Vasu Murti

Articles
The Writings of Vasu Murti

Human Rights - Social Justice - Animal Rights - Peace - Love - Compassion - Kindness - Gentleness - Religion - Soul - Spirit - Knowledge - Wisdom - Politics - Science - Environment - Vegan - Vegetarian - God - Humans - Animals

| Home | Books | Publications | Articles | Email |

Many Issues have Moral Overtones

Christian vegan Tony Boutros ND /Researcher /Speaker with over 25 years experience in all areas of natural health, including soil enrichment,emotional healing, life mastery etc., writes:

"...yes Vasu, we cannot judge anyones motives, everyone is trying to do the right thing whether they are going about it the right way or not, it's for God to judge not me."

I responded:

Tony, I understand you're saying we cannot judge, but I feel we should be consistent about it. Shaking a finger at one person and admonishing him or her with, "Right now," "dog," "that, too...", etc. while looking the other way at or glorifying teenage sex IS inconsistent, if not hypocritical.

In the late '90s, my friend Ira said he disagreed with the accounts of opposition to capital punishment on the religious left, in one of the political manuscripts I'd sent him, The Next Distraction.

Ira referred to what he saw as the "I'm OK, You're OK" moral relativism of the liberal and religious left (and I'm thinking he might have been referring to New Age spirituality?) as "airy-fairy," where we can't judge one another, so we won't take a stand against abortion, but we will protest the execution of a murderer, etc.

On USENET, in 1986-88, pro-life student John Morrow at Rutgers University in New Jersey struck me as a liberal Christian, and he successfully debated pro-choice liberals. When a Wiccan said, "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law," John Morrow replied, "A moral relativist? What if one is homophobic, xenophobic, etc.?" indicating that even on the left, there are moral absolutes.

And there are moral absolutes on the right, too!

Jesus repeatedly upheld the Law (Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 16:17) as did his apostles (see chapters 10, 15, and 21 of Acts). Even if Paul's gospel displaces Jesus' gospel, with Paul referring to his previous adherence to the Law is "garbage," and the Old Testament becomes irrelevant, Christians often ignore the moral instructions Paul gives throughout his epistles.

Instead they cite II Corinthians 12:8-9 where Paul claims the risen Jesus said to him three times, "...my grace is sufficient for thee..." as a license to do as they please. But I've never heard them cite II Corinthians 12:8-9 to justify the right to an abortion (nor same-sex relations, either)!

"Choice, choice, choice..."

Christians must not resort to intellectual and theological dishonesty!

****

At a pro-life demonstration years ago, when Father Frank Pavone of Priests For Life asked Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King if the pro-life demonstrations were comparable to the civil rights movement, she replied, "Father, this IS the civil rights movement!"

If protecting unborn children is a noble cause and calling, a just and religious cause, like the civil rights movement, why should pro-lifers have to resort to lies and deception?

The Ten Commandments warn against bearing false witness.

Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, said: "Let your word 'yes' be yes and your 'no,' no. Anything beyond this is from the evil one."

(Isn't Satan known as a deceiver?)

Even the apostle Paul, who taught a completely different theology than that of Jesus, condemned dishonesty (Colossians 3:13).

The apostle Paul said, "If anyone has confidence in the Law, I am ahead of him."

Does that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who repeatedly upheld the Law (Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 16:17), as did his apostles (see chapters 10, 15 and 21 of Acts)?

If Christians aren't even following the moral instructions Paul gives throughout his epistles, if they aren't even following Paul, then no one's going to take them seriously, what to speak of putting them ahead of Jesus!

Boy, they "believe"!

Paul quotes Jesus as having said to him three times, "my grace is sufficient for thee." (II Corinthians 12:8-9) Christians sometimes misinterpret this verse to mean they're free to do as they please—ignoring the rest of the New Testament, and (especially) Jesus' and Paul's other teachings.

The apostle Paul taught his followers to bless their persecutors and not curse them (Romans 12:14), to care for their enemies by providing them with food and drink (12:20), and to pay their taxes and obey all earthly governments (13:1-7). He mentioned giving all his belongings to feed the hungry (I Corinthians 13:3), and taught giving to the person in need (Ephesians 4:23). He told his followers it was wrong to take their conflicts before non-Christian courts rather than before the saints. (I Corinthians 6:1)

The apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians Chapter 7:

"It is good for a man not to touch a woman, but because of prevailing immoralities, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband.

