Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, March 03, 2008

Obscure Passages From Romans?

On Sunday, Barack Obama said he prayed to Jesus every night, believes in abortion rights, thinks gays should be able to marry and:
"If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans."
The rumble you hear is the sound of Christians, Catholics and Mormons stampeding to other candidates. (And Jews and "people like [Bookworm], who believe that the Bible has important moral lessons throughout its pages" -- sorry for the omission on the first post!)

To us there is no such thing as "an obscure passage in Romans." Paul's letter to the Romans is the foundation of the application of our faith, and if you check a Bible-reading Christian's Bible, you will find those pages to be very well worn, with lots of underlining and highlighting.

They may not be red-letter passages, but they illuminate the teachings of Christ and make them applicable to our day to day faith.

I'm guessing Obama is thinking of Romans 1:27 as his "obscure verse:"
In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Does he also consider obscure these admonitions from Paul, just a few verses later?
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God‑haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Reject the one, and you reject the others, saying in effect that all matter of evil, wickedness, God-hating, slandering,disobedience, faithlessness, heartlessness and ruthlessness are OK because, after all, they are just mentioned in some obscure passage from Romans.

Such ignorance of the faith he purports to hold is astonishing ... until you look at the other half of his statement about the Sermon on the Mount; then it becomes flabergasting.

Where exactly does the Sermon on the Mount justify gay marriage?

Is it "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy?" It can't be because in liberal speak that is tolerance, not justification.

Could it be "Love your enemies?" Maybe, but clearly that is a reference to real enemies, those who smite you (to put it biblically), not those you disagree with.

Maybe we'll find a hint from back in June 2006, when Obama referred to the Sermon on the Mount, saying,
"Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our bibles. Folks haven't been reading their bibles."
How then did he miss these passages from the Sermon when he was reading his Bible:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
In one fell swoop, Obama has exhibited his ignorance of his faith, has offended all Christians who understand Paul's teachings to be central to our faith, and has been pretty much caught teaching others to break commandments.

Will this damage Obama? It's easy to think that his support is hard-left and not concerned about Christian issues, but you don't pile up the votes and dollars he's getting if you are McGovern-like in your appeal. His appeal, being much broader, has roped in many good Christians, and gross errors like this may well cause them to look beyond the slick rhetoric, and consider the values of the man behind the words.

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