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Letters to the Editor

Bible selections

May 3, 2007

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To the editor:

This letter is written in response to Carl Burkhead's letter which appeared in the Public Forum on April 30. Since Mr. Burkhead finds "cherry picking" from the Bible as a valid strategy for supporting his moral agenda (homophobia), I would suggest he look into several other biblical verses for further inspiration.

For example: "People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God." (Leviticus 21:17-18); "If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants ... even the animals." (Deuteronomy 13:12-15); "Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed." (Leviticus 20:9); "If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die." (Leviticus 20:10); "Anyone who curses or blasphemes God, should be stoned to death by the community." (Leviticus 24: 14-16); "Kill anyone with a different religion." (Deuteronomy 17:2-7).

This is just a sampling of what the Bible tells us. Obviously, it would appear to be unwise today, to utilize the Bible to guide us in our moral, social and judicial laws.

Rodd Hedlund,

Lawrence

Comments

b_asinbeer 7 years, 8 months ago

Aaaahhh, the beauty of the bible. Priceless.

Ragingbear 7 years, 8 months ago

Staff-1 piece of silver 5 skins of wine- 4 pieces of silver Psychedelic mushrooms- One bag of grain A stack of papyrus, ink, quills and other basic writing instruments- 1/2 of a goat, or 10 chickens.

Having one of the best trips of your life, seeing a burning bush, and convincing millions of hapless people desperate for some answers to their place in the universe to do whatever you tell them : Priceless

There are some things money can't buy. That's why you give it to the preacher. For everything else, there's Master Card.

Patty Buchholz 7 years, 8 months ago

The paraphrases from Mr. Hedlund were all in the old testament. Try reading the new testament as well and see how forgiveness is taught. Maybe you should not be so quick to dismiss the Bible as a guide for moral, social and judicial guidance.

average 7 years, 8 months ago

Forgiveness is taught in the gospels. Homophobia, intolerance, and slaughter are reintroduced by Paul and the church of Paul.

Ragingbear 7 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget the parts that talk about marrying women to their rapist, and selling your daughter into slavery.

Kathy Getto 7 years, 8 months ago

Well, now happyp - which part of the Bible would you have us read and follow? If we follow the laws of the Old Testament, we would be sacrificing our animals, in the new, yearning for a man made into a myth.

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 7 years, 8 months ago

Well:I will start a life of literal translation of the bible (without cherry picking) when my community members begin a life of literal translation of local and state traffic laws. 1. Verily I say unto you, you shall come to a complete stop at an intersection mark'ed with a stop sign. Thou shalt not roll through.

or:

  1. On the 14th day, the lord made pinky fingers on the left hand of "man" for which to utilize the turn signal.

or

  1. Leaveth not, your children in a parked car, unattended.

The bible, rules of the road, employee handbooks:these are all documents that have been created because humans cannot be trusted to act properly unless its written down. So for every zealot who wants to use the bible to justify their agenda, please continue. Hopefully you'll turn to the "wrong" page for a gentle reminder from above that says we're all supposed to get along.

THB

craigers 7 years, 8 months ago

I don't see how thinking that homosexuality is wrong, justifies being called a homophobe. Oh well.

ksdivakat 7 years, 8 months ago

I can alreday see this is a losing battle but im gonna put it out there anyway. The old testament was the way people "used" to live. The new testamant is how it is now, becaue christ became the sacrifical lamb. If you dont believe the bible to be true or you dont want to use it as a moral compass for your life, then dont. But dont knock people who do. I respect your right to not believe it and share those opinions, I ask that you respect mine in the same way. God bless

Xwards 7 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps Mr. Hedlund should have said: "Obviously, it would appear to be unwise today, to injudiciously utilize the Bible to guide us in our moral, social and judicial laws."

gr 7 years, 8 months ago

"Maybe you should not be so quick to dismiss the Bible as a guide for moral, social and judicial guidance."

happyp, I'd be careful about quickly dismissing the Old Testament. Trying to understand why and what it said might be worthwhile and looking at the people's history and comparing that with the rules given to them, may be worth the study. Obviously the writer and others weren't even trying. As others have said several times, there were different types of rules given. They didn't have city, county, state, national governments. Looking how people behave today, don't you think they would behave similarly back then without some sort of order? As for approaching the altar of God, it was not for everyone - only a select few. The guidelines here were similar to offering an unblemished lamb. And just more of the same.

But, just flat out dismissing the Old Testament and saying the New is better, kind of weakens the argument for any of the Bible.

mom_of_three 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree with xwards.

