Recently, this video recirculated, and those posting it were chest thumping at the smackdown this clip gives to Bible believing Christians. I thought I would take this opportunity to point out an inescapable fact that sentiments like this try to dodge.
The fictional President Bartlet, in this clip, dresses down an apparent Bible-believer for ascribing to, you know, what the Bible teaches, i.e. that homosexuality is an abomination (Lev. 18:22). He then goes on to snidely allude to other commands in the OT that allow for slavery (Ex. 21:7), stoning Sabbath-breakers (Ex 35:2, Num 15:32-36), becoming unclean by touching the skin of a pig (Lev. 11:7), punishing those who sow two kinds of seed (Deu. 22:9) or make a garment out of two sorts of fabric (Deu. 22:11). Those sharing this, and the comments section on the clip, make it plain that secularists were quite pleased that President Bartlet knocked Christianity down a few notches, and painted the Christian as flummoxed and overwhelmed by the idiocy of consistently believing the Bible.
What we must remember, is to never apologize for what the Scriptures teach. As Christians, there is no need to try to sheepishly explain why “those passages are irrelevant, and we just need the red-letter portions”. How we ought to respond (and by the way, clarifying the intent of these passages is the work of about 5 minutes) is to simply point out that the secularist who wants to see the Bible knocked down a few pegs, or relegated and restricted to the library, doesn’t want to simply sideline all the “holy books”, it wants to establish its bible as the authoritative one.
The ironic thing here is that secularism has a bible, and in order to establish their truth-claims, they must assert that their authority source (i.e. so-called reason, logic, free-thought) is superior to other sources of authority. They deride what the Bible teaches, but make no mistake, they still want a bible to teach from. It is the bible of human reason, materialism, and moral relativity. The problem is that human reason is wildly unreasonable, frail, unpredictable and there are things which cannot be explained in terms of atoms banging against each other.
So, President Bartlet can smugly gloat in his victory, but notice that what is left unstated is that he is not advocating for a lawless anarchy where there is no source of authority. Rather, what we’re left with is that secularism has a standard which they believe mankind ought to submit to. They want to assert that their reasoning is superior to the divinely inspired commands of Scripture.
But these are the same people, who now are advocating that a female wrestler taking testosterone shouldn’t be punished for cheating but should be lauded for her courage to embrace her new gender identity; or are expressing the opinion that a doctor announcing “It’s a boy/girl” is potentially a bigoted tradition, and we shouldn’t presume to enforce upon our children what the genitals between their legs tell us about their gender; or think that population control (by killing the offspring of the poorest of the poor) is a positive good.
A simple question suffices in response to President Bartlet’s smug monologue: “So, Mr. President, which source of authority (i.e. bible) should we reference to order our culture instead? Which bible, Mr. President?”