Rachel Held Evans: Everyone’s a Biblical Literalist Until You Bring Up Gluttony

This is worth a read.

Yet you don’t see weigh-ins preceding baptisms or people holding “God Hates Gluttons” signs outside the den of iniquity that is Ryan’s Steakhouse.

And we haven’t even touched on materialism, or the fact that on the day I stuffed my face with froyo, 30,000 kids died from preventable diseases and many more went hungry. 

It seems the more ubiquitous the biblical violation, the more invisible it becomes.

So why do so many Christians focus on the so-called “clobber verses” related to homosexuality while ignoring “clobber verses” related to gluttony or greed, head coverings or divorce?  Why is homosexuality the great biblical debate of this decade and not slavery, (as it once was) or the increasing problem of materialism and inequity? Why do so many advocate making gay marriage illegal but not divorce, when Jesus never referenced the former but spoke quite negatively about the latter?

While there are certainly important hermeneutical and cultural issues at play, I can’t help but wonder if something more nefarious is also at work.  I can’t help but wonder if biblical condemnation is often a numbers game.

Though it affects more of us than we tend to realize, statistically, homosexuality affects far fewer of us than gluttony, materialism, or divorce. And as Jesus pointed out so often in his ministry, we like to focus on the biblical violations (real or perceived) of the minority rather than our own.  

In short, we like to gang up.  We like to fashion weapons out of the verses that affect us the least and then “clobber” the minority with them. Or better yet, conjure up some saccharine language about speaking the truth in love before breaking out our spec-removing tweezers to help get our minds off of these uncomfortable logs in our own eyes.

5 comments to Rachel Held Evans: Everyone’s a Biblical Literalist Until You Bring Up Gluttony

  • And don’t forget about what the Bible says about divorce. Another thing some people conveniently forget.

       2 likes

  • Excellent point. I can’t count the number of so-called “Christian conservatives” who have had multiple marriages.

       2 likes

  • Duane12

    How about multiple affairs?

    Like Vitter from LA. and Weiner from NY?

       1 likes

  • It is actually very easy to refute the Christian Bible’s authority. A decent background in theology is helpful, but hardly necessary. Logic is all that is required. Of course, the opposite of logic is emotion. Using logic to dispute the beliefs of an emotionally engaged Christian fundamentalist is an exercise in futility. Still, trapping them with their own dictum can be mildly amusing.

       2 likes

  • John Casper

    Zach, nice catch.

    Wingnuts really hate it when we bring up usury, lending money at interest.

    Exodus 22:25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.”

    In addition to scripture, pope, after pope in century after century prohibited usury.

       1 likes

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