I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is not a political blog. But there have been some recent events in our government that make for some great fodder for discussion. The main event of which I am speaking is the ping-pong match that has come from the debates of what to do with terror suspects, including how they should be tried and whether or not they should have legal rights and even where the trials should take place. In March of 2010, as discussion arose about the trial of 9-11 terror suspectKhalid Shaikh Mohammed, Attorney General Eric Holder originally wanted the accused terrorist, who was on trial for an act of war, to be tried in a civilian court in, of all places, downtown Manhattan, NY, just blocks from Ground Zero. It has been the policy of the Obama administration to read Miranda rights ("You have the right to remain silent...) to any and all criminals, regardless of the nature of their crime. No less than two months after the March discussions of where to have the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, stating that KSM should be tried in a civilian court, Attorney General Eric Holder is now saying thatMiranda rights should be withheld from U.S. citizens who are suspected of terrorism. This stance escalated from the recent failed Times Square bombing attempt by Faisal Shahzad, who is a US citizen and reportedly was trained by the Taliban in Pakistan. To read about the constitutionality ofMiranda rights, click here.
This post is not to debate our government's policies on Miranda rights, terror suspects, or anything else. But it is a clear case where in one instance, someone wishes to change the policies laid out in the Constitution to benefit what they are feeling at the time. As most Americans, I believe our Constitution is a great document. It's made our country the strongest power in the world for the last 200 years. That being said, the Constitution was not developed to be changed on a whim because that's how someone feels that day. But the greatness of the US Constitution pales in comparison to the Bible. While the Constitution is great, it's not the divine inspired Word of God.
As I watched this situation play out in the news, I thought of how we interpret the Bible. While the Bible is full of difficult sayings, ideas, and cultural nuances that seem foreign to 21st century Americans, it is truth. And that truth is absolute. But I'm afraid in our interpretation of it, we try to make the Bible match our lifestyle, rather than making our lifestyle match the Bible. And yes, two Christians can read the same Bible, interpret it completely different ways, and come out with two different viewpoints. As I've discussed politics in Christian circles, I've always said that our faith should influence our politics rather than our politics influence our faith. In Psalm 119, the writer tells the reader that there is security in following the laws of God. It is my hope and prayer that we strive to line our lives up with Scripture, rather than making Scripture line up with our lives.