Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Another “exclusive commentary” from the WorldNutDaily, which, as usual, means that no one else would publish such a ridiculous article so they get exclusive access to it. This one is from P. Andrew Sandlin, the president of something called the Center for Cultural Leadership, and is called In Praise of Discrimination. It’s pretty standard stuff from the religious right, mostly silly arguments based on bad history, sprinkled with responses to crude caricatures of “liberal beliefs” – the straw man seems to be God’s own favorite fallacy. He begins his argument against gay marriage the same ironic way everyone else does, by extolling the virtues of marriage:

Marriage is a bedrock of Western culture. Without marriage, our culture would simply have been impossible.

Oh no! Marriage is a good thing! But since no one is proposing to get rid of marriage, of what possible relevance is this? In fact, since what is being proposed is an increase in the number of marriages, not a decrease, isn’t this an argument FOR gay marriage? As the great libertarian legal theorist Richard Epstein put it in response to this same argument from the President:

When President Bush, for example, talks about the need to “protect” the sanctity of marriage, his plea is a giant non sequitur because he does not explain what, precisely, he is protecting marriage against. No proponent of gay marriage wants to ban traditional marriage, or to burden couples who want to marry with endless tests, taxes and delays.

But Sandlin isn’t done yet. To this bad reasoning we have to add some even worse history:

The family is the cornerstone of civilization, and marriage is the foundation of the family – ancient pagan cultures given to polygamy, incest and tribalism were nomadic, fierce and self-destructive. They did not produce – could not produce – anything like a sustained, stable social order.

Hmmm. Ancient cultures given to polygamy and tribalism (no culture that I know of has ever endorsed incest)….you know, only one springs to mind immediately – the Israelites! If the ancient Hebrew culture was not “given to polygamy and tribalism”, then those words will have to be redefined. Now, to this bad reasoning and bad history we have to add attacks on a straw man of his opponents’ beliefs:

This should not surprise us. We now live in an era of moral egalitarianism – the absolute equality of all moral positions. This egalitarianism stimulated some liberals after 9-11 to criticize the media’s use of the word “terrorist” to describe the Islamic hijackers who murdered nearly 3,000 Americans.

Like who, Mr. Sandlin? Name “some liberals” who said such a thing? I bet you can’t. In fact, name a “liberal” who argues for actual moral egalitarianism? If they believed in moral egalitarianism, they would not be able to criticize conservative moral positions, could they? But let’s not let a little reality ruin a perfectly good straw man. That would be tragic.

Perusing Sandlin’s website, christianculture.com, turns up all sorts of gems. He is, it appears, a true theocrat. There’s no reason to stop with gay marriage, he wants all of biblical law to apply in the US:

God does judge homosexuals and secularists (e.g., Rom. 1!), not just Christians and the church, and to limit His judgment to the church is to imply a limitation of His sovereignty. But God’s law and its concomitant judgments are not merely for the Church. They’re for everybody (Rom. 3:19).

I assume, then, that Mr. Sandlin would be consistent in applying biblical law to marriage in America and passing a constitutional amendment to do all of the following:

1. Allow polygamy. Lots of verses.

2. Allow American soldiers to take women in conquered lands as their wives whether the woman agrees or not. Deut 21:10-13.

3. Stone any woman who is not a virgin on her wedding day (doesn’t apply to men, of course). Deut 22:13-21.

4. Require that if a man dies before impregnating his wife, his brother must marry her (even if he’s already married, but since polygamy is okay, it’s not a problem) and impregnate her. Deut 25:5-10.

5. Ban marriage between those of different religions. 2Cor 6:14.

If we’re gonna have biblical marriage, then by God, let’s have biblical marriage.

Comments

  1. #1 Jon Rowe, Esq.
    July 17, 2004

    Ed,

    As to your last few points, even though you posed them as “challenges” that not even the worst fundamentalist would endorse…you don’t know who you are dealing with. Sandlin is of that “Christian Reconstructionist” breed, after the late RJ Rushdoony. They admittedly don’t believe in the US Constitution and desire literal interpretations of the Bible including those Old Testament verses to apply to every one.

    The scary thing is they have formed alliances with libertarians, especially the “anarchist” types. They want to destroy the modern state and after that’s done replace it with their Biblical state.

