Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Someone tweeted a link to this case concerning a care worker who lost her constructive dismissal case against Merton Council. The dispute arose over her contract of employment requiring her to work on Sundays. This she said conflicted with Christian teachings about the Sabbath.

She was quoted as saying

"I am amazed by this decision. I thought that this country was a Christian country. I worked hard for years at my job, and to lose it because of intolerance towards my faith is shocking to me."

I too am shocked at the decision. Exodus is explicit about the consequences of Sunday working.

  • 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
  • 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
  • 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

That the courts will not allow her a day off on Sunday so she can go round murdering people who are working is clearly quashing her legitimate rights to practice her religion.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The voluntary union for life of one man and one woman

A new group, the Coalition for Marriage, has recently stared a petition asking people to support the "legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others".

It is claimed to have the support, amongst others, of lawyers. I would suggest that anyone thinking lawyers favour an unambiguous and incontrovertible legal definition does not have the slightest idea how the legal profession makes its money.

The above definition can not be found in UK statute. The marriage act of 1949, rather than banning marriage between those of opposite sex, actually prevents marriage between certain men and women. Specifically it makes the Marriage between Abraham and his sister which was blessed by God in Genesis 17:16 illegal in the UK.  It was not until 1971 and the Nullity of Marriage act that same sex marriages were outlawed.

The spotlighted signatories of the petition are predominately Christian leaders. Ironically the list is headed by Lord Carey of Clifton, former Archbishop of Canterbury. One wonders, when signing a petition calling for the union of one man with one woman for life, whether he contemplated the circumstances which caused his Church to separate from Rome. Or indeed whether he considered the traditional lessons about marriage found in the bible. 

God certainly was not a fan of this one man & one woman malarkey. From Lenach in Genisis 4, to Esau, Jacob, David  and Soloman the O.T. has no shortage of polygamy. God even gave rules in Exodus 21: 10 on how to take another wife. Indeed he went further rewarding those marrying again

Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

Paul, the prime mouthpiece for Jesus, on the other hand was clearly giving an anti-marriage message. 
1 Corinthians 7:27 Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 
1 Corinthians 7:7-9 For I would that all men were even as I myself    .... I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 

Matthew 19:10-12 reports Jesus' downer on marriage when he said you are better off castrating yourself than getting married. Jesus' ambivalence further illustrated in  Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25 and Luke 20:35 which all report him saying that marriages are not recognised in heaven.  

So it appears that the 'one man one woman thing' is far from the biblical ideal, what about 'for life'? If marriage was for life why would Jesus encourage the disciples to abandon their wives as pointed out by Mark 10:29-20?
There is no man that hath left .. (his) wife for my sake, and the gospel's. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
And why make divorce is so easy? Back to Deuteronomy and 24:1

When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house

We have yet to address the part of the definition concerning the 'voluntary' nature of the union.  Deuteronomy 21 contains a charming moral teaching where wives can be taken without consent.

21:10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,
21:11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
21:12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
21:13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
21:14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will
Incidentally note in the above there are no issues with abandoning a wife who is not satisfactory. None of that 'for life' rubbish here.

That leaves us with "to the exclusion of all others". Can I just suggest that you search the bible for one of the many references to 'concubine' and draw your own conclusions.

What is clear is that this 'voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others' meme has no legitimate or consistent basis for support in the bible. Wherever it came from it is is not reflected by the traditional Christian Values found in the holy book.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Dawkins and the slaves

In an article in today's Telegraph Richard Dawkins' family's slave owning past has been 'exposed'. I say family, but that suggests a close link. The actual descendent concerned was born in the 17th Century, dying over 250 years ago. He was Dawkins' great, great great great great grandfather. Were it not for the fact that one of his approximate 540 living descendants is Richard Dawkins this 'story' would not be in the news.

Which begs the question. Why is it in the paper? Someone obviously thinks Dawkins is somehow tainted because of his ancestry. What kind of sick morality blames someone for their distant ancestor's actions? Here is one.

Deuteronomy 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

Exodus 34:7 ... visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation

It must be an important Christian message as you find similar in
Numbers 14:18 ....visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

While slavery may be 7 generations back down Dawkins' line it is nevertheless still prevalent today. Last week we heard of the case of a young woman kept as a slave and beaten in Manchester.
I find it interesting that the bible a book held up as a moral guide does not speak out against slavery. The opposite in fact. Luke tells a tale of Jesus instructing how to treat slaves.

12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 

12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes

So if your slave does not do what you tell him give him a damn good thrashing. If however he hasn't done it because you haven't told him what you want, just give him a few cracks of the whip.

I wonder why those like Cameron calling for the UK to recognize Christian  morals and values were not outraged that this poor couple are being persecuted for following Jesus' moral guide? Are these not the Christian values they are talking about?


Wednesday, 15 February 2012


The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said last December "The UK is a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so"  adding  "The Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today, values and morals we should actively stand up and defend."

Is Britain built on Christian morals?

Is Britain a Christian county?
How close is our law to that in the bible?
Should we defend Christian morals?                      
What are Christian morals?

This blog will seek answers to these questions.