UNITED STATES—A while ago I picked up the Bible out of a curiosity to read what I previously had had no interest. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was not something I wanted to pursue further after Genesis 3:16. When God punished Eve for her sins by dooming all women to severe pain during childbirth, I simply could not accept the self-righteous cruelty of a vindictive, unforgiving God.
We don’t need any more revenge or hatred in our lives. Although, I was never religious, I had always assumed that the real purpose of a religious life was a way to form loving and kind relationships with others, to do good for others, to not foster hate toward others, to tolerate the differences of others.
Apparently not always so and the hypocrites of the hour are Vice President Mike Pence and Reverend Franklin Graham. It sickens me to hear them refer to homosexuality as a sin, or worse. I call them hypocrites because if they truly believe something to be a sin because the Bible says so, then what about all of the sins in Leviticus, some of which we can see they have committed with our own eyes? Why aren’t they calling themselves sinners if they are guilty of any of the following?
-Eating pork (and bacon)
-Wearing cotton and wool at the same time
-Cutting your hair
-Drinking wine in church. (But what about the billions who sip wine as the blood of Christ?)
-Working on Sunday. (Does this include ER doctors, air traffic controllers, police and firefighters?)
These are sins that the Bible warns us to avoid and they aren’t just suggestions; many are considered abominations and subject to the wrath of God. So why aren’t Pence and Graham repenting and changing their ways for indulging in these apparent depravities?
My guess is that they are using selective logic in determining what they deem to be sinful, so shouldn’t we all have that option too? Fashions have changed, and a trimmed head of hair is necessary in their lines of work. Likewise, wearing a cotton shirt with a wool suit is appropriate attire for these men of the 21st century. And how could Reverend Graham, a man of God, not work on Sundays? Similarly, would Mr. Pence refuse to report to the White House on a Sunday for a national emergency?
If these two can decide to update what constitutes sin in the bible, then why can’t millions of straight and gay people decide what loving and law-abiding people can do behind closed doors?
One thing we can all agree upon is that times have changed from the days when the Bible was written, and we need to adapt to modern times. Much was feared long ago because much was unknown and so rituals and commands were ways of keeping order in their unenlightened world.
But if we are to be a more civilized society, we should take to heart the words of Charles Darwin:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.
To be stuck in the literal words that were written millennia ago does not bode well for adapting to the here and now.