Does Gary North want to stone homosexuals?
July 11, 2005 9 Comments
I doubt it.
Does he want to live under theonomy, in a state that administers Biblical Law?
I believe he does.
Would Biblical Law require the stoning to death of homosexuals?
I believe he believes that it would.
My next-door neighbors love me. They care about both my mortal future and the destination of my immortal soul. They think I’m going to Hell because I don’t believe in God. I don’t take it personally. That’s just how it works: I can’t accept Jesus Christ as my only path to Heaven if I don’t believe in an afterlife, and my soul won’t go where they want it to go unless I embrace Christ. Them’s the rules.
Unbelievers like me have no right to require believers to accept our non-belief — especially if we can’t acknowledge the facts or consequences of their beliefs. I’ve written about this before in two of my earliest blog posts:
According to my neighbors’ understanding of the Christian Bible, my soul is bound for an eternity of flames, and according to North’s interpretation, the Christian community has a right (an obligation?) to put sexual deviants to death — and adulterers, and blasphemers, etc.
When I was half-way through college, we got a new computer science professor who was what I learned in Israel to call a Black Hat — an ultra-orthodox Jew with the black coat, the covered head, the tassels (tzitzis) outside the jacket, the beard, the ringlets of hair, etc.
When he first came into the scheduling office where I was working, the lady who ran the place got up to introduce herself and shake his hand. He said, “I don’t shake with women, but I am very pleased to meet you.” I found out later that she felt quite insulted.
When the new professor invited his class over for dinner, a secular Jewish classmate of mine tried to shake hands with the professor’s wife. “Oh, I don’t shake with men.” So now my classmate was offended.
I, liberal-minded secularist, couldn’t understand why anyone would take offense at any of that. Why would they take it personally? These religious Jews weren’t singling people out for cold treatment — they were following their understanding of God’s law!
I may not be a theist, but I do believe in a higher law than culture or etiquette (or legislation) and I admire people who accept the social consequences of adhering to higher laws.
(I guess that makes me both an atheist and a religious conservative.)
Does that mean I’d forgive Gary North if he tried to seriously injure a gay friend of mine? No, I’d probably shoot him dead. But aggressive actions actually taken are different from religious interpretations of what God sanctions and wants — even when those interpretations seem to condone aggressive acts.
Yes, I’m a little uncomfortable with Gary North’s religion. But until he actually tries to impose it on anyone, I say there’s no ill will between us, and I continue to consider him a potential ally and an actual teacher. If I could learn computer programming from the orthodox Jew, why can’t I learn economics and history from the Christian Reconstructionist?