Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, April 30, 2015

When We Talk about Church/State Separation

In that popularly read Iron Age collection of Bronze Age just-so stories, there are a handful of things that will earn you a revocation of your breathing permit. Homosexual carnal knowledge is just one of them. Popping off to your folks is another. Getting raped when you are engaged to be married (actually, a handful of things relating towards not being a virgin when someone has ponied up good livestock to purchase your chattel female ass are pretty much forbidden). Blasphemy, false prophecy and magic--all pretty much in the "not suffered to live" category of things you ought not do.

I am pretty sure I've done some things the Old Testament would prescribe a good stoning for.

Some people insist that God wrote the Bible. Some would go so far as to suggest that God wrote the Constitution. But there really isn't much overlap between the laws in Deuteronomy and Leviticus and our Constitution. This country does not have a death penalty for these things we find in the Old Testament (save the whole "Thou Shalt not Kill" part). Our legal system would also view pretty harshly anyone who, say, decided to strap up and declare open season on adulterers just because their Good Book suggested this was a proper thing to do.

Gay-bashing does still happen, although it is now judged to be quite as bad as assaulting anyone else (and it's a hate crime if someone has decided to assault another human being for no other reason than that they are gay). American society today simply does not consider being gay a crime worthy of capital punishment.

This is why a sign like this one is so jarring in our culture. A "Death-Worthy crime"--is that so? Then, do the people putting this sign up feel any religious compunction to do anything in particular about it? (And what, then, do they plan to do about adulterers, witches, and kids who pop off their mouths at their parents?)  My guess would be--not much. Which is about the impact that sign would have on anyone who already recognizes that we are not Bronze Age sheepherders and our Constitution is not written by a lightning deity of the ancient Near East. The Venn diagram representing those people and our Supreme Court, for example, or people we consider to be honestly running for president, should be a circle.

That nagging sensation I have that it is not, however...

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