This is a (very slightly edited) comment on a post here.
Yes, [picking and choosing] is what [liberal religions] do. If you care to interpret the bible in a way that allows you not to be horrible – you have that freedom. You have an “out” given to you graciously by the concept of the Holy Spirit – who is able to instruct you and help you with interpretations of scripture. This is the major focus of the Society of Friends (Quakers).
I know you have been convinced that without biblical dictates you would immediately fall into being a slave to your base desires. Do you really think you “ought to be” lustful, prideful, angry, bitter, greedy, vengeful, and jealous? Is society actually telling you to treat other people poorly, never forgive, never compromise and be promiscuous?
So, if this were true of the majority – wouldn’t these “pickers and choosers” be preaching such anti-virtues from their pulpits? Why would the largest difference in the ethical codes between conservative and liberal churches be whether or not to deny gender queer and homosexual people the right to marry?
Shouldn’t adherents of liberal religion and humanism, as well as atheists, be disproportionately plagued with the repercussions of the supposed “wreck” of their lives?
More broadly, if we tolerate poisonous theology that would go against our better natures within Christianity – what basis do we have to complain when other religions use their books to justify the unjustifiable? How can you have a conversation about what is right and wrong; when those concepts are obtained from unchangeable dogmatic theology?
What is worse? – to “pick and choose” and be honest about the fact that you are allowing your conscience (or the Holy Spirit) to assist in deciding what ideas you either accept or reject; or to be forced to adhere to the dictates of transcripted, compiled and translated words regardless of what your conscience (or the Holy Spirit) may be trying to tell you?
So, are biblical literalists blaspheming the Holy Spirit, or are they just bible idolators? (Just sayin’.)