I may not be a religious person, but there are some aspects about faith that I sometimes think I understand better than the devout themselves. One of these tenets of faith is that you're supposed to behave in a way that is endorsed by the Bible. If you don't, then you probably shouldn't be going around talking about how infallible your holy text is and how great you are for adhering to its teachings. Somebody should probably deliver this message to several people who have been in the news lately.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.This line is the ninth of the Ten Commandments. In other words, I'm not pulling out a random, obscure biblical verse to prove a point. This is about as well known a biblical line as there is. So, why is this quote relevant? The answer: Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, violated it. Prejean is involved in controversy because she showed opposition to gay marriage in her response to a question posed during a recent beauty pageant. Since then, she has been speaking for various anti-gay marriage organizations. One point she has emphasized repeatedly is that she acts the way she does because of her Christian faith. However, she may be stripped of her title as Miss California because she did, in fact, bear false witness. When entering the Miss USA Pageant, Prejean signed a contract in which she agreed not to give any public appearances following the pageant. She violated this agreement by giving these anti-gay marriage speeches. But what's gotten even more attention is that Prejean violated another part of her contract by lying about having never been in any partially nude photos. You can't violate the ninth commandment any more directly than that...
On second thought, Prejean has been defending herself from these allegations of fraud through the use of a public relations representative, despite the fact that hiring such a representative is also a violation of the contract.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.What a beautiful sentiment. Pray freely, but don't do so for the purpose of proving to others how pious you think you are. It's too bad that those that take the Bible most literally seem to leave this part out. This is best evidenced by yesterday's celebration of a National Day of Prayer, for which President Obama signed a proclamation honoring the holiday. That will appease the evangelicals, right? Well, not really. Evidently, conservative religious groups aren't happy that Obama didn't join them for a public prayer session, instead opting for private prayer. I guess the Bible just isn't compatible with the views of Bible thumpers.
This one doesn't need a Bible verse.
A few days ago, a piece of legislation was passed in Washington D.C. allowing for the recognition of same-sex marriages performed legally in other parts of the country. The bill passed 12-1. The one dissenter was Marion Barry. As he explained in this speech, he opposes gay marriages because he thinks it goes against his belief that people should be led by "moral leaders." He proclaimed "I am a moral leader." Ironically, Barry is best known for getting caught in a sting operation in 1990 in which he was caught using crack. Since then, Barry has been in trouble with the law for further drug use and failing to pay his taxes. Perhaps Barry has very loose definition of morality.