The Word of God

The most recent Scenes From a Multiverse:

This is an astonishingly common idea: that morality comes from the pronouncements of religion (which are assumed to be divinely inspired, so that ultimately, morality comes from God), and only from those, so that non-believers cannot, by definition, have morals. But reasonable people will challenge the assumption.

Meanwhile, we have all these people who claim to know “God’s will”, “God’s law”, “God’s plan for man” — knowledge that, again, comes from the pronouncements of religion, in particular the text of the Bible.

Not surprisingly, the Pope claims to know God’s law. Here’s Pope Francis on the matter, in a HuffPo piece by Cavan Sieczkowski of 3/13/13:

Pope Francis is a conservative who is anti-gay marriage and anti-gay adoption. He has described same-sex marriage as the work of the devil and a “destructive attack on God’s plan.” He has also said that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children.

In 2010, Francis championed against a bill for same-sex marriage and gay adoption, according to the National Catholic Register.

“[T]he Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family,” he wrote to the four monasteries in Argentina. “At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

He went on to describe it as a “‘move’ of the Father of Lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God” and asked for lawmakers to “not act in error.” In John 8:44, the Father of Lies is the devil.

So do evangelical Christians. Here’s the Middletown Bible Church on God’s plan for sexuality, which derives the standards for these matters from Biblical accounts:

Marriage is God’s holy institution. We need to pay very close attention to that first marriage so that we can learn what God intended from the BEGINNING. In Genesis 2:22 we are told that GOD BROUGHT THE WOMAN (EVE) TO THE MAN (ADAM). Notice carefully what God did not do:

– God did not bring an animal to Adam for a marriage partner.

– God did not bring a man to Adam for a marriage partner. (It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!)

– God did not bring two women to Adam.

– God did not bring ten women to Adam.-

– God brought just one woman to Adam: ONE WOMAN FOR ONE MAN, THIS IS GOD’S ALL-WISE PLAN!

Based on the above facts, we can arrive at some very simple and yet important conclusions:

1. The marriage partner must not be an animal but a person.

2. The marriage partner must be the opposite sex.

3. There should be ONE marriage partner, not more than one.

Another conclusion, based on the fact that man should CLEAVE to his wife (Genesis 2:24), is as follows:

4. The marriage union is to be permanent (compare Matthew 19:6), until broken by death (compare Romans 7:2-3).

… These four simple rules are what God established at the BEGINNING. Those who do not like these rules have a problem with the God who set them up. Serious problems develop whenever people DEVIATE from what God established in the beginning.

And that brings us to the antics of Pennsylvania state legislators. From an AP story by Mark Scolforo on 6/27/13, “Gay Pa. lawmaker seeks reprimand of member who prevented same-sex marriage ruling comments”:

HARRISBURG, Pa. — An openly gay Pennsylvania state lawmaker asked his legislative colleagues Thursday to censure an archconservative colleague who a day earlier had prevented him from making floor remarks about the Supreme Court’s gay marriage rulings.

Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, asked the chamber to reprimand Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, at the close of session because of an interview Metcalfe gave to explain why he exercised his right to prevent him from speaking on the topic during session.

“His comments did not live up to the standards set by this body,” Sims said on the floor.

Metcalfe told WHYY-FM that Sims’ comments would have been “open rebellion against God’s law.” He told The Associated Press late Thursday he stood by those remarks.

“For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion,” Metcalfe told the AP. “There’s no free speech on the floor.”

[The reason why Metcalfe says there’s no free speech on the House floor:] Members have the right under House rules to veto another’s remarks under “unanimous consent,” and when Sims got up to speak on Wednesday, Metcalfe and at least one other representative withdrew their consent. [Sims] spoke on the floor Thursday under a different rule, “point of personal privilege.”

Metcalfe’s position at first looks like insisting that God’s law trumps the laws and rules of men (and, of course that he knows what God’s law is), but it seems to be a bit more complicated than that, thanks to the House unanimous-consent rule; apparently, a representative can withdraw consent for any reason whatsoever, and in this case Metcalfe withdrew consent on the basis that allowing Sims to speak would be for Metcalfe to take part in a rebellion against God’s law (as Metcalfe knows it, with absolute certainty). There’s a very thin line here.

Meanwhile, Sims (Pennsylvania’s first openly gay lawmaker) has announced that he will co-sponsor a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

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