Ridicule and Rationality

Ridicule and Rationality

Mark James has a second post exploring public Scripture up at State of Formation. Calling all Jon Stewart fans:

One of [Stewart’s] favorite strategies is to quote the Bible at Christians who claim to uphold ‘Biblical’ viewpoints.  Last November, the British Supreme Court ruled against two Christian owners of a bed and breakfast, who had a policy of refusing service to gay (and other unmarried) couples.  In a statement, the couple justified themselves by quoting the ‘Biblical’ definition of marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman.’

Stewart had some choice words for them: ‘that’s bull-s***!’  But he was not, as one might expect, directly attacking their sexual ethics.  Rather, Stewart was mocking them for their failure to show hospitality to strangers: ‘If you were Christians, you wouldn’t charge weary travelers to stay in your home in the first place,’ he said.  ‘That’s just Jesus 101!’  And to make the point, he hammered them with the New Testament, quoting chapter and verse: ‘Romans 15:7 — therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God! . . . 1 Peter 4:9 — Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.’  And for good measure: ‘Olive Garden 24:7 – when one is with you, he is family!’

Read more at State of Formation.

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I Am Not Ashamed

I Am Not Ashamed

Check out this blog post by Mark James, one of our conference organizers, exploring one of the ways Scripture is deployed in the political arena:

You may have heard about Mark Pryor, embattled Democratic Senator of Arkansas, who just released an ad promoting his allegiance to the Bible as his ‘North Star.’ It has invited comparisons with this spot by Rick Perry, particularly since both begin with the words ‘I am not ashamed . . .‘  Both publicly confess their Christian faith.  But while Perry goes on to offer a list of specific conservative grievances — no prayer in school, the presence of homosexuals in the military — Pryor sticks with generalities: “The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers . . . and neither political party is always right.”  Pryor’s ad has produced some sharp reactions among those dismayed by his political calculation that he needs to trumpet his Christian faith to win re-election.

Read more at State of Formation.