Bill O’Reilly stepped in it the other day when he called those in opposition to homosexual marriage and who use the Bible to make their case “Bible Thumpers.” This is hardly the case, but it passes for good TV. O’Reilly is as familiar with the Bible as the New York Times reporter who wrote, “Easter is the celebration of the resurrection into heaven of Jesus, three days after he was crucified, the premise for the Christian belief in an everlasting life.”
The Tmes later issued a “correction,” but couldn’t get the correction right:
“An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven.”
As anyone who is familiar with the Bible knows, Jesus was not resurrected into heaven. He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9–11).
Here’s part of the exchange O’Reilly had with Megyn Kelly on Fox News:
Megyn Kelly: What I’m saying is that when you ask — for example, I had an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. What is it about calling a marriage — calling a gay union a marriage that offends you. How does it hurt a traditional, or a heterosexual marriage? And I didn’t hear anything articulated that was particularly persuasive. What people go back to —
Bill O’Reilly: I agree with you a 100-percent. . . . The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. That’s where the compelling argument is. “We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else. That’s a compelling argument. And to deny that, you’ve got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.
There is only a compelling argument for homosexual marriage when there is no definition of marriage. The Bible is so clear on the subject of marriage that it takes a blind person not to see it. The creation story shows that marriage is between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24). “One flesh” is almost literal since men and women complement one another sexually. The parts fit.
This is not the case with homosexuality. When homosexuals want to have children, they are limited by biology. No matter what they do together, they will never be able to procreate. They have to jump the shark, admit the absurdity of their claim that homosexual marriage is just like marriage as it was ordained by God, and borrow some sperm and an egg.
It’s unfortunate that a lot of anti-homosexual marriage advocates don’t know how to argue their case. The first question I would ask is: “Do you believe in moral absolutes?” If a person says no, I would then ask, “Then why are you supporting homosexual marriage as a moral issue if there are no moral absolutes?
If a person says yes, I would then ask, “What is the basis of morality?”
The standard answers are social consensus, common sense, and more recently, shifting attitudes of public opinion. None of these are what could be called absolutist positions. Once a person claims that truth and morality change over time, there is nothing that can’t be put on the table for reconsideration. Nothing.
In order to effect change, a bit of sleight of hand is needed. Teller, of the magic team, Penn & Teller, wrote an article for the Smithsonian that appeared in Reader’s Digest. It was on “7 Ways to Fool the Brain.” Here’s number 4:
4. Keep the trickery outside the frame. I take off my jacket and toss it aside. Then I reach into your pocket and pull out a tarantula. Getting rid of the jacket was just for my comfort, right? Not exactly. As I doffed the jacket, I copped the spider
The homosexual movement has applied this form of trickery by hitching its wagon to the civil rights engine. While we’re fixated on the civil rights issue, the homosexuals have copped the higher ground.
Many Blacks resent the comparison since civil rights is not about sex acts.
Thomas Sowell writes that analogies that compare a ban on homosexual marriage to “interracial marriage are bogus. Race is not part of the definition of marriage. A ban on interracial marriage is a ban on the same actions otherwise permitted, because of the race of the particular people involved. It is a discrimination against people, not actions.”
Almost nobody asks the moral question. They’re afraid to, and yet there is no other way to argue for or against any behavior. People like Bill O’Reilly live off moral capital that has been stored up by people who for centuries have appealed to the Bible.
The Bible built America. This is not to say that everybody who went to the Bible to make a moral argument was right. The same can be said for any appeal to authority. It’s true that the Bible was used by some people to support slavery. And it’s also true that some people used the Bible to denounce slavery. Who was right? A study of the Bible will show that biblical slavery deals with payments of debts. There was no such thing as a debtor’s prison. Restitution was required for property crimes. If a person was not able to pay, he had to work off the debt. Even our Constitution recognizes “involuntary servitude . . . as a punishment for crime.”1 .
The type of slavery practiced in England and the United States is specifically condemned by the Bible. Stealing people is a crime punishable by death: “He who steals a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death” (Ex. 21:16). Would O’Reilly have accused someone who opposed slavery by appealing to this passage and others like it as a “Bible Thumper”? Bourne Bourne (1780–1845) wrote the following in the Introduction to The Book and Slavery Irreconcilable:
“The Mosaic Law declares every Slave holder a THIEF; Paul classes him among the highest criminals (1 Tim. 1:10); the Presbyterian Confession of Faith asserts, that he is the most guilty of all thieves (Larger Catechism Answer 142)”.2
If people had listened to Bourne the “Bible Thumper,” the United States would have abolished slavery and avoided a civil war for which we are still paying a heavy price.
People disagree on what the Constitution says and means even though it’s the “supreme law of the land.” Does this mean that the Constitution should no longer be appealed to as our nation’s governing document?
Darwinism killed any possibility that there can be a fixed moral worldview. Even Natural Law has been logically decimated. How can there be a fixed Natural Law derived from nature when nature is in constant flux?
Where is the moral line now going to be drawn and why? Who says there is even a moral line to be drawn? America has adopted the view of pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC) who said it this way: “Everything changes and nothing remains still . . . and . . . you cannot step twice into the same stream.”
It seems that no one is talking morality except the homosexuals and their supporters about how it’s immoral not to support people of the same sex who engage in a sexual relationship and call it marriage. Why marriage? Why not rule that marriage is a social construct rooted in religion and has a moral component to it that excludes homosexuality.
It makes no sense unless the goal is to reduce the Christian worldview to rubble. If that ever happens, moral anarchy will reign, and not even Bill O’Reilly will be able to hide from its consequences.
- Thirteenth Amendment: “Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”(↩)
- See John W. Christie and Dwight L. Dumond, George Bourne and The Book and Slavery Irreconcilable (Wilmington, DE: The Historical Society of Delaware, 1969). Also see Gary North, Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church (Tyler, TX – Institute for Christian Economics, 1996), 123–130.(↩)