Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama on the the Bible and Civil Law

Is Barack Obama ridiculing the Bible in this video?

Of course, he is. He is not an evangelical Christian. Divine revelation does not inform his understanding of the words "Jesus," "Christian," and "gospel." He has some imaginary notion of what a Christian is. We see here that, like any theological liberal, he thinks the Bible is replete with barbarism, absurdity, mythology, and the traditions of men passing themselves off as the commandments of God. So of course he mocks the civil and ceremonial laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, but more surprisingly he mocks the Sermon on the Mount. I take it that as president he would not abolish the department of defense in obedience to what he takes the Lord's Sermon to be teaching.

Beyond that, what he says about the way we bring the moral injunctions of Scripture to the legislative process in a nation that has lost its Christian consensus is perfectly legitimate. He says that Christians cannot simply cite Scripture as a basis for legislation. They have to translate it into rationally defensible terms that people of any or no religion can accept.

But that is what we do anyway. If not from moral conviction, certainly from political necessity. Communities, when they make laws, make reference to principles and sources of authority they hold in common. So exactly what is he trying to correct?

What is remarkable in connection with Barack Obama personally, however, is that the reasoned argumentation that he advocates appears to have no effect on his own legislative agenda. What could be easier to defend on the basis of natural reason (dare I say natural law or general revelation?) than preserving the life of a baby intended to be killed by abortion but accidentally born alive? Obama voted against this protection deliberately and repeatedly when he was an Illinois state senator. So much for the appeal to reason.

Here is nurse Jill Stanek, who testified before the House of Representatives before it passed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, describing her experience with live babies tossed in the trash, a practice that State Senator Obama defended, or at least refused steadfastly to outlaw.

Perhaps an appeal to Scripture, a call to repent, and a vivid description of sufferings in hell would have been more effective with Mr. Obama.

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