Rep. Rick W. Allen, an Auburn grad and Republican congressman from Georgia, shocked some of his colleagues last week when he told them they were surely hell-bound.
Their sins, apparently, amounted to voting for a non-discrimination amendment in a spending bill.
He read the Bible to them – the infamous kill-the-gays passage from Romans. It talks of men committing “shameful acts with other men.”
“God’s righteous decree (is) that those who do such things deserve death,” that verse says.
Alrighty then. If the Bible says it we better find the stones to carry it out. But don’t stop with gay people. Oh no. They are just the start of our rock show.
Because it’s clear the theologian Allen has a whole lot of killing to do. If he wants to take his Bible seriously, there’ll be dying all around.
Fool around on your spouse? You’re dead meat (which has its own list of penalties). Leviticus 20:10-12 tells us “if a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.”
Have sex with an animal? Well of course you must die. Sleep with dad’s wife. You are dead. Leviticus is clear on this. Sleep with your daughter-in-law, and both of you sleep with the fishes.
Talk about two birds with one stone.
Girls who may – or may not – have behaved badly are sure to get Allen’s ire. Because Deuteronomy 22:20 says that if a bride can’t prove her virginity to a skeptical husband “she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.”
And if a girl is a preacher’s kid – whew. Daughters of clergy who “play the whore” are to be burned, according to Leviticus. Girls who are raped inside the city are to be put to death, “because she did not cry out in the city,” says Deuteronomy.
There are a lot of ways to die in the Good Book.
You don’t even have to sleep around to get the death sentence. Good ol’ Leviticus tells us children with sharp tongues do not deserve to live. “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death,” Leviticus 20:9 says. “He hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.”
The little SOB.
It’s not just the disrespectful slackers who have to die. Go to work to feed your family on a Sunday – or Saturday if you are Jewish – and you take life into your own hands.
As Exodus 31:15 puts it: “For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.”
You better get time-and-a-half for that Sunday shift.
There’s no room in this life for rebellious sons, either. As Deuteronomy 21:18 says, parents of problem children are supposed to bring their bad apples to the authorities. “They shall say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death.”
So much for fraternity row.
There’s a lot of dying, I guess. And a lot of going to hell, as Allen puts it.
Witches and warlocks have to die, and so do those who take the Lord’s name in vain. Worship any God but the Biblical one, and you are not fit to live. And if somebody tries to entice you away from God, go ahead and kill them.
“Your own hand shall be first against them to execute them,” Deuteronomy says.
So you better get busy, Rep. Allen. If you want to read the Biblical death penalties literally, well go right ahead.
Be the first to cast the stone. Just don’t pick and choose where you throw it.