The Southern states and the slave holders used the Bible and its content to justify slavery. Ministers would preach to the slaves that in order to get into heaven, you had to be obedient and faithful servant to the master.

This discussion, as to what the Bible does and doesn't approve of, has been going on for years.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

Thou shalt not applaud between movements.

heysoos 7 years, 8 months ago

"If you dont believe the bible to be true or you dont want to use it as a moral compass for your life, then dont. But dont knock people who do."

I'll stop knocking as soon as people like Carl Burkhaed stop using the bible as MY moral compass.

werekoala 7 years, 8 months ago

I was speaking with a young proselytizer, and mentioned in passing the Council of Nicea, as a reference to why I had a problem with selective inclusion of Biblical contents. The poor girl had no idea what I was talking about. She thought I was making it up.

I've found that most religious people don't like it when you demonstrate a broader knowledge of the contents of their holy books than they themselves posses.

trinity 7 years, 8 months ago

lol, well snap if we can't applaud between movements-can we at least exhale a sigh of relief?

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

"Try reading the new testament as well and see how forgiveness is taught."

Maybe you should read the "Left Behind" series based entirely upon the Revelation of St. John - to my opinion, a spiritual equivalent to methamphetamine.

"Maybe you should not be so quick to dismiss the Bible as a guide for moral, social and judicial guidance."

I don't. You're the one who doesn't seem to grasp (a) the guidance part, or (b) the forgiveness part. Christianity is not about a bunch of rules.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

"I've found that most religious people don't like it when you demonstrate a broader knowledge of the contents of their holy books than they themselves posses."

I can't speak to "religious people" but most Christians are quite interested in the topic. Unfortunately, for that subset of Christians who rely upon a view of childish simplicity even introducing the vast array of seams, gaps, contradictions, and unknowns is merely Satan's attempt to confuse and introduce doubt.

(Of course, faith, by definition, requires doubt - not merely initial doubt but continuing doubt.)

I'd assume the ignorance of Nicaea because for many the two millenia of Christian history is much like that infamous cartoon of 'America as seen from Manhattan' - where the island of Manhattan in the foreground looms large, the Hudson and New Jersey are small, and the vast stretch of the continent almost unseen. Likewise, there was Jesus and his Apostles and something about lions, and then (fast-forward) we arrive at 'that old time religion' (circa, 1900 or so) and mankind's decay and decline into spiritual oblivion in the few generations since. That - for many - is the WHOLE of the History of Christianity.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 8 months ago

Seeing backlash toward religion here makes me realize that the bumper sticker is right: Kansas IS as bigoted as you think. We need to be a bit more open-minded and accept the fact that people have every right to their religious beliefs. If you don't agree with it, so be it. Tolerance, people.

average 7 years, 8 months ago

Kam_Fong

The irreligionists aren't threatening to close any churches or ban any religions, so far as I can tell. If street preachers and proselytizers are allowed to say what they think publicly (and they are, and should be, allowed), I have equal rights to say that the Earth is an insignificant speck in the scale of creation, and there is no reason but hearsay to believe in an interventionist God. You have a right to your religious belief, I have a right to mine. You have a right to share yours, I have a right to share mine.

jonas 7 years, 8 months ago

Sigh. . . an unoriginal, non-thoughtful response to an unoriginal, non-thoughtful letter. Great.

gr 7 years, 8 months ago

"Maybe you should read the "Left Behind" series based entirely upon the Revelation of St. John "

You just same as said: Maybe you should read the constitution based entirely upon the Bible.

Neither statement is true, but there may be more truth in that statement than in yours.

"Christianity is not about a bunch of rules." Indeed. Everyone is welcome to break them.

And you know what? No one is going to force you to keep them. Including, do as I say or I'll burn ya. He will let you choose your own way. And if you continue to fail to choose life, He will let you choose your way - with the consequences of not choosing life.

deec 7 years, 8 months ago

Cool. Then you agree abortion should be legal, and gay marriage should be allowed, since "He will let you choose your own way. And if you continue to fail to choose life, He will let you choose your way - with the consequences of not choosing life." God'll sort 'em out.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

"I don't see how thinking that homosexuality is wrong, justifies being called a homophobe."

Nor do I.

But I've yet to see a calm, rational explanation of "wrongness" for any matter wholly divorced from others' interests.

