In a July 8 episode of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson rejected civil rights, which, he conceded, underpinned the recent Supreme Court rulings concerning homosexual marriage.

And for some reason now the Supreme Court has said homosexuality is now a constitutional right and homosexual marriage, this decision that was handed down recently by the majority, glorifies this activity and talks about the civil rights and all this. Well, the Bible didn’t talk about civil rights. It talked about this was an offense against God and the land.

Robertson is correct that the Bible does not talk about civil rights. Nor does it mention any kind of rights.

Instead, the Bible calls for believers to obey an alleged God’s myriad commands, including to kill homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13) and to permit slavery (Leviticus 25:45). Even where the Bible offers decent advice, such as don’t commit murder (Exodus 20:13), it is not concerned with logically justifying the dictates. The fundamental of religion is that people must accept the validity of an alleged God’s commandments on faith—which means, in the absence of logical support.

Neither Christianity nor any other religion can support the principle of individual rights. The principle of rights rests not on faith but on the factual, logical requirements of human life. The principle of rights is the recognition of the fact that in order to live as human beings, we must be free to act on our own judgment and to keep and use the product of our effort—these being the fundamental requirements of human life. And “free” in this context means “free from physical force”—including governmental force forbidding homosexuals from enjoying consensual adult sex or engaging in marital contracts or in any other way living as human beings. (For a detailed explanation of the source and nature of rights, see "Ayn Rand’s Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundation of a Free Society.")

At least in this case Robertson is refreshingly direct and partially correct: “The Bible didn’t talk about civil rights.” That much is true. If only he would stop talking about the Bible as though it were the proper foundation of government.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

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