“What would Jesus think of Occupy Wall Street?” I asked myself this week as I wandered the makeshift, blue-tarp village in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.And this from Friday:
Born with little means into a first-century world, the historical Jesus might feel right at home with the very aspects of the occupation that so many 21st-century observers consider gross: the tents, the damp sleeping bags, the communal kitchen. Jesus would have sympathy, I think, with the campers’ efforts to keep a small space sanitary in the absence of modern plumbing.
Between them, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have as many children — 12 — as there were tribes of Israel. Ron Paul has five of his own, and in an early debate, perhaps unwilling to be outdone by Michele Bachmann’s fostering of dozens, Paul boasted that when he worked as a physician he delivered “4,000 babies.”So, Biblical things are cool as long as they're used to support leftist ideals, but if they support something conservatives believe, they're terribly outdated.
There’s nothing wrong with big families, of course. But the smug fecundity of the Republican field this primary season has me worried. Their family photos, with members of their respective broods spilling out to the margins, seem to convey a subliminal message that goes far beyond a father’s pride in being able to field his own basketball team. What the Republican front-runners seem to be saying is this: We are like the biblical patriarchs. As conservative religious believers, we take seriously the biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply.
A debate over the role of religion in political life has shaped recent clashes over contraception and abortion.
Especially worrisome is the inevitable corollary to that belief: Women should put their natural fertility first — before their brains, before their ability to earn a living, before their independence — because that’s what God wants.
And now, with their crusade against birth control, the Catholic bishops are helping to articulate and elevate that unspoken and archaic value in public. Fertility is a gift from God, they say. To mess with that gift goes against God’s plan. (The appeal of Sarah Palin to so many Christian women was exactly this: She prioritized her fertility while juggling a big job and a husband who was frequently out of town. Her fans call her a Proverbs 31 woman, a reference to the biblical character who does it all — and who keeps herself looking good. Her price, the Bible says, is “above rubies.”)
To which I say this: We’ve come a long way from the days of the Bible, baby, and I don’t want to go back there.
The Bible contains profound truths about faith and love and justice and fidelity, but as a point-by-point guidebook to modern domestic life it’s nearly worthless.
Why do major publications insist in hiring people without any discernible faith to write and report on faith?