Thus, despite the claim that all ethics find their genesis in religion, one may (fairly easily) develop rational reasons why, say, murdering your neighbor would be "wrong." The harm is straightforward, deep, and broad, irredemptive, and, at least for the "typical" murder, without adequate justification. In contrast, whether my neighbor is "wrong" as a homosexual does not seem to have any rational basis. The harm is speculative and ephemeral, others seem unaffected in any measurable manner, and substantial justification apparently exists (unless one believes that gay's personal testimonies are both lies and conspiratorial in nature).

So, no, if one were to conclude rationally that homosexuality was wrong, one would not be, ipso facto, a homophobe. However, all homophobes are both created by and egged on by a belief that homosexuality is wrong.

From speaking with such people (that I find quite irrational), I find two classes of homophobes: 1. Those that in general and across topics gain comfort from adhering to a set of demanding, but 'do-able' rules (which of course have the characteristic of demonizing homosexuality) much like a greyhound may feel more secure encaged, or some Muslim women claim to be feel 'more free' shielded from the eyes of men.
2. Those who fear within themselves something less than total 'un-homosexualitiness.' Such persons must not only guard themselves constantly against any vestigal interest but bolster that self-image via outspoken anti-homosexual speech and action.

(Of course, homosexuals cannot easily make un-homosexuality 'do-able' and so you have scandals like Rev. Haggard rather obvious proclivities, self-hatred, and consequential self-destructive behavior.)

Staci Dark Simpson 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree with you KSdivacat. Well said. Only God knows our heart and he will sort us all out on judgment day.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

Of course, no sooner than I make such an observation comes word that Bush - for what apparently will be only the third time during his entire presidency - has found legislation worthy of his disapproving veto pen - a bill that would add the one group most targeted for hate-crimes not yet protected: gays.

The White House remarks that there is ''no persuasive demonstration of any need to federalize such a potentially large range of violent crime enforcement.'' While that is a defensible and logical position to take in general (it is my own, btw), as apparently there will be no effort to remove such protection from race, religion, color, or national origin, the disapplication of it is cowardly. This is yet another example of intellectual dishonesty for political convenience but then I don't believe anyone seriously expected George Bush to make it into some 21st century-Profiles in Courage.

Tychoman 7 years, 8 months ago

"Only God knows our heart and he will sort us all out on judgment day."- Staci.

Then butt out from the present and let us live our lives.

gr 7 years, 8 months ago

"Cool. Then you agree abortion should be legal, "

I guess it follows murder should be legal, too!

"The harm is straightforward, deep, and broad, irredemptive, and, at least for the "typical" murder, without adequate justification."

Irredemptive - is that a religious term?

The world needs more "atypical" murderers to provide adequate justification.

Tyco, why are you butting in the majority's life, then?

Tychoman 7 years, 8 months ago

How the hell am I butting into the life of the majority by wanting equal rights? That's one of the most idiotic statements from you yet, gr.

Bruce Rist 7 years, 8 months ago

Why is it when the issue of homosexuality comes up the bombs are always dropped on the Christians? Last I checked the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims condemn it...

Let's not even talk about what the Islamic extremist want to do to them...

Nick Yoho 7 years, 8 months ago

What the Bible needs, is a new,new Testament.You know,every thousand years or so,the fsm,er god could get a bunch of scribes to type up the "new" rules.It seems we're about due for an update,huh?

deec 7 years, 8 months ago

Maybe because its the ersatz Christians in the US who want to impose their interpretation of religion and morality on the rest of us? I am really tired of the "all abortion is murder" argument. If you truly believe that, why don't you hate God for killing 20% of all "unborn babies?"

jonas 7 years, 8 months ago

"How the hell am I butting into the life of the majority by wanting equal rights?"

I'd like to see an answer to this one, too. To date, I haven't been able to get one.

gr 7 years, 7 months ago

"I'd like to see an answer to this one, too. To date, I haven't been able to get one."

I think it is phrased to ellicit emotion. However, gays do have equal rights. They aren't being made to ride in the back of the bus, drink at a different drinking fountain, nor excluded from voting booths.

If you want to spin it with "marriage", they have as equal rights as everyone else. Just like everyone else, they can marry, and indeed they do, subject to certain restrictions.

Only one at a time. Opposite sex. Of a certain age. Some states younger than others. Non related to a certain extent. and probably several other restrictions.

Gays are picking and choosing one restriction and saying, no fair. Why should those parlaying with that restriction be allowed to remove it, but not others allowed to remove other restrictions?

It's a, welcome to real life. Can you name anything that is "equal and fair"? Consider the tax code - it is one of the most unfairest things around. Should some things be promoted and others restricted?

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