you "shall cut off her hand." (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).].

In fact there is a story of one such man who tried to follow all 700+ Biblical laws in the Bible for an entire year.

And I also disagree with the final statement that Jesus would "never advocate turning the other cheek to terrorist and enemies of America". First, it's arrogant and presumptuous to even state that anyone would know 100% how Jesus would feel on our present global situations. I cannot say how he would feel or think one way or another but I assume (and I might be 100% wrong) that
if you interpret "turn the other cheek" to mean not to fight back (whether with each other or with their oppressors the Romans) then it means we as a nation are not going to make an exception for our enemies. Love your enemies? Maybe, maybe not. We still decided what's wrong or right.

But if you're going to read the Bible in it's original context you must understand the cultural background of that specific book and the time when it was written. The Israelites were a tribal people and you must understand that their laws, at the time when they were written, applied to their tribes and not worldwide. So by trying to apply, at least Old Testament, Jewish Laws and morals to modern times they sound barbaric. The same problem occurs with Islamic Shariah Law and that's why I believe it's having problems within the Muslim Ummah (community) in the 21st century.

It's all about interpretation. Now, I'm
not trying to side with Obama in this blog, I'm only trying to clarify this specific misconception.

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