"The husband must render to his wife the obligations that are due her, and similarly the wife to her husband...

"Do not deprive each other, except by mutual agreement for a time to devote yourselves unhindered by prayer; and come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you on account of your lack of self-control."

(The apostle Paul's words here suggest regulated or restricted sexual activity, even within marriage!)

"I say this by way of concession, not as a regulation. I wish all were as I am (celibate), but each person has his own gift from God, the one in this direction, the other in that.

"To the single and the widows, I say that it is good for them to remain as I am (celibate); but if they cannot restrain their passions, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be consumed by passion.

"To the married couples I command -- not really I but the Lord -- that the wife must not leave her husband; and in case she does separate, she must either stay single or make up with her husband. And the husband must not divorce his wife.

"...if the unbeliever wants to separate, let there be separation..."

(Jesus forbade divorce, except in the case of unfaithfulness. And here we see Paul forbidding divorce, except in the case of an unbeliever demanding separation!)

"Regarding the unmarried I have no divine injunction, but as one who has received mercy from the Lord to be trustworthy, I give my opinion... it is good for a person to remain in his present situation.

"Are you united to a wife? do not seek release. Are you unattached to a woman? Do not seek a wife. But in case you marry, you do not sin; nor does the unmarried woman sin if she marries...

"The single person is concerned with the Lord's affairs, how to please the Lord, but the married person is concerned with things of the world, how to please his wife; he has divided interests.

"The unmarried woman or the virgin is interested in the Lord's affairs, that she may be dedicated to Him in body and spirit; but the married woman is concerned with things of the world, how she may please her husband."

"I mention this for your own good, not to throw a rope around you but to promote proper behavior and undisturbed devotion to the Lord."

Paul repeatedly attacked sexual immorality.

"This is God's will—your sanctification, that you keep yourselves from sexual immorality, that each of you learn how to take his own wife in purity and honor, not in lustful passion like the gentiles who have no knowledge of God." (I Thessalonians 4:3-5)

Paul told his followers not to associate with sexually immoral people (I Corinthians 5:9-12, 6:15,18). He condemned homosexuality (Romans 1:24-27) and incest (I Corinthians 5:1).

"Make no mistake," warned Paul, "no fornicator or idolater, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or grabbers or drunkards or slanderers or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:9-10 [NEB])

Paul condemned wickedness, immorality, depravity, greed, murder, quarreling, deceit, malignity, gossip, slander, insolence, pride (Romans 1:29-30), drunkenness, carousing, debauchery, jealousy (Romans 13:13), sensuality, magic arts, animosities, bad temper, selfishness, dissensions, envy (Galatians 5:19-21; greediness (Ephesians 4:19; Colossians 3:5), foul speech, anger, clamor, abusive language, malice (Ephesians 4:29-32), dishonesty (Colossians 3:13), materialism (I Timothy 6:6-11), conceit, avarice, boasting and treachery. (II Timothy 3:2-4)

Paul told the gentiles to train themselves for godliness, to practice self-control and lead upright, godly lives (Galatians 5:23; I Timothy 4:7; II Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:11-12). He instructed them to ALWAYS pray constantly. (I Thessalonians 5:17)

Paul praised love, joy, peace, kindness, generosity, fidelity and gentleness (Galatians 5:22-23). He told his followers to conduct themselves with humility and gentleness (Ephesians 4:2), to speak to one another in psalms and hymns; to sing heartily and make music to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)

Paul wrote further that women should cover their heads while worshiping, and that long hair on males is dishonorable. (I Corinthians 11:5-14)

According to Paul, Christian women are to dress modestly and prudently, and are not to be adorned with braided hair, gold or pearls or expensive clothes. (I Timothy 2:9)

The late Reverend Janet Regina Hyland (1933 - 2007), author of God's Covenant with Animals (it's available through People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA) says Christians citing "three times..." are quoting Paul out of context. Paul was very strict with himself:

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Corinthians 9:27)

Regina Hyland said this verse indicates it's possible for one to lose one's salvation (a serious point of contention among born agains!).

