You are going to see and hear a handful of scriptures over and over again in the coming years as we engage in the battle to restore women from 2nd class citizenship. The "Christian" Right throws them around all the time. They've cherry-picked a few scriptures and twisted them to mean something they don't. Let's look at some of those scriptures.
The first such passage is found in Psalm 139:13-16:
"For Thou didst form my inward parts; thou didst weave me together in my mother's womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."
All this passage states is that God is directly involved in the creation of a fetus and knows its future. This is useless for the anti-choice position, since God creates all living things, including trees and bugs. Plus, just because God is supposedly omniscient doesn't give fetuses any special status—it simply means God already knows whether they will live or die. It is dishonest to conclude from this verse that a fetus is a human being deserving of more protection than women. The passage is poetic prose that anti-choicers have twisted and trivialized by giving it a literal, objective meaning where there is none.
The second passage used by anti-choicers is similar:
"Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you'..." (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
Unfortunately, anti-choicers usually stop right there, and forget the rest of Verse 5, which negates their preferred meaning:
"...'and I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'"
This passage is specific to one, very special person—Jeremiah the prophet, whom God has called to provide miraculous powers and authority to the world. Since we are not all destined to be divine prophets, this verse cannot be construed as applying to any fetus except the unborn Jeremiah. Again, anti-choicers are being dishonest by pulling this verse totally out of its context.
The third passage quoted by anti-choicers tells the story of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary the mother of Jesus, while both were pregnant:
"In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." (Luke 1:39-41)
This passage simply records a fetus kicking in the womb. We can only wonder in befuddlement why anti-choicers think this would help them. Besides, John the Baptist is yet another divine fetal prophet ordained by God. Since very few of us are chosen by God before birth to herald the arrival of the Messiah on earth, we cannot claim that this passage venerates all fetuses.
Scripture analysis below from "The Bible is Pro-Choice," by Joyce Arthur.
We've been on the front lines of the struggle to take back the definition of our faith from what we classify as a cult since 2009. Right-wing ideology mixed with the Christian faith is misguided and toxic. Whether its adherents realize it or not, they are practicing Objectivism. Their ideology is no different from the 'law of the jungle,' where the strongest and smartest get their needs met, and the poorest, the weakest, and the sickest get what they deserve, which is nothing. On top of that they target and abuse groups that were already oppressed to begin with.
They have all kinds of rationalizations to avoid cognitive dissonance. One of the favorite is, "It's not the government's job to take care of these people. That's the job of the church." The Bible doesn't support this notion in any way. In fact scripture is full of instances where God became very angry when leaders, nations, and citizens ignored their responsibility.
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49
We need you to participate in our effort financially. With the overturning of Roe the need has become dire. We participate in direct action. We go to hot-spots around the nation to let people know there are Christians who don't act like those who claim to represent us on the right. We partner with 'Vote Common Good' for a variety of direct action activities as well.
It really is time for everyone to invest in what they care about. It doesn't do any good to sit back and get angry without doing anything. This is what we do. We will represent you on the front lines. We already do.
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Trolls have been out hot and heavy trolling us about anything we post related to 'Pride Month.' Their favorite thing to do is post a bunch of scriptures about 'pride' in comments.
As usual, they miss the point entirely.
LBBTQA+ people have been bullied, beat up, burned in ovens (Hitler), put in camps (Hitler and others), and discriminated against in every conceivable way since the beginning of time. It's a very recent phenomena in the US that they've gained any measure of equality and acceptance.
Jesus himself admonished us as his followers that we are to 'Love God and love our neighbors as we do ourselves.' No exceptions. This being the case he gave us permission to 'love ourselves.' Loving ourselves in a healthy way is a good thing. If people hate themselves they will treat others poorly. That's just a fact.
Scriptures that point out pride being a bad thing do not refer to pride that comes from loving God, loving our neighbors, and loving ourselves. There is good and bad pride. Pride as it relates to 'Pride Month' is a good pride. It's the kind of pride that says 'I accept myself and I love myself the way God created me to be.' Further, 'I accept and love you as my neighbor because I am able to accept and love myself.' It's a healthy thing all the way around. It's win/win/win in the God-Self-Neighbor relationship.
Now, here's the kicker for the trolls who troll us over this. The pride they are acting out by lecturing us about Pride Month is the bad kind of pride God warns us about. They feel they need to come to a page they obviously don't relate to and lecture us and judge us with scriptures they don't understand. THAT is pride being a sin, but they will never accept that coming from us. They're blinded by pride and self-righteousness.
We pray for the Holy Spirit to open their eyes one day. We don't bother telling them here because we know they won't listen. We used to try to reason with right-wing, "Christian" trolls. We were never able to change a single one of their minds. They will literally argue for hundreds of hours and then go get their friends to join in.
LGBTQA+ people have every reason to love themselves and express pride in the newfound bit of acceptance they've garnered in modern western society. God made them the way they are. The 'clobber scriptures' in the Bible (like all other scriptures) must be studied from a historical and a contextual perspective.
Most of the clobber scriptures were written by Paul for various reasons like warning about temple desecration. The scriptures in the Old Testament were ancient Jewish civil law based on what they perceived as cleanliness. That's why eating shrimp and wearing mixed fibers are lumped in the same scriptures as admonishments about same-sex sexual activity.
'Don't rape your guests' was one of the the issues God had with Sodom. Then there's the scripture many ignore: "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." - Ezekiel 16:49. It always comes down to how we treat the poor, needy and oppressed with God. That doesn't fit well with modern Capitalism so folks ignore it and pick on gays, women, immigrants, minorities ... and the poor. A great deal of study has been carried out on this topic by Bible scholars. It's out there.
In terms of Jesus himself speaking about marriage law he also mentioned exceptions to the law, namely to 'born eunuchs.' He said that 'some eunuchs were made that way by other people,' AND some were 'born that way from their mother's wombs.' There is a respectable amount of Bible scholarship that says Jesus was referring to LGBTQA+ people. To us it seems obvious. It's worth pointing out that Jesus never said one more word about it. Not one word. To us that speaks volumes.
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We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.