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Does God Still Know Best?

October 23rd, 2012 Posted by Susan's Musings 8 comments

I am going to be hosting my husband’s radio show on KSFO (560 AM) this coming Sunday morning from 5-8 a.m. Pacific Time.  If you’re not local you can listen online. Do call in at 415-808-5600. I’d love to talk to you!

Among all the hoopla that attends a presidential election,
initiatives get less attention. But my voter’s pamphlet arrived last week, and
along with choosing a president, governor and other elected officials, there
are a number of initiatives on the ballot.

One of them, which polls show is likely to pass, allows for
same-sex marriage in my state. I do believe that the majority of voters who
support this measure are not only good people, but that their vote is
predicated on that very fact. The argument that a kind and just society embraces
homosexual marriage is something that has been promoted over the years, and has
swayed opinion.

I don’t quite see it that way. I simply don’t believe that
society wins when it opposes God. My position is based on no more and no less
than that. While I can explore and see how God’s directives enhance my life and
I can make intellectual arguments in their favor, nevertheless, the bottom line
is that whether I understand His rules or not, I try to live by them. When I
give at least 10% of every paycheck to charity or I try my best to not gossip,
it is really because I think that our Creator knows how His creations live most
successfully. Trying to circumvent His instructions can only bring us pain and
sorrow. It may take years for the negative effects to play out but I am
convinced that while this referendum promises compassion, it will instead lead
to chaos and unhappiness.

I think the case can certainly be made that if the majority
of citizens no longer want God to be a decisive voice in their lives, they have
a right to vote that way. The move to remove references to God from the
Democratic platform may have been bad politics, but it was more principled than
leaving His name in but nullifying His impact. The “new and improved god,
created in our image” which various representatives of religion promote is
simply a way of eliminating God from society incrementally rather than
decisively.

So, I was intrigued by a postcard that I received from
supporters of the referendum basing support for the measure on God’s
commandment to love one another. It seemed a bit like suggesting to Jews that
God really wants them to eat pork because He also said, “You shall eat, be
satisfied and bless the Lord your God.” You can’t lobby for one sinful activity
by quoting a general unrelated verse.
Yet, there is a push to make passing this referendum a religious
obligation, suggesting  that God actually
didn’t mean what He said about homesexuality in Scripture or has thought better
of it lately, rather than arguing that His will should be ignored. To me, that
simply doesn’t seem like an honest argument.

Americans worship in many different ways. Nevertheless,
certain Judeo-Christian fundamentals have underlain American society. In
general, we have adhered to the basics of the seven laws given to the children
of Noah. I can happily watch my Christian neighbor eat pork and he can embrace
my refraining from work on Shabbat. But we must share certain values for our
society to flourish. Roe vs. Wade did not end the debate surrounding abortion
because it struck at one of these fundamentals. Homosexual marriage does the
same. It is unclear how those of us who still believe in serving the eternal
and omniscient God who gave instructions to Moses on Mt. Sinai can share a
country with those who, like the group who built the Tower of Babel, think humans
can forge a better path.

 

8 comments

Jonathan Steele says:

Ms Lapin (I do not assume your friendship, though I might want to), the laws of man can only be a feeble attempt to implement God’s will, in light of our diversity and incomplete understanding of His word. Marriage has two meanings, and government has confounded them. It is a spiritual union when assisted and blessed by clergy, and it is a civil union when defined and governed by civil law. Most countries allow the spiritual union to be recorded as a civil union, perhaps for convenience. So that the civil law is fair in earthly terms, people push for a very liberal legal definition of marriage. Somewhere within, most know this is not “godly” nor ultimately wise for all. It is a simulation of the original sacrament. It is quite a battle to overcome the personal elements that resist heterosexual union. For the law to attempt this is foolish. To say the proposed laws display “love” and allow its expression is to use the word liberally, and in the spirit of tolerance it makes sense. I think we should be most thankful that, with the near-separation of religion from state, we can tolerate those among us who do things we regard as strange and less than ideal. We might work to sever the implied ties between spiritual and civil union, by making the names and procedures quite clear and separate. This should satisfy both the god-oriented and the man-oriented. It is unlikely to please the power-oriented.

