Friday, May 4, 2007

Today's Headlines

Ten GOP presidential hopefuls went mano a mano last night, trying to win the right to represent the party of Ronald Reagan (and Honest Abe!) in the next election. Three of them - Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo - when prompted by a question from moderator Chris Matthews, 'fessed up to not believing in evolution. (,1,41504.story?coll=chi-news-hed) Huh?!? In related news, a coalition of religious leaders is pulling out all the stops to prevent a new hate crime bill from becoming the law of the land. They made national headlines this morning because the bill is making its way to the president's desk. He has threatened to veto it. Apparently, this group of "evangelical, fundamentalist, and black religious leaders" is afraid "a pastor could be held liable for giving a sermon against homosexuality if a listener later attacked a gay individual." (,1,1847702.story?coll=chi-news-hed) Aside from being embarrassed (yet again) to be a Christian, I find this argument utterly ridiculous. I mean, really. Since when have pastors EVER been held liable for what their listeners do - or don't do? Never, that's when. Think about it. How many sermons over the centuries do you think have been preached on texts like these:
"Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you." - Matthew 5:42 "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." - Matthew 5:44 "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged." - Matthew 7:1
OK, maybe not as many as Jesus might have liked. But at least a bizillion sermons have been preached on "Stewardship Sundays" on this one:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth...but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven..." - Matthew 6:19ff
And after all that hot air...not much to show for it. Come to think of it, maybe a little liability wouldn't be such a bad thing.

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The Bottom Line

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love becomes slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." - Galatians 5:13-14