“If any man come to me, and hate not his father and his mother, and wife
and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be
my disciple.” Jesus; in Luke 14:26
I don’t know about you but when I think of the typical American family,
I think of picket fences, summer picnics with 2.5 kids, and cuddly puppy dogs worthy of their own Hallmark cards; the perfect lily white Stepford wives community where we all shower love and support upon one another with nary a cloud in the sky.
And back to reality. These days there isn’t much respect to be had for the family. Spousal and child physical and mental abuse, single parent households, teen pregnancy that lets the fathers off the hook, drug use, too many video games, smart phone use and TV, not enough education, and so on and so forth. For Americans, the phrase “dysfunctional family” has become the default definition of a family. We now live in a day and age when a family that isn’t dysfunctional is considered to be outside the norm.
While religious conservatives would love for you to believe that liberal, homosexual communists are to blame; the disintegration of the family unit actually lies more with, shocker, religious conservatives themselves. As with most anyone worth their salt, conservatives are just as irresponsible at parenting and are among those to blame for the breakdown of the traditional family. After all, weren’t conservatives the stewards of the family unit before it all came crashing down? Somebody somewhere dropped the ball.
In an attempt to disguise and shift the blame, religious conservative in America pretend to get riled up and make a big deal out of the decline of the American family. It’s just that, by golly, the so-called “family values” they support are almost nowhere to be found in the book (the Bible) they claim extols such virtues. [At least Muslims are generally consistent with aligning their values with the Koran in their attempts to subjugate others.] Are religious conservatives for or against the following family values? I’ll report. You decide.
Incest. Any religious conservative will say they condemn such a thing, but the Bible practically condones it! Naturally you don’t believe me, but don’t take my word for. Take God’s word for it. In the Bible, when Lot and his daughters are hanging out in a cave, Lot’s daughters get him drunk and have sex with him and get themselves preggers (Genesis 19:30-38). What, no outcry from the good Lord above? That’s weird. And what about Moses? Moses was the product of an incestuous marriage yet was one God’s favorite characters. I mean, really favorite characters. To be fair, though, the Bible does condemn incestuous marriage in Leviticus. It’s just that God certainly makes exceptions, such as in the case of Abraham and his sister. Ah, what a capricious god.
Sexual abuse. Likewise with incest, it’s hard to find in the Bible where God is against such a thing. Didn’t the previously mentioned Lot offer up his daughters as a sacrifice to an unruly mob (Genesis 19:8)? Rape doesn’t seem to be much of a concern to God. Why, in the Book of Deuteronomy the penalty for raping a virgin is the sum of fifty shekels and having to wed said virgin. Gosh, that’ll make her feel better. Taking female virgins as spoils of war is also okay-ed in the Bible; in Numbers, Judges, and Deuteronomy.
Child abuse. The Book of Proverbs offers up some good advice for dealing with unruly kids. Proverbs 13:24 tells us not to spare the rod. As in, “It was Daddy, in the bedroom, with the lead pipe.” Proverbs 22:15 states beating your child will make them less foolish and perhaps even wise, as stated in Proverbs 29:15. Proverbs 23:13-14 tells us to beat our children hard and often, ya’ know, to deliver their souls from Hell. But wait, there’s more! Exodus 21:7-8 gives instructions on how to sell your daughter. Exodus 21:15-17 and Leviticus 20:9 instruct us to execute a child who hits or curses their parent. And don’t even get me started on that whole circumcision thing! But hey, what are children but glorified piñatas anyway?
Polygamy. Sure we outlaw it these days but that’s hardly because God condemns it. In Genesis, Lamech is the first in a loooong line of really horny dudes to have more than one wife.
The first thing a religious conservative will say in response to this is, “Well, that’s the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus preaches love.” Oh, really? When Jesus preached love, he sure did it in contradiction to respecting your family. On one hand you’ve got Jesus telling people that loving your neighbor is second only to loving God. On the other hand Jesus says in Luke 18:29-30 that if a man leaves his family for God, he’ll be greatly rewarded in Heaven. He affirms more family values when in Acts 16:30-31 he says that if you believe in him your whole family will be saved but in Mark 10:29-30 reiterates what he said in the previously mentioned Luke 18:29-30, giving men great rewards for abandoning their families. Am I really expected to take tips on living harmoniously with my family from a guy who is never once shown to speak kindly to his mother, Mary, and never once speaking at all to his (step) father, Joseph? Am I really expected to follow the example of a man who in Luke 8:10-12 intentionally speaks in parables to keep some people from being saved? Am I really expected to live in the manner of a man who would curse a fig tree for not bearing fruit at his whim? Jesus wasn’t a family man. He was bonkers.
If religious conservatives are to have an argument when they claim they want to protect the traditional American family for religious reasons, they should consider being consistent*. Don’t point out how honky-dory the Bible is when you don’t even adhere to its most basic teachings. If today’s Republican presidential candidates want power, why not just come out and say they want the right to keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, the right to sell their daughters, the right to beat their sons within an inch of their lives if they so much as peep when they’re not supposed to? Ah, of course if they did all that, maybe there wouldn’t be so many people in church anymore, at least not of their own free will (putting aside that free will, cough cough, is supposed to be really important to God). Which reminds me, do they ever ask a child if they want the tip of its dick looped off?
“And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:14
Way to shun a family member over a piece of skin, God. You are one sick dude.
[* To Jeb Bush’s credit, he has suggested that working-class Americans – the Americans tasked with preserving the family – work longer hours in order to shore up the economy. The consequence, of course, would be that parents would spend even less time with their children than they already do. This would be another form of abuse perfectly in synch with Biblical teachings. Interestingly, one of his competitors for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump, has nothing but bad things to say about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, a group of people to whom family is far more important than their fairer skinned American counter-parts. And this…is nothing short of Manson Family Values.]