While reading about Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, I started thinking about the Genesis story of man’s fall from grace. Mr. Gorsuch defended a Christian family business’s right to refuse to comply with Obamacare’s contraception mandate as this impinged on their freedom of religion. And I started thinking, do conservatives think they are better than their God.
In the Book of Genesis, God tells Adam and Eve that they may eat from everything in the garden, except for the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Notice, how God did not keep the tree away from them. He just merely warned them against it. If he truly wanted to control the lives of his creations, he wouldn’t have put the tree there. After all this is the only way to make sure that Adam and Eve would not partake in it. But He didn’t do that. He didn’t do that because He, according to those who believe in Him, gave us free will. The same way, we as parents tell our children not to do something, and then they do it anyway. Those children took their parents admonition and then decided whether they should follow it or not: Free Will.
I’m sure, if there’s an equivalent of a God’s conscience, that having humans partake in the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, was against His. However, He did not remove this option from his creation. He simply admonished them to stay away.
Yet, religious conservatives do not follow this simple example from God. If something goes against their conscience, they want to impose that view on everyone, denying people the first right that their God gave to His creation: Free Will.
So the lesson from the Tree of Knowledge, it’s not that it was bad or evil, but rather, that we as humans have choices. Some good, some not so good. God let us know by planting the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, that we were free. Free to make our decisions; free to live there forever without ever tasting the fruit; or taste the fruit and suffer for it. But it’s up to us individually to make those choices and deal with the consequences from those choices. If God did not keep the “bad” away from me, why should Father O’Rourke, or Pastor Campbell, or Sister Perez.
These religious leaders have it all wrong. Their job is to guide their flock, not prohibit, or mandate their lives.