Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Bible ≠ US Law

An article posted on the TPM Cafe talks about Barack Obama courting the evangelical Christian vote for a possible 2008 Presidential bid. The article mentions that many evangelicals are not fans of Obama because he is a liberal and therefore pro-choice. (Keywords: Bible, abortion, bad.)

One of the comments to the article quotes Exodus to show that the idea that the Bible is anti-abortion isn't true:

Exodus 21:22:
"When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine."
The verse isn't exactly relevant, having more to do with an accident than an abortion, but the writer comments that the transgression doesn't even rise to the level of manslaughter, let alone murder.

Be that as it may, there's a larger point to make here: the Bible is not our Constitution. The Bible is not our law book. Even if the Bible says it's not OK to have an abortion, and it is OK to hate gays, that doesn't have anything to do with the laws of the land.

So we're clear:

Activist judges who want to enforce equal rights for gay people: good.

Activist judges who want to erect shrines to the Ten Commandments on public property: bad.

I think we should erect courthouse shrines to the Constitution, especially to the Bill of Rights.

Of course, some "patriotic" citizens think our freedoms go too far, and support rolling back some Constitutional guarantees, especially during wartime. Proud Americans, but apparently not proud enough.

I want to conserve the Constitution. I want to conserve the Bill of Rights. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe that all are equal under the law. I'm for a balanced budget, low debt, a strong dollar, fair taxes, fair wages, minimal government intrusion, an effective national defense.

That makes me, in this Bizarro-world nation, a Liberal.

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