On Thursday, May 26, 2016, during a meeting of Republican congressmen, Representative Rick Allen of Georgia began reading a bible verse on homosexuality to express his opposition to a bill’s amendment that would turn Barack Obama’s executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT Americans into law.
In response, several moderate Republican lawmakers got up and left the meeting.
“It was f*cking ridiculous,” one of the congressmen said.
“A good number of members were furious,” reported another.
“A lot of members were clearly uncomfortable and upset,” a G.O.P. aide said.
There are no bible verses on the topic that speak of it favorably; it is called an “abomination,” a sin against God, and a reason to put gays and lesbians to death. Allen read Romans 1:18-32:
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
The incident drew attention to the old debate over what role, if any, religious views should play in molding national policy in a country where not everyone follows the same religion — or even a religion.
The amendment was put on the bill by Democrats. Despite the walk-out, Republicans opposing the amendment voted against the bill (some Democrats voted against it over another amendment related to immigration), and the bill failed to pass.
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