Thursday, March 5, 2009

Colorado's Lawmaker Poses Questions

In quoting the Bible as a model for what the state government of Colorado should and should not do, Senator Scott Renfroe, a Republican from Greely, has generated a serious discussion for which more information is needed. I am hoping he will address the following issues during his next speech on the floor of the legislature:

1. Exodus 35:2 says people who work on the Sabbath should be put to death. I'm wondering how many doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, grocers, and other merchants Senator Renfroe thinks the State of Colorado should kill?

2. Leviticus 10:10 says eating shellfish is an "abomination." Interestingly, that's the same word used to describe homosexuality. Is Senator Renfro as aggressive in pushing legislation that denies the rights of shrimp eaters? If not, why not?

3. Exodus 21:7 sanctions selling children into slavery, and I am wondering if the senator has done this. Should Colorado laws be re-written to address this? Or is that a constitutional issue?

3. Leviticus 25:44 allows the purchase of slaves from other countries. Was the Civil War wrong, as well as the government's current efforts to combat the slave trade? Should Colorado secede from the union?

4. How does Senator Renfroe propose to kill his male friends and neighbors who cut their hair, especially around the temples, as forbidden by Leviticus 19:27? Should the state complete that task?

7. If Senator Renfroe learns of people who plant two different crops in the same field, or who wears garments made of two different kinds of thread (say a cotton/poyester blend) does he get the whole town together to stone them to death, as required in Leviticus 19:19? Does he stone everyone who curses as required by Leviticus 24:10? How many public burnings has he attended for people who sleep with their in-laws, as required in Leviticus 20:14? Should the state organize these activities, or does the senator want to leave it up to individual communities?

Obviously, there is much in the Old Testament that doesn't necessarily work in practice in America in the 21st century. Christ focused clearly on a personal relationship with God and with the plight of the poor and downtrodden. That, of course, brings up an entirely different issue.

What should the state of Colorado do, in a legislative capacity, to erase the problem of excessive wealth and ease the suffering of the poor? Christ said, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.” Is Colorado’s tax policy making it difficult for people to live Christian lives? Christ told a rich man to give half of everything he owns to the poor. Should the state increase taxes to fifty percent, so that each citizen can live according to the word of Christ?

Senator Renfroe has said the government must not make laws “that go against what biblically we are supposed to stand for.” If that is true, then the legislature has a lot of work to do. Of course, if Senator Renfroe seeks to initiate a theocratic government, he might want to put that to the voters first.

(NOTE: many of these citations originated from the oft-published "letter to Dr. Laura" featured in a West Wing episode)


Mrs. C said...

Acts 15:29 outlines the obligations of Gentile believers, and it has nothing to do with shellfish. Sexual immorality IS mentioned, however.

A more relevant question might be whether the people of Colorado want the ideals of the Bible to be implemented legislatively. :]

I have wondered often why insurance is written so that you could not help your own aging mother or an unmarried older sister. Sorry if you find that irrelevant to the point, but I do wonder about these things and why, if the employee is willing to pay the premium, a person couldn't cover the people he wished.

mazenko said...

I acknowledge that the parts of the New Testament - though not the Gospels - also endorse the historical norm of opposition to homosexuality. However, I assert that the position of the early church leaders was simply indicative of prejudices of the times. Most Christians I know would acknowledge that the absence of female apostles is not that Jesus was sexist, but that it was the standard of the time. Thus, the definition of homosexuality as "immoral" is simply outdated.

In terms of the benefits issue, I agree with you. I've always accepted the traditional definition of marriage at the same time that I endorse civil unions. Anything else is the government imposing far to much of its will on the rights of the individual.

Mrs. C said...

Well, to split hairs and peer into the FUTURE, God outlines in the book of Revelation that the sexually immoral (and a bunch of other people) will be in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). I do understand there are many people out there who don't take the Bible literally as I do. :]

On female pastors: It seems when a man is hired to preach, it's expected that his wife work just as hard as he does in the nursery or children's church or whatever, but she usually does not receive the recognition she deserves. With you there.

mazenko said...

Another question I asked Senator Renfroe in an email (to which he didn't respond) concerned the very issue of sexual immorality as a sin, and the need to restrict sinners legal rights. For example, there are various forms of sexual immorality mentioned in Acts 1-35, among them fornication, including adultery. Thus, if homosexuality is a sin and thus prohibited from marriage by this sinful act, then shouldn't any practitioner of pre-marital sex or adultery also be denied the legal status of marriage. Clearly, there is no movement by Renfroe, or the people of his state of mind, to prevent the divorced from remarrying, and that, to me, reeks of bias and hypocrisy.

Mrs. C said...

:] I guess it depends on why they got divorced. But with no-fault divorce, it would be impossible to regulate, I guess. Though I would agree with you in general... I know a very bad situation in which I was sad that the couple HAD to divorce, but they HAD to. The husband's actions, shall we say, were dangerous to the children.

I can celebrate her new marriage while still being sad that the husband in the marriage previous didn't behave properly. :[

PS I find your posts interesting, even if I don't comment on each one!