I was asked by a friend of mine who claims to be an atheist that if the most influential person in George Bush’s life is Jesus Christ how could GB okay capital punishment during his time as Governor of Texas since as he (the atheist) understands it, Jesus Christ would not be for capital punishment. How could I answer this person?
I always find it humorous that athiests use the Bible they don’t believe in, don’t obey and don’t hold as authoritative as their source of condemning the behavior of someone who does try to follow it.
It’s also fairly humorous that an atheist would purport to know what Jesus “would not be for”.
That aside, the question sets up a “straw man” and then knocks it down. First, the assumption is made that the Bible and Jesus Christ condemn the death penalty which it clearly does not. (that’s different from stating the Bible condones or commands the death penalty; but that’s a question for another time).
The question assumes the atheist is right about Jesus’ opinion of the death penalty, then extrapolates that to President Bush’s declaration of faith and his “apparent” hypocrisy.
The entire premise is built on false assumption and hypocritical standards on your “friend’s” part. Set’em up… knock’em down; a typical technique of the skeptic. Unfortunately it’s very effective on most Christians given the general LACK of Biblical understanding that is typical today.
How should you answer your friend? I can only tell you how I would, and that would be with questions:
- Do you agree with and obey every single thing the “most influential person in your life” teaches or holds as an opinion?
- If no, then why would you hold President Bush to a different standard, especially regarding a person you don’t even believe in?
- You claim it is your “understanding” that Jesus is “against” the death penalty (which makes President Bush an apparent hypocrite); can you provide the evidence to support your understanding?
- Why is the death penalty wrong? Who says? By whose authority? Why is your opinion, or any authority of any greater worth that someone else who supports the death penalty? Jesus’ opinion is not worth anymore than mine or your’s or President Bush’s according to you athiestic views, so why do you care if Jesus is supposedly against the death penalty?
- So who cares, even if Jesus was against the death penalty, why does it matter if President Bush disagrees? According to your atheism, isn’t President Bush much more powerful, influential and successful than some nutcase carpenter from a hick town in the middle East?
Atheism is just plain stupid. (Is that too blunt?) They want to have opinions on right and wrong, but base it on nothing more than personal opinion or societal consensus. Ask the Nazi’s if societal consensus is a good anchor for morality.
Atheists have no right or business claiming any standards or making any declarations about the “morality”, “right and wrong” or value of ONE SINGLE THING… because they do not recognize an authority higher than man.
And Man changes to fit his current desire. God never changes. That is why He is our Anchor.