Does Cal enjoy distorting Bible?
A Cal Thomas diatribe about President Obama’s position on homosexuality that was published in The Vindicator on May 19 seems to set an all-time record for misreading Holy Scripture for fun and profit.
Rather than accusing the president of “holding a low view of the Bible,” it would have been more honest and fair to say that Obama, like many other people of faith, believes that The Good Book is divinely inspired but not just a cookbook for Christians. It must be understood in terms of the people and times for which it was written. It cries out to be read in context, not just picking out a verse here and another there that seem to support one’s rigidly held beliefs.
Consider, for example, the 18th chapter of the book of Leviticus, which was written at a time when the People of God were living in extended family groups in a great wilderness with little privacy and only crude tents for shelter. It makes sense that they would have firm rules about sexual behavior. In fact, Leviticus 18 forbids coitus with one’s parents, children, grandchildren, aunts, in-laws, and other relatives. Verse 22, which says, “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman,” lies near the end of this material, almost like an afterthought.
These words were written thousands of years ago, long before homosexuality was understood as we perceive it today. It makes no sense to insist that they necessarily, absolutely and eternally forbid gay relationships. It’s also irrational for Mr. Thomas to expect the president of the United States to be the nation’s chief nanny on the full range of intimate conduct.
The Bible says many wise and important things, but grown ups learned a long time ago to be wary of folks like Thomas who use it as a weapon for social warfare.
Robert D. Gillette, Poland