Ben Carson’s Lucifer rant at the RNC…

Could it be….

Okay, the Ben Carson thing is really getting under my craw. This morning, he cited marriage equality and reproductive choice as signs that Sect. Clinton is, perhaps unwittingly, in league with Lucifer. And he means it.

Here’s the problem with a dominionist view of politics in a constitutional republic with constitutionally enshrined protections against the imposition of one particular religious view on the populace by the government….

He can’t win…the US will not, indeed cannot adopt his particular view of Christian morality (or mine or anyone else’s for that matter) as the legal standard for conduct and still be the US. Given that, it casts him always in the role of the noble martyr, the one who gets to lob the God bomb, or in this case, the Lucifer bomb. He refuses to debate the justifications for these standards separate and apart from their place in the Bible and so he disqualifies himself from being one who engages in a legitimate political debate.

Regardless…his positions are problematic, even simply looking at them from a Christian moral perspective.

SOME Christians believe that same-sex marriage is an abomination. SOME Christians celebrate it as both a civil right and an example of God’s covenantal love being present in many committed relationships, not simply those of straight couples.

SOME Christians believe that abortion is murder and always wrong. SOME Christians recognize than there are moral and legal differences between potential life and self-sustainable life and that questions and decisions of reproductive health, absent the presence of an independently viable fetus, are best left to doctors and patients, not lawmakers. In short, abortion is a very, very complicated issue, both legally and morally, however tragically or neutrally we might view each procedure.

Publicly making the jump from “morally complex” to “evil” or “in league with Lucifer” with regard to someone else’s conduct is deeply fraught for many reasons including, but not limited to: (1) when you isolate one or two purported sins above others and actively ignore others (like the Bible’s condemnations of charging interest or the duties to the poor and widowed and to be hospitable) your hypocrisy delegitimizes your alleged moral high ground; (2) when you definitively state that you know the mind of God on a particular subject, you display a lack of humility and an excess of arrogance inconsistent with the Gospel; and (3) that is not how Jesus instructed Christians to deal with people who we believe are engaging in immoral behavior.

Many, if not most, folks either see Dr. Carson as a moral lion, a modern Don Quixote for Jesus….or a fool. I see him as neither. I struggle with whether he is a charlatan or a deeply misguided man who doesn’t understand how our Constitution works and who practices a kind of Christianity I find incompatible with my experience and study of scripture. Regardless, to follow him is to tread into dangerous waters–both constitutionally and theologically.

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Author: RevKirby

Middle-aged progressive ex-lawyer/pastor in Evanston with keen interest in justice, law, theology, show tunes, history and trivia.

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