I have written before about the need of the LGBT community to confront anti-gay religious bigots and use their own rhetoric to expose their hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty. This is particularly true when publications like the Washington Post give gay haters like Tony Perkins a platform without any challenge to the lies they disseminate. Perkins and similar Christianist are trying to have it both ways when it comes to the Bible as justification for their anti-gay beliefs. They claim the Bible is inerrant and cannot be deviated from, but only when it's convenient to who they are targeting with hate.
This became readily apparent as the boyfriend and I were are watching the PBS special "God in America." Part Two of the series looked at the Civil War period and exposed in my mind the stark parallels between the Southern Christian argument in support of slavery and the current Christianist whining that the Bible requires anti-gay prejudice and bigotry. Somehow, society for the most part - Tony Perkins and similar Christianists and professional Christians possibly excepted - has moved on and jettisoned the excuse that the Bible's inerrancy requires Christians to support slavery. Yet the same type of rants that the Bible is "inerrant" and must be applied" literally" once used to justify slavery are still in active daily use by homophobes like Maggie Gallagher.
Bible inerrancy, however, is an all or nothing proposition. One does not get to have it both ways. So, Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher, et al, have to make a choice - if the Bible justifies their anti-gay stance, then under their own inerrancy arguments they must support slavery. In fact, there are many more passages in the Bible that support slavery than there are in the Bible purportedly condemning homosexuality. Don't believe me?
A sampling is set out below. So the next time a Christianist or other self-congratulatory professional Christian condemns gays based on the Bible, demand that they state their position on slavery. (Ditto in respect to Barack Obama who in my view places his personal religious sensibilities above the U. S. Constitution.) If these people do not embrace slavery based on the Bible, then they have conceded the falsity of their claims that the Bible requires the condemnation of homosexuality. Here are the Bible passages in support of slavery, first from the OLD TESTAMENT (NOTE: It is important to realize that the term "servant" or "maid" in the King James Version of the Bible refers to slaves, not employees):
Genesis 9:25-27: "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japeth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave'. "
Exodus 20:17: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."
Deuteronomy 5:21: "Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor's.
Beating and Killing Slaves: Although an owner could beat a male or female slave, she/he would have to avoid serious injury to eyes or teeth. The owner would have to avoid beating the slave to death. But it was acceptable to beat a slave so severely that it only disabled him or her for two days:
Exodus 21:20-21: "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."
Exodus 21:26-27: "And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake."
Emancipation of Slaves: Slaves in ancient Israel were automatically emancipated after 6 years of slavery, but only if they were Jewish. However, if the slave owner "gave" the slave a wife, the owner could keep the wife and any children as his property.
Exodus 21:1-4: "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself."
Deuteronomy 15:12-18: "And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him."
Exodus 21:7: "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do."
Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." (NIV)
Leviticus 25:48-53: "After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him."
Leviticus 19:20-22: "And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him."
And the New Testament is not a great deal better from an anti-slavery perspective:
Luke 12:45-48: "The lord [owner] of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
Ephesians 6:5-9: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."
Colossians 4:1: "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."
1 Timothy 6:1-3: "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;"
1 Corinthians 12:13: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Colossians 3:11: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
It is time to turn the Bible against our enemies. They seek to brandish it like a club against gays, yet their own arguments lead to the unavoidable conclusion that they are either liars and hypocrites or closet racists and segregationist. They do not get to have it both ways. It's time that we and the media call them out.