Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Bible is Not the Law of the Land

Today was a busy day - okay, they all are, but today was especially hurried and filled with things 'to do' - and in between driving around town to do what must be done, I listened in on the Supreme Court hearings regarding Arizona's Law on immigration.  

It was an odd thing to find on the radio since there is usually a lot of noise and no substance.  I was enthralled by the Justices pretty much deciding what the argument should be about and banning the use of certain language when addressing the topic.  Specifically, racial profiling. 

At one point, I needed a break and switched back to the Ed Show on KJFK.  At this particular junction, a woman named Michelle called in to express her opinion about gay marriage - does not agree with it - and questioned why would we be so hypocritical to separate church from state on this issue but not on "Thou Shall Not Kill" or "Thou Shall Not Steal"

I expected Mr. Ed Schultz to set her straight, but instead, he agreed with her and it was expressed that our Constitution has gotten ideas from many different places, books and locations.

It is a good thing I was stopped at a traffic light at the moment, because I had to check myself on the mirror and see if my hair was on fire.  It was not, it just felt that way.

First of all, this woman made the assumption - and was not terribly discouraged from it - that our laws on not killing innocent people and not stealing from one another were A) found exclusively in the Bible and therefore adopted into the Constitution and B) Never existed prior to the conceptualization of the Old and New Testament.

Impulsively, I reached for my phone and stopped myself.  I will not make phone calls, hands-free or not, when I am driving.

In the off-chance Michelle calls The Ed Show again, I would hope someone would explain to her her that killing people nilly-willy or stealing from others has been frowned upon heavily for centuries prior to the existence of Jesus Christ, The Bible a couple of hundred years later, or its subsequent revisions.

Some excellent examples include, but are not limited to the following:

Blood Money: Used in ancient times in Scandinavia, Islam, Korea, Japan and many others to punish the guilty into financial restitution to victim's family.  Amounts set by law based on the type of crime.  

Death Penalty: Used in Egypt and long before Romans encountered Christianity. Some crimes that qualified included killing innocents, how someone was killed, and their status in society. 

In Feudal times, they also used the Reward system - just like today's bounty hunters - for the apprehension and execution of said criminal. 

Hammurabi's Law: The largest, based on its age, code of laws known to mankind 1772 BC - Sumerian law dictated the rights and responsibilities of citizens.  Most punishments for any offense included the death penalty, blood money, or giving away personal possessions to the injured party.  If restitution for stealing could not be made, the thief was put to death.

Greece: 620 BC - The act of murder was punished by exile. Prior to that, relatives would avenge the murder with one of their own.  Solon created democracy, the foundation of most countries democratic laws. This was called Tort. Theft and Murder carried a sentence as decided by a jury. 

So there you go, "Thou Shall Not Kill" and "Thou Shall Not Steal" were not originated with the Bible and being offended because we chose to separate anyone's Church from our State in Civil matters is a foolish endeavor.

The laws of man are always evolving, not regressing, and the 14th Amendment clearly states that we all have equal rights under the law. 

All citizens, gay or straight, have the right to enter into any contract they choose, including marriage.  Legislating public policy based on the narrow confines of someone's religious ideology is a recipe for disaster.  

I strongly suggest religious ideologues who want the rule of their god to be the rule of the land to take a few years living in a country run with an iron fist based on a book in which Jesus Christ is not the main star.

Get back to us when, or if, you come back.

Now... Time to find out what happened with the Supreme Court and that pesky Arizona law.

Of Interest:

Sumerian Legal System; Library; ThinkQuest.Org
Norse and Icelandic Sagas

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You just made my day!! Thank you so much! I'm definently going to share this with everyone I know.