On Oct. 26 the Baptist university in Rome, Ga. announced that all 200 employees must read and agree to a Personal Lifestyle Statement. Among other things, it commits them to being active members of their church and avoiding the consumption of alcohol in public. “The ‘why’ is really simple: What you stand for matters,” the school said in a statement. “Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to ‘Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’… If we acknowledge Him, He will make this university’s path straight.”
Straight being the key word. Employees must also pledge to “reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality.”
This a video from Rick Perry’s highly publicized prayer event The Response. The Response itself was surrounded by a lot of controversy, so it’s no surprise there is some touchy footage that came out of it.
The above video is several people praying for God to end abortion. Now, I will admit that I have not seen footage from the entire service. However, I feel like there are so many other issues to pray for. Like, safety in childbirth for pregnant women? Or that all the children in our country will have enough to eat. And maybe, just maybe, at sometime they got around to the million other issues that could be prayed for without judging other people. But it seems unlikely.
It’s also interesting because this was supposed to be a non-political thing. Obviously an event being run by a politician being non-political is sort of laughable. But this sort of thing does seem awfully manipulative to me.
This is a gender creation story, not a creation of marriage story. Adam and Eve do not exchange rings, say “I do” and have a jazz band reception in Paradise.
The Bible “says” a lot of things but perhaps we should treat the Bible less like an authoritative contract with God and understand it more as a human-authored, divinely-inspired, document that arouses a life of faith.
So does the Bible have anything to “say” about gay marriage? The Bible is not specific, literate, or even concerned with what we call same-sex orientation or gay marriage. But the state of New York recently had quite a lot to say about gay marriage. Those that would insert the Bible into this debate would do well to reflect upon the text itself. If only we quit focusing on what the Bible didactically “says” and converse with the text in its broader cultural context. Then one can realize the multivalent value of such a book that a narrow reading cannot service.