The ever-inventive Christian right has unveiled a new tactic in their hate campaign against lesbians and gays.
In a brilliant piece of twisted logic, they're now filing lawsuits against universities and workplaces that protect gays from discrimination, claiming that anti-discrimination policies discriminate against their own Christian right to...er...discriminate. Got it?
You may be appalled by their grim determination. But you gotta love how they use Christianity to attack gay people, and then expect us to ignore their own gross violations of scripture. Especially in the matter of divorce and remarriage.
After all, Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, which was widespread in the Hellenistic world. But he was crystal clear on divorce and remarriage.
Matthew 5: 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
Luke 16: 18 Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
That's Jesus talking. Seems pretty clear to me.
And yet most modern denominations - including lots of Christian conservatives and people who claim to be born again - allow both divorce and remarriage. In fact, the highest divorce rates in America are in the Bible Belt.
A few years back I interviewed a high-ranking Christian conservative who was leading some typically misguided campaign against gays. I couldn't resist asking him about the divorce discrepancy.
He admitted that he himself was divorced and remarried. But no problem - he repented and God forgave him.
I asked him whether he ought to go back to his first wife if he really repented, since Jesus clearly says that he's still committing adultery with his second wife. He said no, to repent meant to promise God that he won't ever get divorced again.
Hmmm. I asked where I could find this in the Bible. He patiently explained that in Jesus' day people only lived to around forty. Today we live much longer, so obviously Jesus would have taught differently today.
Go ahead and snicker, but I actually have no problem with this, in itself. It seems like an enlightened example of how people can reinterpret religious injunctions to fit the times.
My problem is with Christians - like him - who are perfectly willing to rewrite the Bible to cut themselves slack in their own lives, but then turn around, attack gays, and cry: The Bible made me do it! I think it's called hypocrisy, and Jesus took a rather dim view of that.
Case in point is the Christian Legal Society, the organization of pious lawyers and judges that's spearheading the new campaign to overturn anti-discrimination laws.
I did a Google search that combined the words "Christian Legal Society" and "divorce." Guess what? Google immediately burped up several members of the Christian Legal Society who are...you guessed it...divorce lawyers!
This may seem surprising, given the very real damage divorce does to families, but I'm not surprised. Compassion is hard. Hypocrisy is easy.
Jesus, however, may not be so forgiving.