Gay Marriage Hysteria Watch: Albert Mohler Casts the First Stone at Carl Kruger

In a blog post, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, calls New York’s recent legalization of gay marriage a “sad spectacle” and writes the following:

One of the lessons learned in this sad spectacle is the fact that enough Republican senators changed their positions on the issue under intense pressure, thus enabling the passage of the legislation. The same was true for the minority of Democratic senators who had previously voted against the measure. One of these, Carl Kruger, changed his vote because the nephew of the woman Kruger lives with was so outraged over the issue that he had cut the couple off from an ongoing relationship. “I don’t need this,” the Senator told a colleague, “It has gotten personal now.”

Well, of course it has. But what this statement really means is that many Americans, including many in the political class, simply fold their moral convictions when they conflict with the lifestyles or convictions of a friend or relative.

Of course, another way to read this is that New York State Senator Carl Kruger’s “fold” on the issue of gay marriage was initiated by an opening of his heart to simple human empathy.

There’s a well-known story from the Gospel of John (in chapter eight) similar to Carl Kruger’s. It’s the story of a woman caught in adultery. The upholders of the law, focusing only on the law, wanted to stone her. But Jesus saw a person. Shielding her with his own body, he said to them:

Let he that is without sin among you cast the first stone.

The story ended happily. The legalists dropped their stones and walked away.

But today, that outcome is less certain. Carl Kruger, Jesus-like, has stepped between a group of conservative religious legalists and a despised minority. I wonder what price they’ll extract from his hide for doing so.

———-

UPDATE: Albert Mohler clearly didn’t know this in taking after Carl Kruger—and neither did I—but Carl Kruger may be gay himself, adding a twist to his motivations for voting in support of gay marriage. Prior to his recent vote, Kruger was a vociferous and reliable opponent of gay marriage.

Life is complicated and rarely what it seems, don’t you think?

 

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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6 Responses to Gay Marriage Hysteria Watch: Albert Mohler Casts the First Stone at Carl Kruger

  1. Anonymous says:

    If it’s wrong for Mohler to “cast a stone” by criticizing gay marriage, why is it OK for you to “cast a stone” at Mohler by criticizing him? Why is it that when he’s critical he’s a bigot, but when you’re critical you’re just right?

    The truth is you’ve missed the meaning of “casting the first stone” almost entirely. Jesus was not saying that it was wrong to be critical of sin. He was getting at the idea that the Pharisees were in no position to carry out capital punishment against a sinner, since they themselves were sinners. Mohler is hardly calling for the execution of homosexuals. If you have an issue with Mohlers comments, then you have an issue with the Scriptures his views are derived from. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to condemn Mohler by quoting John chapter 8, does it?

    If it is immoral for Mohler to be critical of sin, why do you criticize Mohler? Are you above your own system of morality?

    Please review John 8:1-11. Jesus is loving and merciful toward the adulterous, as His followers ought to be loving and merciful toward homosexuals, and anyone else living in sin. However, He doesn’t give her a free pass to sin either. The story ends with Jesus telling her He doesn’t condemn her, but He adds, “from now on sin no more.”

    Now, you describe Sen. Kruger’s vote to legalise same-sex unions as an act of empathy. I am not sure what your views on the afterlife, but Dr. Mohler’s view (and mine) is that unrepentant sinners of all stripes will face eternal torment in hell. What you must understand is that from our point of view, our act of empathy means we warn others of the consequences of sin in the hope that they will turn from sin to Jesus Christ and be saved.

  2. Jared says:

    The comment above is mine. I commented prior to logging in and it was not my intention to comment anonymously, like some kind of coward.

    • santitafarella says:

      Jared,

      I’m okay with criticism, and I agree that I’m metaphorically throwing stones as well. I just wish that things could stay in the realm of persuasion (as opposed to force). If you and Dr. Mohler simply used persuasion concerning who should marry whom, that’s fine. But the rhetoric turns to coercion when you mean to force gays to live closeted lives by making sodomy illegal and gay marriage illegal.

      My attitude on all of this is libertarian, not Christian nationalists. Let people exercise their rights of adult choice.

      As for your belief that God is like Dick Cheney, torturing people (and that, for eternity!), I can only say that you are free to have such a belief, and I’m happy it is not one that you can ever force others to profess under penalty of law.

      Let freedom ring.

      —Santi

      • Jared says:

        You’re libertarianism is fair enough. However, I would like to clarify that I do not believe God tortures sinners in hell. I do believe they are in torment, which is different. Torture is outward, torment is inward. I do not believe hell is like a medieval torture chamber. I understand that some Christians do believe in that sort of hell, but that’s mere “folk Christianity,” along with the idea that hell is Satan’s domain. It has no biblical support. Torment is different from torture in that it’s more of an inward sense of regret (the direct result of separation from God), although much worse than anything we experience on earth. If you take the passages in the Bible about hell as place with literal fire and worms, you run into problems since other verses describe hell as a place of “outer darkness.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but fire and darkness don’t go together! The best explanation is that these descriptions are symbolic of a place which is real, but beyond our human comprehension.

      • santitafarella says:

        Jared,

        I don’t find that at all comforting. Inner pain can be worse than outer pain. It is a great relief to me that there is no evidence that such a nightmarish thing as hell, spiritual or material, exists.

        What reasons do you have for believing such a horrible thing?

        Also, hell belief is not philosophically coherent (that an infinite being would torment, or allow to be tormented, a finite being of vastly inferior intelligence). Justice could not possibly demand such a disproportionate punishment.

        Much more plausible is the reason why institutional religions would promote hell belief: to frighten the flock into staying put.

        —Santi

  3. Jared says:

    Well, I certainly cannot deny that some Christian leaders have threatened hell in order to control people. That is not right, however if such a place exists people ought to be warned.

    And you are right in thinking that inner torment could be worse than torture. In fact, if what the Bible has to say about hell is correct, it is certainly worse. However, if there really is such a being as the God of the Bible, there is nothing unjust about it. Such a being would be the creator of heaven and earth and could do justly do whatever He pleased with His creation. For God to allow people to endure eternal torment in hell would be no more unjust than a little boy destroying his own sand castle.

    However, the God of the Bible is supposedly a God of love, moral good, order, and justice and not like a capricious little boy. So the question is, “How could a loving God allow some of His creatures to be eternally tormented in hell?” The truth is that God loves us so much that He gives us a choice in our life to accept or reject Him. Where we spend eternity is entirely up to us. To me the offer to accept Jesus Christ and spend eternity with Him sounds like a great deal. After all, God could have simply destroyed us all long ago. He doesn’t owe us a thing. To reject Him is perfectly just because its our choice. We accept Him and spend eternity with Him, or reject Him and spend eternity separated from Him. To me it seems more unjust to force us in one direction or the other.

    However, it’s a little pointless for me to simply proclaim my beliefs without at least attempting to give evidence for them. After all, you asked, “What reasons do you have for believing such a horrible thing?”

    That’s a fair question, but I don’t think trying to give evidence for the existence of hell to start off with would be very productive. What do you believe in? We’ll start from there.

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