Categories

Archives

The Latest Book from Bruce

The First Love Story

Adam, Eve, and Us

flsfinal3dFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness. READ MORE

 

The Secrets of Happy Families

Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More

The Secrets of Happy Families book coverBest-selling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler found himself squeezed between aging parents and rising children. He set out on a three-year journey to find the smartest ideas, cutting-edge research, and novel solutions to make his family happier. READ MORE

 

The Council of Dads

A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live

The Council of Dads book coverWhen bestselling author Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his leg, he could only imagine all the walks he might not take with his daughters, the ballet recitals he would miss, the art projects left undone, and the aisles he might not walk down. READ MORE

Read Bruce’s cancer diary.

Bruce's latest news

Watch the award-winning PBS series, Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.

Bruce talks about “Happy Families” at Google.

See Bruce’s up-to-date list of speaking topics, and learn more about inviting him to your event.

Do the Ten Commandments Support Gays in the Military?

THIS WEEK IN MOSES: Gays in the military.

In Ted Kennedy’s new memoir, being published today, the Senator describes his first meeting with Bill Clinton in the White House. The new president had stumbled into a firestorm about gays in the military and invited the Democratic members of the Armed Services Committee to a meeting. All of the senators went around the room giving their opinions, so much so that the meeting lasted a whopping two hours, costing Kennedy a seat at the ballet that night. Kennedy spoke in favor of lifting the ban; Robert Byrd spoke against. Finally, the president spoke up. Here is Kennedy’s telling:

President Clinton stood up. His response was short and sweet. ‘Well,’ he said. ‘Moses went up to the mountain, and he came back with the tablets and there were ten commandments on those tablets. I’ve read those commandments. I know what they say, just like I know you do. And nowhere in those ten commandments will you find anything about homosexuality. Thank y’all for coming.’ He ended the meeting and walked out of the room.”

Clinton was technically correct. The Ten Commandments do not mention homosexuality. But the Five Books of Moses do, in ways that have plagued homosexuals for centuries. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman.” Leviticus 20:13 says this “abomination” is punishable by death. Conservative Jews and Christians have long cited these two verses in their condemnation of homosexuality, though more liberal-minded believers have claimed these verses occur in the context of idol-worship or other passages that render them irrelevant to current conventions. In any event, many offenses for which the Bible calls for the death penalty have not been punished in that way for millennia, if ever.

Clinton’s quoting Moses to support his softening of the ban of gays in the military recalls another use of the Hebrew prophet. In 1948, Harry Truman issued an executive order integrating the U.S. military. Noting that polls showed 82 percent of American were against the policy, Truman wrote in his diary: “How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?”

From the pilgrims to the founding fathers, the civil war to the civil rights movement, American leaders have used Moses in the face of staunch opposition to advance the cause of justice. Obama, though, might have a trouble quoting Moses to support his policy toward gays in the military. Just last month he cited Moses in support of his health care plan.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply