The Old Testament: Ecclesiastes I – Nothing New Under the Sun

Recently, several states have been legalizing gay marriage and endorsing marriage equality.  This has made as many people happy as sad—if you believe the people who are so opposed to gay people being treated like equals.  One of these people is Minnesota House of Representative Michelle Bachman, who was so troubled by the prospect of Minnesota passing this legislation that she bragged about how she couldn’t wait to leave the state, to some place safer, saner, like Oregon (she’s heard good things about Eugene, apparently).

She contends that her life and fellow Minnesotans are at risk because she knows God will unleash his vengeance on the state for condoning homosexuality.  “The Bible is VERY clear on this,” she said. (You can read a bit more about her reaction here: http://dailycurrant.com/2013/05/13/bachmann-threatens-to-leave-minnesota-over-marriage-equality/).

Apparently she has never read The Book of Ecclesiastes.

Told in the voice of “The Teacher,” Ecclesiastes makes several observations about life on our planet, namely that everything that will happen has already happened (there is nothing new under the sun) and that there is no pleasure in life without God.  This cheery book of the Bible continues with more insight, such as the more knowledge you have the more grief you’ll experience (1:18) and that the dead are happier than the living (4:2).

But it’s not all dreary.  The Book imparts some rather useful nuggets of wisdom, among which you’ll find notions such as no man knows the future (8:7), that fools lack sense and show everyone (10:3), and that fools are put in many high positions (10:6).

Perhaps Bachman has avoided certain parts of the Bible because she sees so much of herself in them.  Those last three pieces of wisdom apply so wonderfully to her.  Like many people who proclaim fire and brimstone over laws finally being afforded gays and lesbians, she claims to know the future (based on the Bible.).  Yet here’s a book that suggests such a stance is impossible—only God knows the future, not human beings.  Furthermore, she is a perfect example of some who thinks she has wisdom but really is a fool.  And as a fool, she enjoys demonstrating this to the public, on national TV, no less. The sad part is that this fool is in a high position—elected to the House of Representatives.

At least the direction the state of Minnesota is moving in bodes better for their future than the evidence of electing a fool like Bachman in the first place.

One of the main positions of this book is that “the teacher” discovers that in fact there is nothing new under the sun—it’s all been done before. People have always stepped up to be who they are, especially when this goes against society’s laws.  Interracial marriage was illegal, and when that was fought, the opponents said this should not change, the Bible says no interracial marriage.  I don’t recall God’s wrath descending on us for making this joining of two consenting adults of different races legal.

People like Michelle Bachman should not use the Bible to justify their bigotry, especially when it’s not as clear on the points that she thinks it is.

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About virgowriter

Brad Windhauser has a Master's in English from Rutgers University (Camden campus) and an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. He is an Associate Professor (Teaching/Instruction) in the English Department at Temple University. His short stories have appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Santa Fe Writer's Project Journal, Ray's Road Review, Philadelphia Review of Books, Northern Liberty Review, and Jonathan. His first novel, Regret (a gay-themed thriller set in Philadelphia) was published in 2007. You can read more about (and buy) it here: http://goo.gl/yvT24K His second novel, The Intersection, is being published by Black Rose Writing September 2016. He is one of five regular contributors to 5Writer.com. On his solo blog, he is chronicling his experience as a gay writer reading the Bible for the first time: www.BibleProjectBlog.com Follow his work at: www.BradWindhauser.com VirgoWriter@gmail.com
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2 Responses to The Old Testament: Ecclesiastes I – Nothing New Under the Sun

  1. Dmitriy Gula says:

    Total nonsense!
    There are many passages where bible tells us the homosexuality is a sin.
    Saying that she is a bigot by disagreeing with homosexual lifestyle is bigotry on your end!

    • virgowriter says:

      She is a bigot, and given how much the Bible advocates that we, as a society, don’t follow (quarantining woman why they menstruate, for example), we have reached a point where people pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow. If you choose to reject certain guidelines put down by the Bible while adhering to others, you are choosing, and when that choice reflects bigotry, you are a bigot–whether you choose to believe that or not. There are very few passages in the Bible that mention homosexuality (only five, actually) and yet many more about other topics–like divorce, for example. Where is all the uproar about condemning divorce in our society? Unlike with homosexuality, Jesus was CRYSTAL clear about being against this, But, I’m sure you have read the Bible carefully and know all of this (or choose to ignore it). Thanks for reading my blog, though.

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