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Bible Sessions

A Close Reading

In a shocking twist, you’ll have to click here to read the beginning! I’m in the minority as far as Biblical expertise goes, though. I don’t come close to approaching the level of genius found at our top newspapers. Take the Washington Post’s Alexandr Petri. She heard Sessions quoted from the Bible and decided to instruct her readers about this curious book.

Her first lesson was that the Bible is not—I repeat not—the “law of the land.” The legal expert I spoke with—“Tiny” Ed Dobrowski, who once got a parking ticket tossed out—said that this is true. Which is why you never hear passages like the one in Leviticus quoted so often.

Petri didn’t stop with this stunner. “You can find a lot of things in the Bible,” she said.

She found that “Job: As we see in the Bible, God is in favor of making innocent people suffer for no reason whatsoever.” I think she mistook our Father which art in Heaven for her editor, who assigned her this “Job.” That’s a natural mistake for a reporter on a deadline to make.

But then she also said that “As King Solomon so wisely and clearly admonishes us, babies should be taken from their mothers and cut in half.”

No, sweetie, that’s the Planned Parenthood brochure you’re reading. Not the Bible.

The Other Roman Option

Petri finally came to the Bible and the immigration question. “As the Bible so humanely shows, if you take a baby from its mother and float it downriver in a basket, it will work out fine.” People wanting to cross the border illegally are advised not to try this, however. Wikipedia tells us “Despite its name and length, the Rio Grande is not navigable…nor do smaller passenger boats or cargo barges use it as a route.”

She said that the Bible insists that “If someone objects to the laws of a land,” such as (we imagine) a person trying to cross the border illegally, “authorities are within their rights to punish him, for instance by throwing him into a den of lions.”

Dude, that’s pretty harsh. The worst penalties we now hand out are a having to take a time out and free trip back across the border. Feeding parents, and the kids they risked bringing with them on their illegal adventure, to some unemployed circus animals will likely have the deterrence effect Petri is after, but it will also anger PETA. And nobody wants that.

All the Way to the Right

I don’t know when the Post turned into such a right-wing paper. First it’s lions, next it’s ovens. “As the Bible suggests, there are many fitting punishments for those who disobey authority; for instance, to throw them into a fiery furnace.”

Ouch. That will cause some double takes.

We can be grateful Petri is not an immigration judge (or judge of any kind!) and is instead an expert Bible reporter.

7 thoughts on “Bible Sessions Leave a comment

  1. I find it interesting that “journalists” enjoy attacking the Bible but are deathly afraid of mentioning the koran in any but the most respectful voice.

    Why is that, I wonder. #CharlieHebdo #cowards

  2. The real issue is the inherent hypocrisy:

    Sessions is reported to have quoted from Romans 13: “..to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,…”

    Under the U.S. form of government the Fed’l government is supposed to be religiously neutral per the Constitution (“freedom of religion” — an old favorite).

    And there’s a senior govt official citing a verse associated with a particular class of religions (those claiming to be “Christian”), interpreting and then applying that verse in a very particular way (echo’ d by the White House spokesperson no less!) — a way inconsistent with the way at least some/many “Christians” interpret that verse in the scenario Sessions did. That is a Fed’l official taking a position that combines interpretation of law and policy with the execution of that law & policy based, in part, on a particular religious view/value. That is the opposite of the religious neutrality mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

    Sessions’, and later a White House spokesperson concurring via press conference, are U.S. govt Federal/Executive Branch officials asserting a Federal policy/law is based [partly] on a religious precept to which others should adhere — some/many of those others do not share that religious view point and may not even be “Christians” at all.

    This is an example of the hypocritical “holier-than-thou” pride that afflicts so many “Christians” (and other religious) — they can violate the core tenets of their faith even as they purport to be adhering to them [and sincerely believe from their perspective they are]. Sessions/White House say–citing Romans, a particular religion’s religious-based value to abide by law, that others should comply with Fed’l law — while the statement itself is a violation of the Constitution.

    Observing religious hypocrisy so routinely, doesn’t it seem far more likely the WaPost journalist was calling Sessions, etc. out on this — citing absurd out-of-context quotes (e.g. about bisecting an infant) to make a point about such hypocrisy in action — just like this blogger engaged in a comparable bait & switch to make a point: http://wmbriggs.com/post/24641/ (as one of the commentators noted for those less astute in figuring it out).

  3. Observing religious hypocrisy so routinely, doesn’t it seem far more likely the WaPost journalist was calling Sessions, etc. out on this — citing absurd out-of-context quotes (e.g. about bisecting an infant) to make a point about such hypocrisy in action…

    No. Observing journalistic hypocrisy [and rampant ignorance] so routinely makes me suspect it was more malicious than cheeky.

  4. The real issue is that he is invoking the because-I-said-so fallacy.

    The press hoopla over ripping children away from their parents is just a distraction.

  5. Ken writes “The real issue (*) is the inherent hypocrisy”

    You seem to have forgotten the “for me” part. Real issues for me are something else; perhaps too much sugar in Cinnabons.

    “Under the U.S. form of government the Fed’l government is supposed to be religiously neutral”

    To the extent this is possible in a democracy. If 80 percent of citizens vote “thou shalt not kill”, then it becomes law, even if based on a religion. I suspect most law is ultimately religious.

    “And there’s a senior govt official citing a verse associated with a particular class of religions”

    I am surprised and delighted some are still able to do that.

    “interpreting and then applying that verse in a very particular way — a way inconsistent with the way at least some/many Christians interpret that verse”

    What a surprise. That might explain why there’s a few thousand flavors of Christianity!

    “they can violate the core tenets of their faith even as they purport to be adhering to them”

    Probably; not that I consider you an authority on those core tenets.

    “a particular religion’s religious-based value to abide by law, that others should comply with Fed’l law — while the statement itself is a violation of the Constitution.”

    So to restate; you have a government official speaking to Christians advocating that they heed their holy work which declares that they should obey the government.

    It is not clear to me why you find this objectionable.

    But entertaining for sure!

  6. “Under the U.S. form of government the Fed’l government is supposed to be religiously neutral”

    Actually, the First Amendment begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”

    “Respecting” in this case means “regarding” — specifically, a prohibition of establishing a State Religion such as the Anglican Church. It’s one, if not the only one, of the rights in the Bill of Rights not echoed in the list of grievances found in the Declaration of Independence. There is no prohibition, however, of being congruent with religious principles.

    People who melt at seeing the Ten Commandments (the pre-YouTube click-bait: 10 Ways You Should Act Every Day) on a courthouse wall are in denial of the basis for many of our laws. Just more history to be undone. Quoting from the Bible to people who presumably follow the Bible is not establishing a religion. The Dems and Lefties — and I guess you, too — are the ones taking things out of context.

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