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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/8/18

Does Loving Truth Make You Hostile to Religion?

Follow Me on Twitter     Message Bob Johnson

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In Monday's US Supreme Court decision regarding the Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP, LTD., ET AL. v. COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION ET AL., Justice Kennedy stated that the Christian owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, had his sincerely held religious beliefs disparaged by one of the Colorado Human Rights commissioners who first heard the case in 2012 when the gay couple, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Kennedy took issue with a statement made by a commissioner who pointed out that religion has historically been used to promote all types of discrimination against people. Kennedy sees this statement of fact as "religious hostility" towards the Christian cake shop owner. Since it is a statement of fact that religions have been, and continue to be, used to discriminate against people, we are forced to answer the question Kennedy and the US Supreme Court avoids: do we value truth?

If we value truth, we must do all we can to promote it. To not promote it, we are showing we do not really love or value truth.

There are many ways we can promote truth regarding religion. For example, when we hear gay Christians claim that Christianity embraces everyone and that Jesus loved everyone, we need to point out the anti-gay teachings that are in print in the Bible, such as Leviticus 20:13 which commands the killing of gay men. We also need to point out how Jesus referred to the ungodly and cruel Hebrew Bible/Old Testament as "the word of God" (Mark 7:13) when he was attacking the Pharisees for not following the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament command to kill children who curse their parents.

Likewise, when we hear women promoting Christianity, we need to ask them what they think of the misogynistic teachings the Bible promotes. A good example, out of many, to start with is 1 Timothy 2:11-12 which teaches:

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

In the verses after these, the root cause of this misogyny is shown: the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Verses 13 and 14 state:

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

The foolish belief that Adam was formed before Eve is based on the second creation myth found at Genesis 2:20-23 which claims God took a rib out of Adam and used it to make Eve. This Bible story is in contradiction to the Bible story at Genesis 1:27 which claims God made Adam and Eve at the same time.

In The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition, Thomas Paine points out the importance of truth. Paine wrote:

Something more therefore is necessary than mere cry and wholesale assertion, and that something is TRUTH; and as inquiry is the road to truth, he that is opposed to inquiry is not a friend to truth. The God of truth is not the God of fable; when, therefore, any book is introduced into the world as the Word of God, and made a groundwork for religion, it ought to be scrutinized more than other books to see if it bear evidence of being what it is called. Our reverence to God demands that we do this, lest we ascribe to God what is not His, and our duty to ourselves demands it lest we take fable for fact, and rest our hope of salvation on a false foundation.

Our love and appreciation for the truth gives us the need to do our best to promote what is true and to point out what is false even in regards to religion.

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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
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