Thursday, January 25, 2018

the Bible tells me so, part 2

If you are a regular reader of this site, you may remember that I published an earlier story about the Bible in 2010, which included a 10 question Bible quiz. To make it as easy as possible, I made it an “open book” test.

A few days ago, I saw a poster in the hallway of a local high school that advocated an after hours Bible club. Since the group met after hours, I would have no objection to the group, even though they met on the grounds of a public high school I also would have no objection if a group of Muslims or Jews met after hours to discuss THEIR religions after hours. Since folks meeting to discuss religion after hours tend to be conservative, it is interesting to note that the same school has a gay/straight alliance group that also meets after school hours, and would likely be a fairly liberal group.

In 2016, the state of Tennessee passed a bill that would make the Bible the official book of Tennessee. Fortunately, the governor vetoed the bill. Tennessee was not the first state to attempt to do so, but none of them have been successful so far.

If you are a student of history, you may remember that the “monkey trial” of 1925 occurred in Tennessee, and it pitted  those who believed in evolution against folks who believed in the literal truth of the Bible. A few years ago, Republicans in the same legislature introduced a sex education bill that defined kissing and holding hands as “gateways to sexual activity”.

A very large majority of the people in this country believe that it is necessary for politicians to place their hands on a Bible when taking an oath of office. One of those people is a man named Ted Crockett, who was the spokesman for Alabama politician Roy Moore. His discussion with Jake Tapper on CNN is enlightening to watch:

As a matter of fact, though, it is NOT necessary for politicians to have their hand on the Bible when they are first sworn into office. In fact, Keith Ellison of Minnesota (a Muslim) placed his hand on a Koran that was formerly owned by Thomas Jefferson in an informal meeting AFTER he was officially sworn in with his left hand empty at this side.

When I sold cars in Evanston, I worked with a couple of guys who were Muslims. One of them brought his Muslim prayer beads to work a few times, since he was diligent about praying 5 times a day, which is a requirement of the Muslim religion. The Muslim prayer beads look like this:

Here’s more information:

If you counted all the beads, you will discover that there are 99, almost the same number of beads found in the rosary (108). Although the rosary is associated with the Catholic faith, other religions also use the rosary. Catholics who are the most devout believers try to say the rosary every single day, but very few Catholics spend much time reading the Bible, even though there actually IS an official Catholic Bible – and I own one. (I’ll have to admit, though, that it has been a long time since I have owned a rosary).

Due to the myriad of problems that result when religion is mixed with politics (read the link below), our Founding Fathers had the wisdom to include freedom of religion in the very first amendment to the constitution. As a result, I am perfectly happy to admit that I don’t read the Bible, I no longer attend church services, and I do not even own a rosary.

However, it one of my fellow countrymen wanted to attend Bible classes, attend church as often as possible, and pray the rosary every single day, I would rejoice at their efforts.

Just don’t try to convert me.

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