Our latest lesson in government comes courtesy of Rep. John Talley (R-Stillwater), or perhaps more precisely, his opponents in his own party.
The defeat of House Bill 1028, a bill that would prohibit schools from spanking/swatting students with disabilities, could be succinctly titled, “Why theocracy doesn’t work for us as a form of government.”
You see, Rep. Talley is a Christian. As far as we know, he goes to church, he helps with a prison ministry, he’s only the North Central Oklahoma chapter leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has credential beyond most self-proffered Christians, wouldn’t you say?
But, as many Oklahoma Republicans must have seen it, by virtue of pure logic, Talley’s bill was unChristian.
Some parents, they argued, may want their disabled children to be spanked and as Christian’s we cannot allow the State to interfere. If they’re questioning sexuality and gender with parental approval, sure, interfere, because that’s child abuse, but in this matter, no – do not intercede.
Because, ignoring that Christ himself, whom they must follow, very specifically broke religious doctrine of his day to establish new rules – it was a big part of his operation and the impetus for his crucifixion – they justify their vote by quoting from the Old Testament. “Spare, the rod, spoil the child.” A Proverb.
We call this “cherry picking” as most Christians do not live according to most of the rest of the almost 900 proverbs, and definitely not by most Old Testament commandments.
And, even if they did, should Jewish legislators legislate by Jewish law? Muslims and Islamic law?
Believe or not, the Founders did consider this. They could have chosen a national religion, national church, could have put religious figures in government positions. Their families fled exactly that. And, they were thinking ahead. Probably to moments like this one. Because, as Talley and his Republican opponents have shown us, not all Christians can agree on the Christian thing to do.
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