The question isn’t: Will conservatives push to enact laws based on the Bible? We are way beyond that. The real questions are: 1. How many more of these laws do they want to impose? And, 2. What will our nation look like if their crusade is successful to bring America’s laws into agreement with “God’s law”?
To some on the right, America is a “Christian nation”—like Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation—meaning that our nation’s laws should be based on their religious text. These forces aren’t moved by Thomas Jefferson’s famous letter in which he spoke of the need to create, "a wall of separation between church and state.” Nor will they be swayed by citing Ronald Reagan’s words, "Church and state are, and must remain, separate.”
Just last week we saw another example of creeping Christian Sharia Law with a bill passed by Kansas’ House of Representatives that would allow people and businesses to deny services to same sex couples if it violated their “religious beliefs.” This proposed law would in essence legally sanction discrimination against gay Americans because same sex marriage is not approved by the Bible. Similar bills are pending in other State's including Mississippi, Idaho, and Arizona.
And in the past few years, we have seen pro-life Christian groups successfully lobby State legislatures to restrict access to abortions. They have also raised religious, not public policy, objections to the government funding birth control.
But here’s the alarming thing: These views are no longer the fringe of American politics. They are increasingly become mainstream conservative fare.
We saw that in 2012 when Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum declared his belief that the laws in our country must “comport” with God’s law. Santorum also argued in opposition to marriage equality, that our nation’s values “are based on Biblical truth… And, those truths don’t change just because people’s attitudes may change.”
And former Governor Mike Huckabee, who is considering running for president in 2016, proclaimed during his 2008 presidential race that our laws should be in accordance with God’s. In fact, Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, went as far as to say: “…I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view…”
Does Huckabee have a shot at winning in 2016? Well, recent polls show he’s currently the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.
Since we can’t talk the Huckabees and Santorums out of their views, then we should take a look at some of the more concerning passages from the Bible in case they truly mean it when they say our laws should be revised to agree with God’s law:
1. If a woman is found not to be a virgin on her wedding night, “she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.” Deuteronomy 22:20-21
2. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” 1 Timothy 2:10-13.
3. “If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10 (Unlikely conservatives will push for this law because with it would mean too many politicians would be put to death.)
4. “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.” Leviticus 20:9
5. “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of Sabbath rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death.” Exodus 35:2
Sure, some will say Huckabee, Santorum, and their supports don’t want to impose laws based on these extreme verses. Actually recent history tells us a different story. With each success the right has seen, they have become more embolden and pushed for even more radical laws.
For example, not too long ago mainstream abortion opponents did not object to abortions in the case when a woman was raped. But in light of their recent success in restricting abortions, mainstream conservatives now advocate a stricter version of “God’s law” with no abortion exceptions—meaning that women would be sentenced to carrying a rapist’s child to term.
In upcoming elections, we need to ask any candidate who cites the Bible as the rationale for their political position specifically how far do they intend to take that. At least then we won’t be surprised when they push to pass laws to silence women or stone women to death who aren’t virgins on their wedding night.