Oh what a funny lot we are. Watching the outrage of offended defenders of the Bible over Jeff Sessions passing mention that the Bible teaches submission to government — I could not help but compare the Christian world’s often heard criticism of the Koran on the basis of the way a minority of Muslims use it to justify inhumane actions.
Muslims are by definition potentially violent because they follow the Koran and the true interpreters of the Koran are those who read it literally in justifying their violence — so the common assertion goes. That’s what the Koran says so that’s what Muslims (really, if secretly) believe, they say. The voices representing the vast majority of Muslims are accordingly shut behind closed doors by the hand of a generally wilful ignorance. Wilful? Whenever a reminder of them or a pointer to them is made the claims are generally trivialized and dismissed as irrelevant.
Now the Bible really does command obedience to government authorities. Christians and governments have known and preached that throughout history. There can be no denying it.
So out come the rationalizations. The reputation of Christian values and its holy book is at stake, after all. So we are now told that one cannot just use such a passage as Romans 13:1-7 “out of context” – like the context of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, for example. One has to be kind to strangers, etc etc etc. Sure. But that doesn’t change the clear direction to submit to government authorities. Christian pacifists have even taught that they must accept punishment and go to prison if they do not submit to the government’s direction to go to war.
Many people refuse to allow such rationalizations by the majority of Muslims for the Koran’s violent passages, however.
Surely the Jeff Sessions remark should wake us up to the absurdity of modern folk having any respect for an ancient text as a guide to living today.
Failing that, one might wish that the followers of one book might see just a little more of themselves in followers of another holy book.
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