Christians who focus only on II Corinthians 12:8-9 MUST be quoting Paul out of context, because otherwise it doesn't make any sense: on the one hand, Paul is warning that drunkards, thieves, homosexuals, etc. will not inherit the kingdom of God, and on the other hand he's saying if you call on Jesus three times... you can do whatever you want?!

Boy, not all Christians are pro-life! Couldn't pro-choice Christians cite "three times..." to justify their right to abortion?!

The traditional interpretation of II Corinthians 12:8-9 is that Paul had a "thorn" in his side, and asked the Lord what to do about it. The response was simple: "My grace is sufficient for thee." This was a response to a specific problem, not a license to do as one pleases, or why else would Paul himself have given so many other moral instructions throughout his epistles?

Reverend Frank Hoffman, a retired pro-life vegan Methodist minister, and owner of the www.all-creatures.org Christian vegan website says he agrees with the traditional interpretation.

****

The apostle Paul told the gentiles to train themselves for godliness, to practice self-control and lead upright, godly lives (Galatians 5:23; I Timothy 4:7; II Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:11-12).

But even conservative Christians distinguish between victimless crimes and crimes with victims.

If a pregnant teen goes into a Crisis Pregnancy Center, the Christians there will not judge her for the sin of fornication, nor equate the victimless crime of fornication with the sin of killing an unborn child.

Even conservative Christians distinguish between crimes with victims and victimless crimes.

Paul was never one of Jesus' original apostles: he never met Jesus nor knew him in life during his earthly ministry. The late Reverend Janet Regina Hyland (1933 - 2007), author of God's Covenant with Animals (it's available through PETA) once said to me in a phone conversation, what makes Paul's revelation any more valid than Mohammed's (or Joseph Smith's, etc.)? Even Oral Roberts in 1987 claimed to have had a vision of a 900-foot Jesus!

We cannot judge. I appreciate you not being self-righteous. But does this mean we cannot take a stand against racism and/or abortion? How can we end any social injustice unless there is moral outrage? And how can we distinguish truth from false doctrine without judging, or at the very least, without having a set of scriptures and core beliefs and values?

In a debate over abortion found in The People's Almanac #3 (1981), the pro-choice side argues:

"The Catholic position allows abortion only if the death of the fetus is an 'indirect consequence' of surgery, such as the removal of a cancerous uterus. Otherwise, the life of the fetus is considered more important than that of the mother, even if she has 10 other children. And why? Because of the belief that original sin dooms the unbaptized fetus to eternal punishment. The Catholic Church is trying to put its religious beliefs into law so that they will be imposed on everyone. The Methodists and others tried to do something very similar with Prohibition."

The pro-life response:

"Many issues, like civil rights and welfare reform, have moral overtones. A right-to-life amendment would be more like the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, than like the 18th Amendment, which outlawed liquor. Catholics are not the only people against abortion. We count in our number Protestants, Jews, and atheists."

"Many issues, like civil rights and welfare reform, have moral overtones," yes.

Birch Bayh authored two amendments to the Constitution!

After Eisenhower's health concerns in the 1950s, Congress began studying the Constitution’s vague provisions for presidential disability and vice presidential succession. The 1963 assassination of JFK brought a new urgency to the matter.

The resulting 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1967, created an orderly transition of power in the case of death, disability, or resignation of the President, and a method of selecting a Vice President when a vacancy occurs in that office.

Bayh also authored the 26th Amendment which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

As I told Catholic pro-lifer Jim Frey of Berkeley Pro-Life about a decade ago, as a political liberal myself, I don't think pro-lifers should be packing the courts with conservatives in the hopes of overturning Roe v. Wade, but rather pushing for a Constitutional Amendment.

(A narrow liberal majority on the Supreme Court has preserved Miranda rights, privacy rights, ruled favorably for LGBT rights, etc.)

Jim didn't think a Human Life Amendment is politically feasible at this point in time, saying it's damn near impossible to add amendments to the Constitution. But Birch Bayh proves otherwise.

If there really is a "pro-life majority" out there, pro-lifers should be pushing for a Constitutional Amendment to extend human rights to the unborn. That's democracy!

Go on to: Many Vegans are Deeply Spiritual
Return to: Articles

© 1998-2017 Vasu Murti