Erick Erickson argued at RedState in February that “Jesus Christ would absolutely bake a cake for a gay person.” But Erickson did not think Jesus would bake a cake for a gay wedding, saying that, “I do not think Jesus Christ would participate in the ratification of a sin — and a marriage between two people of the same sex is a sin.”
Also asking “What would Jesus do?” was John Stonestreet, who wrote in an op-ed at LifeSiteNews in March that people who believe “Jesus would serve, wash the feet of, and have dinner with a gay person” are right.
But that’s different than saying that Jesus, the carpenter, would carve an altar for a same-sex wedding with a rainbow on it in place of a cross. He spent time with tax collectors, but He didn’t help them steal more.
Asking WWJD may seem like a no-brainer to opponents of marriage equality but you have to wonder just how relevant is ancient Jewish law that people like Erick Erickson themselves ignore on a daily basis (prohibitions against certain foods, against shaving, clothing, etc).
Which brings us to an example of some truly, egregiously flawed reasoning.
Pat Robertson seems to have missed the fact that the United States isn’t Israel and that this is the 21st century, not the first. This past Wednesday on 700 Club, he played what he probably imagined to be his trump card against marriage equality:
(I)n Jesus’ time if two men decided they wanted to cohabit together, they would have been stoned to death. So Jesus would not have baked them a wedding cake, nor would he have made them a bed to sleep in because they wouldn’t have been there.
Fortunately for us, we don’t live in Galilee or Judaea of Jesus’ time. Jesus lived 2,000 years ago and on another continent.
This is a point Pat Robertson seems to be missing.
Jews of Palestine in that era did not have the First Amendment. Jesus was not protected from Roman law and gays of the time were not protected from Jewish law. And you wonder if Robertson is aware that Jesus had something to say about stoning people?
They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (John 8:7)
Temporal and spatial relationships (even common sense) do not seem to be grasped by fundamentalists north of the border any better than south. Canadian evangelist Tristan Emmanuel asked at BarbWire.com, “Does Bill Maher deserve a whipping for slandering God?”
In a truly humorous outburst, Emmanuel said,
He may have protection under the First Amendment to say whatever slanderous thing that comes out of his toilet bowl brain, but that does not mean Christians should turn the other cheek.
Um, yeah, actually it does. Jesus said so:
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also (Matthew 5:39).
Oh dear. Makes you wonder if Emmanuel has read the Bible he claims to be defending. But rather than appeal to Jesus’ injunction, he, like Robertson, turned to the Old Testament, Psalms 14.
He even listed laws from colonial Massachusetts, as if those apply or are in any way relevant to the discussion. Like ancient Jewish law, they are not.
Just as we don’t live in first century Galilee or Judaea, we don’t live in colonial Massachusetts.
We live in the 21st century, in the United States of America.
You would think that their cars and microwave ovens and, oh, I don’t know, maybe their computers, remind them that many years have passed since Christians got to persecute people who didn’t agree with them.
But apparently, participating in our shared reality is just too much to ask of them. But then we knew that, didn’t we?
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.