The Old Testament: The Book of Zechariah – Crazy Dreams and Misrepresenting God

Change does not always happen quickly, and sometimes the people that call for it finally have their patience rewarded when it does arrive. But the ones who resist change often cling to the old ways. In fact, these people become incensed when people embrace more enlightened (or modern) views. This battle for change has surfaced recently as long-held bigoted opposition to gay marriage has eroded, hastened by the Supreme Court striking down DOMA and California’s Proposition 8.

On the heels of the court’s decision, Pennsylvania Representative Brian Sims introduced a state Bill that would have brought Marriage equality to our state. One would think that elected officials would see the writing on the wall—with the legal precedent set by the courts and the tipping of popular opinion of marriage equality. But no. These bigots denounced Sims on the Pennsylvania State Senate floor for introducing his marriage equality bill. When trying to discuss the Court’s landmark ruling, Sims was silenced with a procedural maneuver by several members in the state senate. One of these individuals, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), stated he felt that the comments would be a violation of “God’s Law” (http://huff.to/19AnZgn).

If this individual—and those that believed the same thing when silencing Sims—was as familiar with these laws as one should be when invoking them, he would see how wrong he is. Or perhaps his Bible does not include the Book of Zechariah.

From exile, the Israelites return to the ghost town that Jerusalem has become. And because this likely was a total bummer for them, Zechariah is there to encourage them to return to the lord. This call would inspire hope among them, he believed.

During this rebuilding, Zechariah has eight visions, which either predict the future or make sense of their present. These visions, which range from the bizarre to rather interesting, are rather involved and warrant close study, as you need to read them over and over again to determine some meaning.

I’m not going into them here, as I lack the required knowledge to make sense of them.

But the point here that is crystal clear is God calling out people who claim to be acting on his behalf (7:6-7). Specifically, he suggests that when priests and others claimed to be fasting to honor the lord, they weren’t. The point is directed at how they conducted themselves—religiously—while in exile.

Along the same lines, the Bible is often used to support political beliefs. Thus, some people claiming to be implementing the Lord’s work, laws, ideas, etc. often are not. With the representatives in Pennsylvania claiming to adhere to God’s laws to justify their actions, which laws are they referring to? Don’t oppress? Act justly? Show compassion?

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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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