What Did Jesus Say About Abortion, Homosexuality and Premarital Sex?
by Jack Clark
Right-wing pseudo-Christians engage in an amazingly selective and distorted view of the Bible. Let's contrast their disparate treatment of two issues: economic justice, and abortion.
Nowhere in either the Old or New Testaments is "abortion" forbidden. All sorts of horrible acts are explicitly condemned and/or proscribed, but not abortion. During the times when both the Old and New Testaments were written, the Jewish community did not forbid abortion. Anti-choice Christians simply make up an entire Biblical justification for their anti-choice position based on the inferences they read into a few Biblical passages.
I don't say here that they're right, and I don't say here they're wrong about abortion. What I do say is, it is strange indeed that right-wing pseudo-Christians expend extraordinary amounts of time and energy to ensure the forbidding of an act not explicitly forbidden in the Bible, yet they spend comparably little time fostering the actions that again and again they are explicitly commanded to undertake: to save the hungry, naked, thirsty, and sick as Matthew 25:31-46 enjoins us, as well as to more generally ensure that the poor are not oppressed, economic justice is established, and immigrants are welcomed and treated well, as the Old Testament repeatedly commands us. This is so even though the Matthew 25 injunctions are matters of life and death to millions, if not tens of millions of already-born, unquestionably human beings every year.
Right-wing pseudo-Christians don't seem to apply to Matthew 25 the same absolutist black/white analysis that they employ in their broad interpretation of "Thou shalt not kill," even though Matthew 25 is explicitly stated in black-and-white terms: the hungry, naked, sick, thirsty, etc – no exceptions -- must be helped, with the gravest of all possible consequences if you do not do so.
Compare the pseudo-Christian right's lackadaisical, let's partly accomplish these economic justice/feed the hungry type goals, not necessarily as our top priority, not necessarily right now, and let's depend for our success on the voluntary efforts of private citizens who almost certainly don't have the resources on their own to really accomplish all of what needs to be done – with their total, immediate, mobilize all resources of both private citizens and the government to 100% stop right now all abortions.
What the Bible doesn't explicitly speak about, they devote unlimited amounts of time and effort to. What the Bible does explicitly command, they relegate to a relative afterthought.
In other words, what the Bible, and Jesus in an incredibly powerful oration tells them to do, they do not do – and indeed prevent others from accomplishing; but what Jesus never even asks them to do, that task they spend virtually all their time on!
Right-wing pseudo-Christians apparently think Christianity is defined as opposition to abortion, homosexuality and pre-marital sex – interestingly enough, three things Jesus never mentioned even once, did he?
On an even more absurd note, if possible, I saw this fundamentalist minister on a talk show who was foaming at the mouth about how the Bible mandates we spank our children, and that our not doing so is the cause of all our problems with them. The thought of spanking children obviously got him very excited. He obviously had severe psychological problems that should be treated immediately. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that while there is a difference in the kind of obsession, there's not much of a difference in the degree of psycho-sexual dysfunctionality and attendant misreading of religion between this spanking-obsessed minister and the homosexuality-premarital sex-obsessed right-wing pseudo-Christians.
Back on point: right-wing pseudo-Christians might do well to spend more time reading and trying to implement the words of the Biblical prophets, than on conjuring up and seeking to enforce by writ of law a Christianity that doesn't exist.
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