Huckabee and Obama: Whose Bible?

Mike Huckabee on “Fox and Friends” Friday ridiculed President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage. To paraphrase Huckabee:

The President said he was against it in 2008 because it was a biblical issue.  So, he was either lying then, lying now, or the Bible got rewritten in the last few years and Obama is the only one with a copy of the new version.

In case you missed it, that was meant to be sarcasm. However, Huckabee inadvertently hit the nail on the head.   There is a new version of the Bible out there, a rewrite of the traditional one that was scratched onto parchment or papyrus by some scribe at a time when the Hebrew children were wandering around Palestine tending their flocks. That traditional Bible tells us to stone adulterers to death, stone a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night, and stone those who blaspheme the Lord. It also tells us to stone rapists, but only if the victim was engaged to be married; if she is not engaged he can rape her, pay the father 50 shekels and marry her.

That’s from the Old Testament. If you believe these words come from God, then you believe these punishments should be included in our legal code.

But if you do not believe these punishments are just, then you, like President Obama, have rewritten the Bible. You have excised certain passages because you believe deep down that the scribe was only reflecting the world of the ancient Hebrews, not some immutable Law of the Creator, and because you have discovered, like President Obama that sometimes what we grow up believing is right and wrong, is in fact, merely tradition, and while tradition has value, it must sometimes be overturned in favor of something more just.   You have looked into your heart, you have exercised your Reason and are willing to admit you may have been wrong about certain things.  Without that crucial ability to accept adjustments to old beliefs we will end up stuck in an antediluvian scriptural sludge.

There are also New Testament arguments on this issue, and there are lively arguments online about what these verses mean and don’t mean from the gay Christian and anti-gay Christian camps. Save your breath, guys.  Ultimately, it’s the same thing as the Old Testament scriptures: do you believe every verse in the New Testament is the Word of God, including no divorce, and giving your coat to anyone who demands it of you, or are you choosing which verses to live by and which to reject?

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