Saturday, July 6, 2013

Liberal Christians make Assumptions, too

In a recent HuffPo piece Derek Penwell makes a few claims that are highly debatable and loaded with a number of assumptions. "The Problem With Assuming Liberal Christians Hate the Bible" simply highlights the fact that different strains of Christianity interpret the Bible in different ways. Penwell seems to be quite oblivious to the reason many Christians have reached a number of biased assumptions about their fellow Christians. He does this while maintaining a deluded notion about the Bible itself.

"But here’s the thing: Liberal Christians love the Bible. No, seriously. We love the Bible. We just refuse to treat it as though it is a set of timeless golden tablets that says all that needs to be said once and for all about everything of importance. (It doesn’t say anything, for instance, about why the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series in over 100 years.)...Liberal Christians aren’t liberal in spite of the Bible, but because of it. They don’t pursue justice for LGBT people because they haven’t read Scripture, but precisely because they have. And in the arc of the narrative of God’s interaction with humanity, liberal Christians find a radical expansiveness, an urgent desire to broaden the embrace of God’s hospitality to include those whom the religious big shots are always kicking to the sidelines."

What makes it sacred? What is there to love about this specific book that cannot be claimed about any number of other pieces of literature? He talks about supporting homosexual rights based on Bible. Seriously?! Therein lay the problem. The Bible contains as many passages that condemn homosexuals as there are that encourage acceptance. Penwell points out that the Bible is not a set of "timeless golden tablet" but how do you determine which passages are still relevant? Personal morals, perhaps? Which means that liberal Christians are not liberal because of the Bible.

The truth is no Christian is anything "because of" the Bible. People have their point of view and values based on any number of factors but scripture is not one of them. The scripture of most religions, Christianity among them, alternate between being incoherently vague to being outright contradictory. How do establish beliefs on such a mishmash of nonsense? You don't. You simply retrofit to what you already have come to believe for a variety of other reasons. Assuming the "Good Book" is good just because that's what yopu've always been told or because you want ti to be so does not prove anything.

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