James says:

Thanks as always, Ms. Lapin, for your column, which is invariably thought-provoking. Eating pork, homosexual marriage, and any other infelicities aside, there is a deeper point to the bitter railing of the Left against religion.
I am sure you have noticed over time how the Left will rush to champion the rights of Hindus, of Buddhists, most rabidly those of Muslims. It is the rights of Judeo-Christians they slight, thwart, categorically deny and seek to prohibit. Homosexual marriage is doubly advantageous in that it is both a pandering political bribe and a slap in the face to the Judeo-Christian majority.
What is going on here? The proponents of the Progressive Left have no underlying respect for religion. They champion whatever minority religion as the underdog for one single strategic purpose: to undermine the majority religion. They will even pit Jews against Christians when it suits their purpose.
A local talk show host says it best: the Left works tirelessly to undermine the dominant religion, whatever it may be, because we are all supposed to discard our worn-out tribal religions and worship their god of Government. Their religion is the mythically benign, all-powerful Government with the power of sustenance, protection, ultimately even reproduction, life and death. And they believe that Man can steer such an enterprise. Did they not read Reflections of the Failure of Socialism? Did they not read Orwell’s Animal Farm? Brave New World? Oh no, THIS time it will be different!
Shades of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel! And thanks to your husband the Rabbi for his timeless lessons on the Tower, Nimrod and totalitarianism.

tz says:

At what point do you give up on the leviathan state? It corrupts everything it touches. The move to recognize gay marriage is evil, yet contraception – isn’t sex just for pleasure and children an inconvenicence sometimes tolerated – and divorce – no fault divorce which means the woman gets the kids and the father gets the shaft from ‘family court’ which is Stalinesque are part of the state licensing of marriage. Of course the state got into the business with anti-miscegany laws which were racist.
In my tradition, Catholicism, marriages are indissoluable, yet a contract made between the prospective spouses would be overridden by the no-fault divorce laws. Itnis easier to get rid of a spouse than student-loan debt.
The state of marriage is in no small part the result of the state – not the creator – in marriage.

Jerrie says:

Very well said! I really like your comment,
“I simply don’t believe that society wins when it opposes God. ”

Matt says:

Susan,
If the goal of God is “the better,” then society has replaced it with “the equal.” Equality in all forms is the driving force. But how does one obtain equality?
In order to obtain equality one must tear down the better, and one must subsidize the worse. That which is good must be replaced by that which is bad. So good is bad, and bad is good. That is where we are today.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
The homosexual marriage thing is just a sign of the times. Isaiah 5:20 seems to suggest that payback is coming. Have you thought about moving to Israel?
I used to live near you in the Seattle, WA area. Now I live near Zurich, Switzerland. I read the handwriting on the wall.

Rochelle Delain says:

Hello Mrs. Lapin
It is always a pleasure to read your posts. I agree with you 100% and feel the same way. As and African American woman who is a conservative Christian it pains me to see witness family members who are so willing to lay bypass their faith and Biblical values to support a candidate who seems to deliberately undermine these values in the name of love, equality, and social justice. Yes, love, equality (of worth), and social justice are biblical concepts but when practiced outside of God’s laws they are at best, vanity as King Solomon would describe it. Making our own image of a “user friendly” god who tolerates all and does whatever we dictate is also in a sense, a violation of the second commandment. As Jews and Christians we are to love and embrace the sinner; however, that does not mean that we have to embrace or endorse their sin and speaking the truth of God’s Word in a loving way is NOT hate, contrary to what the liberal media says. While it is true that no elected official can save us, we DO have a responsibility to pray and vote for those who most closely represents our values. It is a sad state of affairs when we cast God aside in favor of race, popularity, pop culture, and prevailing human wisdom.

Menorahnorth says:

Susan, this is one of the most insightful ‘musings’ ever. However, the problem is that fewer and fewer Americans share your belief that the Torah or bible express “what God wants.” How could God create people gay, and then forbid their expressing the way He made them? And so they reject the bible as the source of God’s will (despite the fact that any Americn sense of ‘ethics’ or ‘morals’ rests on it). As you know, even a majority of Jews believe the intellect “God gave them” allows them to “interpret” the words of the Torah in clearly unintended directions.
Part of the problem is that youth resists the imposition of “others'” values. They tend to learn in universities that there are two “sides” to issues, and that the more restrictive side infringes on the liberties of the rest.
Therefore, your choice to follow the Torah is seen as a choice you can make, but which should not be imposed on anyone else, especially two gay people who want to embrace the traditional institution of marriage that has always been seen as a legitimizing force. As more and more states allow gay marriage, its repugnance dissipates. The Seattle Times went from opposing gay marriage to now running full-page ads urging voters to say “I Do” to it. I don’t know the antidote to this problem; lamenting just doesn’t cut it.

The argument I keep on hearing is that people quoted the Bible in favor of slavery. Of course, the fight against slavery originated in the churches as well. There isn’t a specific commandment or prohibition against slavery, which allowed both sides to claim accuracy (though slavery in the Bible was nothing at all like slavery in the South). Here, there is a pretty unarguable Biblical condemnation of homosexual behavior. I am less disturbed by those who say, God doesn’t matter or He’s wrong or He would write the Bible differently today, than those who say they are acting according to the Bible as we have it. That’s why I found the postcard quoting “Love your neighbor” as the source for a ‘yes’ vote to be ludicrous.

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