February 25, 2007

Sunday discussion

Item one. Pandagon's provacative titled post: Religious fringe struggles to find a suitable prez candidate reveals just how things have changed. I keep hoping that religious conservatives would learn something from the Bush legacy, but I fear they are still in the ranks of the very few Americans who still buy Bush's facade. Now they are stuck with McCain (straight talker my ass), Guliani (failed politician reborn by 9-11, but pro-gay, pro-choice), Mitt Romney (mormon flipper) and then a host of no-names. Interesting.


Item two. Interesting discussion in my last post on the SBC's sex abuse scandal. I am curious how the denomination and member churches will handle this. Several have noted that the Baptists are unlike the Catholics in organization and cannot simply fire someone who works for a Baptist church. But haven't we seen state organizations decide to not allow them to remain in the convention for things like approving homosexuality?


Item three, and then I have to go to the store. Interesting discussion on abortion over at The Rambling Prophet where once again, Tony has a thoughtful and generous discussion. And as usual, we agree more than we disagree.

But during that discussion, we started talking about the Old Testament's stance on life, etc., and found ourselves in Exodus. Exodus chapter 21, to be specific, where we have the (or one of the) references to the famous "eye for an eye" approach to justice and conflict resolution. But the text is really intersting, both in what it says, but those passages that surround it.
"22 If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [footnote says "or has a miscarriage"] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."
Several interesting points. As I read it, and I am not a Biblical scholar, the "eye for an eye" part comes into play if the woman is injured, but not the fetus.

Second, isn't it interesting to have such specificity as if there was a lot of examples of men fighting around pregnant women. :)

The rest of the chapter is equally bizarre (in my eyes). Verse 12 says that if you strike a man down and kill him you should be put to death, but verse 13 follows with mitigation. If you didn't mean to do it, or God allowed it to happen, then the perpetrator can flee.

Other things meriting capital punishment are attacking parents, kidnapping, or cursing parents. But here was my favorite and just one reason why I think a literal innerrent reading of the Bible is a very tough way to make public policy or even moral decisions:
20 "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.


Tony said...

I noted at my blog that I did muddy that comment about the Exodus passage. Sorry about that!

In regards to item one, you might find it interesting that Mike Huckabee, a former SBC pastor (and former AK governor; weird, huh?) is planning on running for president in 08.

He said this in the Charlotte Observer, 2/17/07: ""I'm pro-life (on abortion). But I also say to the pro-life community: `Pro-life means I believe life begins at conception. But it doesn't end at birth. If I'm really pro-life, I can't only care about the child when he's in the womb. If this kid gets out of the womb and he doesn't have anywhere to sleep but under a bridge or he gets the daylights beat out of him by an abusive parent or he attends school for 12 years and is still functionally illiterate -- well, I'm not sure I could call myself pro-life then.' "

Curious to see how serious he is.

Streak said...

Yeah, Tony, I remember when he said that. Someone noted that the original quote of "doesn't end at birth" came from Barney Frank.


Wasp Jerky said...

Republicans may be screwed in 2008. Unless they can pull someone else out of their asses pretty quick, they're stuck with either McCain and Guliani. I don't see most conservative Christians voting for either. This should be very, very amusing.