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Frogs Without Legs . . .

15July2011

(with apologies to David Anderson and Paul Hill)

There is a fable about a scientist who wanted to test the hearing of frogs.  Our venerable scientist noticed that frogs would jump in response to a loud sound. So after conducting a few control tests he placed the amphibian in a large container and measured its jumping behavior in response to a loud noise.

Finally- being the good scientist he was, fully conversant with the subtleties of the scientific method, he introduced a variable and measured what if any change this variable produced in frog behavior- he removed a leg (ouch). After an appropriate amount of time for healing had passed, he continued down this testing path, removing a leg, running the test and so forth until the frog ceased responding to the loud noise. After careful analysis of the data using the best statistical methods known and his many years of experience, he wrote up his results and published them: Frogs without legs can’t hear.

This is what happens when the only way to get the Bible to turn out they way you want it to is to cut out the inconvenient parts. This has happened recently when now the third major U.S. denomination has paved the way for ordaining openly gay men and women in same sex relationships  for word and sacrament ministry. There are ways to get to this place through experience: I know gifted pastors who happen to be in same sex relationships and since my experience is that they are gifted pastors and nice people, therefore it’s Ok that they serve in this way.

We can get there via reason as well. Scientific evidence points to thus and so . . . Paul could not have known what we now know . . . The American Psychological Association no longer lists same sex attraction as a developmental disorder (ignore that it once did and only removed it from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual from internal political pressure not scientific evidence  in the late 70’s).

We can get there via tradition of interpretation as well . . . Since some parts of the Church did in fact interpret the Bible in a way that defended slavery but now no longer do so therefore we can do the same thing with homosexuality and highjack the civil rights movement in the process . . . there are massive holes at each level of the arguments I’ve alluded to. But even if we never even pick apart the flaws of each one,(if you want to check out:” Understanding Homosexuality: Perspectives for the Local Church David N. Glesne”) they all shatter to the ground when we examine the text of the Bible. At every point down the hermeneutical ‘food chain’ the only way to legitimize this truly novel approach to Christian living is to start removing legs. To start cutting out the very words of life that we have received as the written form of God’s word.  Truly, frogs without legs cannot hear.

++Mark Wilhelm

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 18July2011 17:13

    Dr. Straw

    I’d love to hear the epilogue of the fable. Was their a split in the scientific community over the issue or were the results of his hypothesis so obvious to everyone else that it wasn’t worth talking about anymore?

    My feedback would be that “Straw Man” arguments are not helpful.

    • 18July2011 17:20

      Ugh…I hate grammatical errors (their -> there). “Dr. Straw” was a title not reference to myself or anyone else other than the unfortunate scientist in the fable.

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