Thursday, July 15, 2010

Congress and the Bible

Is this weird? Story out of CNN about a congressman from Texas (shocking!) quoting the bible to try to come up with an appropriate position on illegal immigration.

But Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, repeatedly cited passages from the Bible in support of a stronger crackdown on illegal immigration.

"The Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law," he asserted. "The scriptures clearly indicate that God charges civil authorities
with preserving order, protecting citizens and punishing wrongdoers." [emphasis mine]

Smith cited, among other things, Romans 13: "Let every person be subject to governing authorities."

He also noted a passage from Leviticus: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong." This, he contended, does not imply that "foreigners should disregard civil laws to enter (the country) or that we should overlook it when they do."

Addressing a passage from Matthew 25 about caring for "the least of these my brothers," Smith contended that it "advocates individual acts of kindness (but) does not mandate a public policy."

"Americans need not repent for wanting to uphold the rule of law and provide jobs for legal workers," he said. "A truly Christian moral approach would be not to acquiesce to illegal immigration, but to work to end it."

Amazing to me how people love to cherry pick from the bible to find passages that 'clearly' support whatever you want them to support. Also amazing is just the overall idea that if it were in the bible that that would make something "OK". We don't get our medical advice from a 5000 year old book. We don't engineer bridges based on 5000 year old technology. We don't use ideas from 5000 year old astronomy theories either. Somehow when it comes to how we should treat each other or behave as a society we think the answers lie is this particular 5000 year old book. Why? Plus, there is also some very bad advice in the bible. Such things as selling your daughters and the idea wives being property of men. (Exodus)

Moreover, why didn't some other congressman shout this guy down in the name of separation of church and state?

1 comment:

Sailor Sue said...

Yes -- your last sentence is the scariest of all. I'm all for freedom of speech but is there no one in congress able to rebuttal? Frightening indeed!