The Bible Says…Control the People?

From where I’m standing, religion seems to be more about controlling people than helping them. It’s about limiting women’s reproductive choices, prohibiting LGBT citizens from enjoying the same rights as heterosexual Americans and ignoring the needs of the poor.

I recently read article (thanks, LanceT!) that urged Christians to love their neighbors by getting involved in public policy. What does it mean to be involved? According to the author, it means advocating for Biblical “natural marriage;” in other words: one man and one woman.  It also means “reducing abortions.”

But abortion and marriage are private, personal choices for individuals to make; they are not community decisions. What right do I have to tell my friend whom he can love? Love has never been bounded by race, age, religion or gender. What right do I have to knock on my neighbor’s door and ask her if she will terminate or carry her pregnancy to term? I won’t be carrying the fetus or raising the child. And it’s not my place to judge their decisions. I certainly would not want family, friends, neighbors and strangers judging me for who I love or the choices I make.

The Bible, of course, being an ancient book, makes no mention of abortion or LGBT issues, but it does, in several passages, instruct followers to help the poor. Yet this seems to be the most overlooked message: For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ Deuteronomy 15:11

I hope that Christians will consider offering help where it is wanted and needed. Leaders like Joel Osteen, could rally his congregation to vote for politicians who will help our citizens—not attempt to oppress and control them.

Indeed, if I saw Christians mobilizing to bring affordable healthcare, for example, to our working poor and to bring choices to women and LGBT, I might even think those folks practice what they preach.

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11 responses to “The Bible Says…Control the People?

  1. Actually, in the Old Testament, there was a section about sending your wife to the Temple to GET abortificants from the priests, lol. But as you can imagine, they don’t teach that chapter and verse in Sunday school.
    (I read about this at the blog Away Point, btw.)

  2. deborah mitchell

    I don’t remember that in the Bible but that IS interesting! I’ll see if I can find it!

  3. I never understood the pro-life stance that catholics and evangelicals take. In the Old Testament, Yahweh doesn’t like abortions….He loves abortions!!! There are so many instances where he has invading armies specifically “rip-open” women “with child” as in Hosea 13:16, 2 Kings 15:16.

  4. deborah mitchell

    @The Scrupulous Atheist Eew. So graphic. And we complain about today’s video games?!!

  5. Looking back, this is similar to the thought that I consider my first, down my path toward atheism. At the time is was little more than admonishment of organized religions as a tool for keeping power; I retained what little faith i had for another few years. I still had an individual belief that something was watching over me, something was in control of this experiment called life. Your faith does not “mandate cultural engagement.” Your organized religion that wants you and others to be ‘saved’ does. Which is why there can never truly be a separation of church and state: only a separation of faith and state when the compassion to offer to save individuals overrides the compulsion to preach to save everyone.

    • deborah mitchell

      Nice, Joe. This is so true: “Your faith does not “mandate cultural engagement.” Your organized religion that wants you and others to be ‘saved’ does.”

  6. Of course the biblical abortificant only worked if the child was the result of another having violated her husbands womb. What do you want YHWH to do allow a bastard to live? BTW – were Joseph and Married married when she got preggers with Josh? – Matthew 1:18

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