Two letters in NYT’s SundayReview section yesterday capture two obvious objections to religion claims that have been around for eons but which the religious have never satisfactorily answered.
NYT Letters: Religious Beliefs and Abortion Laws
From one Jim Nelson:
Re “God Has No Place on the Supreme Court,” by Linda Greenhouse (Sunday Review, Sept. 12):
As a minister of 35 years, I am distressed by the continued reference to “God” in letters, opinion pieces and articles without some sense of which God is being referred to. Ms. Greenhouse is one of the very best commentators, and she is right that God does not belong in the Supreme Court to be sure, but which God is she referring to, or is the Supreme Court referring to?
Is it the God of the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament? Allah or Gaia, Thor or Kali, Elihino from the Cherokee tradition, the Buddha or Shiva? There are thousands of Gods. Is it the God of Paul Tillich or Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Jerry Falwell? It would be so helpful to identify which God is being cited, as there is certainly more than one.
And in the section headed “Religious Exemptions for Vaccines,” from one Shirley A. Reynolds:
The Rev. Sam Jones in Texas believes that “a Christian has no responsibility to obey any government outside of the scope that has been designated by God.” So does he mean that Christians don’t have to stop for red lights, wear seatbelts, pay alimony, maintain the speed limit, and this list could go on and on with things that were not decreed by God.
If I don’t like one of these laws or rules, can I be exempt by saying it’s against my religion? God didn’t mandate any of these laws and rules, but he did have some powerful things to say about how we should treat one another. Kindness, love, being our brother’s keeper come to mind. It’s just too bad that some Christians are forgetting those messages at a time when they are so relevant and necessary.
Not a good answer, but the way the religious think, from today’s The Morning Heresy.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem doesn’t seem to understand what her job is: “I think that it’s really time for all of us to look at the actions of our leaders and see if they line up with the word of God, see if they’re biblical…”
As always, people who speak this way have the presumption to think that *their* God is the ruling authority, never mind whatever other gods other people may believe in. Or not.