Irregular Jonathan Speaks: Sin in the Senate


Those crazy Senators - you never know what they're going to say or do next!

Take our friend Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. A little while ago Armstrong Williams interviewed Senator Lott for his TV show and asked whether homosexuality was a sin. "Yes, it is," Lott responded, "... You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol ... others have a sex addiction or are kleptomaniacs. There are all kinds of problems and addictions and difficulties and experiences of this kind that are wrong. But you should try to work with that person to learn to control that problem." This is a typical statement of those who have a problem with men loving men or women kissing women.

Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson, among others, have used an interesting argument to defend Senator Lott's comments as civil and just. You see, they say, the Bible condemns homosexuality. Because the Bible is the word of God, homosexuality must be a sin. Honestly, they say, it has nothing to do with individual hatred, prejudice, or bigotry. It's really all a matter of their religious faith. But hey, don't take Pat, Pat and Trent at their word. Check out this Biblical quote:

Leviticus 18: 22

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Well, OK, let's take Trent, Pat and Pat at their word, and grant for the moment that homosexuality is a sin for Christians because it's forbidden in the Bible. Now, are there other acts that the Bible forbids? Certainly! One especially prominent act forbidden by the Bible is USURY, the collection of interest on money lent to others. Don't believe me? Check out these quotes:

Leviticus 25: 35-36 (God speaks to Moses)

And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.

Ezekiel 18:5-8

But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right... And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he sh all surely live, saith the Lord GOD.

Exodus 22: 25

If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

Deuteronomy 23:19

Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury.

Matthew 21: 12-13

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

We could go on here, but I think you get the point: God sure doesn't like USURY. Bad! Sin!

Now, homosexuality is obviously a prevalent enough sin to seriously worry politicians like Trent Lott. If you include bisexuals, 10 to 20 percent of the population suffice as sinners. What about USURY? It's safe to say well over half the American population either receives interest payments from others or makes interest payments to others. We are a society plagued by USURY! Isn't this something to worry about?

Worse yet, the very government institutes programs officially endorsing the SIN of USURY! What do you think the student loan programs are all about? Lending money with interest, with the U.S. government guaranteeing the interest. USURY! Dear Lord. Sounds like a crisis of morality worthy of Senator Lott's religiously-tuned attention.

Ah, but the Devil's in the details. It's no wonder our government doesn't do something to remedy these sinful conditions: the Senate of the 1990s has been riddled with the scum themselves. That's right, many of Senator Lott's colleagues are now, or have been in the past, ADMITTED AND OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGED USERERS! Now the truth can be told:

Senator

Occupation

Verdict

Barbara Boxer

Stockbroker

USERER!

Paul Coverdell

Finance Executive

USERER!

Bob Graham

Real Estate Developer

USERER!

Jesse Helms

Bank Executive

USERER!

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Bank Executive

USERER!

Dirk Kempthorne

Securities Representative

USERER!

Connie Mack

Banking

USERER!

Frank Murkowski

Banking

USERER!

Claiborne Pell

Investment Executive

USERER!

Robert Smith

Real Estate

USERER!

As Obi-Wan put it, you won't find a more wretched hive of scum and villany than the usurious Senate. But wait, it gets even worse. Those Senators who aren't sinners themselves get payoffs from the industry of money lenders. Bank PACs alone have contributed $4,563,234 to Congressional candidates this year up to July 1. By comparison, those sinful Gay and Lesbian Rights groups have contributed $370,630. Which sinful practice has wrapped its moneyed tentacles around our representative process? That's right, USURY.

By the way, guess who has his grubby paws in the pants of the USURY PACs? That's right, Senator Trent Lott. This year, he has received $6,765 in PAC contributions from banking and investment groups. These are the wages of sin for saintly Senator Lott.

Usury is strongly condemned in the Bible, more often than homosexuality is. It directly affects more people's lives. Userers are strongly represented in the Senate. They have corrupted our political representatives with much more money than gay rights organizations.

So why isn't Trent Lott screaming about the evils of money-lending? Well, duh, Trent's fibbing to us. The Bible has nothing to do with his dislike of homosexuality. Instead, it's an excuse, a way to escape accountability for a strong personally-based dislike of an entire category of people.

The point of this exercise is not to convince you that both homosexuality and usury are evil nasty wrongs because the Bible says so. Rather, we need to look behind the Bible to find the personal beliefs masquerading as commitment to faith. In the end, Senator Lott finds two women or two men loving, supporting and enjoying each other more personally troublesome than a practice which siphons off sorely needed money from poor people to the already filthy rich. If he'd just come out and say so, he'd save the rest of us a whole lot of trouble, and just maybe be a better Christian, too.


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Bible got your tongue?
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