You and I claim to worship the same God. We probably read our Bibles a bunch and, only because I recently started attending a Methodist church, our Sunday mornings are probably spent in “similar” fashion. But, in light of some of the things you and your “people” have said on the campaign trail, I cannot help but think we actually worship a different God—at least one with very dissimilar qualities. No doubt if you knew my theology you would agree with me on that one. And so, instead of simply prattling off all the reasons why I believe you are in the wrong and I am in the right (as if that would get us anywhere), please allow me to ask you three quick questions about how you approach faith, the Bible, and the like. I think this will help me understand just how you arrived at some of your conclusions. Thanks.
- When you told the American Family Association that “if you fear God, you obey God’s precepts,” what did you mean by that? I know you listed a few things after this statement (like living by holiness codes, individual responsibility, and free enterprise) but are we to follow all biblical precepts? For instance, if two men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and seizing his genitals, should we cut off her hand and show no pity like Deuteronomy 25:11–12 commands? Or how about this one: are we to follow Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, in ramming spears through interracial couples to turn back the “wrath of God” (Numbers 25:7–12) when we believe we are under God’s curse? Since Phinehas was given a “covenant of peace” because of this, do you advocate we follow suit in our “zeal” for the Lord? Okay, one more regarding “biblical precepts.” If I suspect that my wife is cheating on me, am I going to have to take her to church and make her drink dusty wine to see if she is guilty, as commanded in Numbers 5:11–31? Or can I just sit down and talk with her about it? Perhaps you could clarify exactly which tenets we are to follow because I don’t think I have it in me to talk about things like this with my pastor. Nor do I have the stomach to shove spears into interracial couples or chop off my wife’s hand. Isn’t it my fault for getting into a fight in the first place? Oh, never mind …
- When you state that your plan to defeat ISIS is to “carpet-bomb them into oblivion,” can you please provide your “Christian” justification for doing so? Can you point me to a situation where Jesus’s solution to the overwhelming terror the Roman Empire was inflicting on its subjects was to “bomb the sh*t out of them?” (To borrow a quote from your friend/enemy Donald Trump) And if you cannot find one such instance, please explain why you think it is then your duty to “not follow Jesus” and start raining hell-fire from the sky.
- This last part is actually for you and your pal, Phil Robertson, whom you seem to have vetted and deem a loyal supporter of “the faith.” Allow me to preface my question by quoting Mr. Robertson. Immediately after straw-manning those who argue in favor of LGBT-marriage, he states: “It is evil! It’s wicked! It’s sinful! And they want us to swallow it [Freudian slip?], you say? We have to run this bunch out of Washington DC. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there.” Now, I have a few questions. First, and simply out of sheer curiosity, who are the “they” that he is referring to? Is Robertson advocating we rid the earth of the politicians in Washington DC or everyone in the LGBT community? If you are not sure, could you kindly ask him for me? And how exactly are we to get rid of them? Murder? Forced emigration? Blast them off into space and forget about them? Similar to question 3, I would like to see some proof that Jesus openly advocated the “ridding” of an entire people-group based on differences in political philosophy and moral codes. Heck, I would like some proof that he advocated the “ridding” of an entire people-group for any reason!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I know the campaign trail can be tough, with people like Ben Carson coming and going and all. So any extra time that you devote to this is appreciated, especially when you could be masterminding—I mean, working on—other things. Take care and God bless
America the World.
Matthew J. Distefano
- ^ When Robertson states: “Redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman, c’mon Iowa,” he is making a blatant straw man fallacy. That is to say, he is misrepresenting the argument at hand. Nobody that I know is saying that marriage is not between a man and a woman, but rather, that marriage is not only that. The true argument is simply a matter of equal rights for LGBT people.
About Matthew Distefano
Matthew Distefano is the author of All Set Free: How God is Revealed in Jesus and Why That is Really Good News. He is also a Regular Contributor for The Raven Foundation and previous Guest Contributor for Sojo.net. You can find him on his website, Facebook, and Twitter.