    And yes, all of those OT versus proscribing the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, non-Christian proselytizers (encouraging the worship of false Gods) will apply. But they won’t get the electric chair or lethal injection. So what method is to be used? You got it: Stoning.

    Walter Olson wrote a great artile detailing this. I’ll post it next.

    BTW: yes, even children who curse their parents get stoned as well!

  2. #2 Jon Rowe, Esq.
    July 17, 2004

    Read the entire article it’s quite scary, but also very amusing:

    http://www.indegayforum.org/authors/olson/olson16.html

    Here’s a passage on Gary North who regularly writes for lewrockwell.com and has the gall to call himself a “libertarian”:

    So when Exodus 21:15-17 prescribes that cursing or striking a parent is to be punished by execution, that’s fine with Gary North. “When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime,” he writes. “The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death.” Likewise with blasphemy, dealt with summarily in Leviticus 24:16: “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.”

    Reconstructionists provide the most enthusiastic constituency for stoning since the Taliban seized Kabul. “Why stoning?” asks North. “There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost.” Thrift and ubiquity aside, “[e]xecutions are community projectsÑnot with spectators who watch a professional executioner do ‘his’ duty, but rather with actual participants”. You might even say that like square dances or quilting bees, they represent the kind of hands-on neighborliness so often missed in this impersonal era. “That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes,” North continues, “indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians.” And he may be right about that last point, you know.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    July 17, 2004

    As to your last few points, even though you posed them as “challenges” that not even the worst fundamentalist would endorse…you don’t know who you are dealing with. Sandlin is of that “Christian Reconstructionist” breed, after the late RJ Rushdoony. They admittedly don’t believe in the US Constitution and desire literal interpretations of the Bible including those Old Testament verses to apply to every one.

    Oh, I wasn’t really making them as challenges, I was more just making fun of them. I’m quite familiar with the reconstructionists. I’ve read some Rushdoony and a lot of Gary North, along with far too much Greg Bahnsen. They are, quite simply, out of their minds. I’m stunned at the notion that they have formed alliances with libertarians. What libertarians are that stupid?

  4. #4 Jon Rowe
    July 17, 2004

    Sorry, I shouldn’t have underestimated that you would know as much about these lunatics as I do. I’d love to see a fiction movie made about these folks, ala “Armageddon”, or “The Day after Tomorrow.” Imagine that these folks really take over and institute their literal interpretations of the Bible. Imagine graphic scenes of teenagers getting stones smashed into their heads for cursing their parents….Scary stuff.

  5. #5 ~DS~
    July 18, 2004

    Oh, Ed knows his lunatics.

  6. #6 Savagemutt
    July 19, 2004

    John Rowe mused:
    ” I’d love to see a fiction movie made about these folks, ala “Armageddon”, or “The Day after Tomorrow.” Imagine that these folks really take over and institute their literal interpretations of the Bible. Imagine graphic scenes of teenagers getting stones smashed into their heads for cursing their parents….Scary stuff.”

    Actually, one of them actually wrote a “novel” describing such a scenario. I forget the guy’s name, but he has a radio show. Excerpts from the book were posted on his web site. It was laughable and frightening at the same time. Perhaps someone else can ID the nut I’m referring to.

  7. #7 Ed Brayton
    July 19, 2004

    Actually, one of them actually wrote a “novel” describing such a scenario. I forget the guy’s name, but he has a radio show. Excerpts from the book were posted on his web site. It was laughable and frightening at the same time. Perhaps someone else can ID the nut I’m referring to.

    Bob Enyart?

  8. #8 Savagemutt
    July 20, 2004

    Ed Brayton mused:

    “Bob Enyart”

    Thats the ticket. The piece is called “Day One” and is available from the “writings” section on his site. Quite the nut.

  9. #9 Ed Brayton
    July 20, 2004

    Oh man, I’ve had some fun in the past with Bob Enyart. 7 or 8 years ago, when he had a TV call-in show, I had a blast calling in on a creationism show. He was so completely full of crap. He claimed that Gould had denied that Archaeoteryx was a transitional fossil and when I offered to make a rather large wager on that, he suddenly backed off that claim. He truly is a nutball. He actually runs a site at shadowgov.com and writes letters to people telling them that they are going to be put on trial on that site and when they take power, they’ll be executed for their “crimes”.