Another Attempt at Theocracy

Our local paper, The Advocate, recently published a letter arguing that Canada should cease its support of gay rights in fear of God’s punishment. Worth a read, if only for the simplistic reliance on scripture.

I’m always a bit surprised that people start theological debates on social issues, especially in letters to the editor. But, nonetheless, I replied.

Bill Pogmore observes that the Bible condemns homosexuality (Read the Bible on gays, letters to the editor, Aug. 21 Advocate).

And he’s exactly right. In fact, God demands the death penalty for gay sex (Lev. 20:13) — the same penalty he demands for working on the Sabbath (Num. 15:35). So watch out, mall employees!

Mr. Pogmore also thinks that Canada should follow the Bible in fear of God’s judgment.

But how do we know what God wants us to do? Does he really want us to enforce anti-gay discrimination? Or does he dislike the wealthy instead (Luke 18:22-25)? Or maybe the traditional family (Matt. 10:35-37)? Should we ban religious freedom (Ex. 20:3)? Or shrimp cocktails (Lev. 11:9-12)? Or eating animal fat (Lev. 7:22)? Or tattoos (Lev. 19:28)?

It’s so confusing! But maybe Christians know which laws to obey and which ones we can ignore.

Unfortunately, and as everyone knows, modern Christians can’t even agree whether women should have equal rights with men, whether abortion is murder or not, whether birth control is acceptable, or whether corporal punishment of children is OK. In fact, until recently, one Christian church thought it was their duty to cover up for priests who sexually abused children. Creationism or evolution? No consensus there either.

So after 2,000 years of Christian thought, study and prayer, it’s deeply unreasonable to think that the 41,000 Christian denominations that exist today are likely to converge on some common truth any time soon.

The real problem: If our highest duty is to follow God’s plan, why is it so hard for his followers to actually find out what that plan is?

Maybe only Mr. Pogmore and a few others have the truth. And the millions of other Christians who disagree with him are either frauds or deluded by Satan.

Maybe God keeps his real priorities under wraps because he wants to sow religious discord, just as he sowed linguistic discord after the Tower of Babel.

Or maybe he’s just not even there.

Anyway, Mr. Pogmore, most Canadians today are pretty committed to a democratic state that accepts everyone, no matter what their religious or sexual orientation (as long as they don’t threaten the social order).

And maybe merely quoting the Bible won’t shake our values.

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