to Justify The Unjustifiable With Scripture:
by Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., March 6, 2005
Congressional Republicans are currently attempting to pass their harsh, deceptively-named "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act" (S. 256/H.R. 685). To justify it, the bill's proponents have cited certain
cherry-picked scriptural passages like Thessalonians 3: 6-15, but have inexplicably ignored more directly-applicable contrary passages like Deuteronomy 15: 1-11.
Therefore, please consider Bob Rostow's
letter, "Dear President Bush, can
I buy a Canadian Slave and other questions..." In the humorous
tradition of Mark
Twain and Will Rogers, it provides an important warning about politicians
who resort to scriptural literalism in the
misbegotten attempt to justify an
otherwise-unjustifiable public policy.
"Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. As you said, "In the eyes of God, marriage is based between a man and a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them:
I know you have studies these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Of course, Mr. Rostow is making the excellent point that a politician's literalistic use of scriptural passages can make a poor guide to public policy! In the twenty-first century Western world, one first must consider their historical and cultural context, and then debate one's scriptural sources rationally on their merits, before one can seriously contend that they should be implemented as public policy.
Now let's return to our consideration of the Republicans' misguided "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act" (S. 256/H.R. 685). This onerous bill was written by the credit industry's fat-cat lobbyists, who hoped the American people would never know about its onerous provisions until it was too late. Realistically, it should have been titled the "Debt Slavery Act," because the lobbyists' deceptive "bankruptcy reform" rhetoric hides the harsh Social-Darwinist reality that's buried in its technical language, as two knowledgeable authors have pointed out in the following essays:
What can we, the people, do to protect ourselves and our families from financial disaster and the imposition of debt slavery?
First, we can tell our Congresspersons to STOP persecuting "the little people" who are suffering the unfortunate financial symptoms, and to START turning their attention to the underlying causes, of our nation-wide economic insecurity: (A) stagnant wages; (B) high unemployment, noting that large numbers of long-term unemployed people are going unrecorded in the government's official statistics; (C) massive outsourcing of US jobs to cheap-labor markets overseas;
(D) massive replacements of US jobs with technology; (E) skyrocketing costs of living, such as exorbitant costs for housing, gasoline, and health care; and (F) massive over-investment of federal revenues in Mr. Bush's unnecessary and illegal war-profiteering military adventures, rather than in the basic social-services sector of our economy.
Second, you can take action. It's easy! Tell your Congresspersons to OPPOSE this terrible "bankruptcy reform" bill by sending them a letter that's already been written -- "as is" or with your own words added -- from this website:
Finally, thank you very much, good citizen, for taking that important action right now!
This Action Alert Was Prepared For You By:
the Executive Director of the
American Center for International Law ("ACIL").
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