Here is an interesting way to win a bet: make up the rules as you go.

When state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, declared on the House floor earlier this week that he would give $700 to anyone who could show him a biblical passage stipulating marriage as being between a man and a woman, at least one unidentified person took him up on that dare.

When Holmes arrived for legislative work Thursday, someone had left a Bible for the legislator and had marked some biblical passages regarding the bonds of matrimony.

One of the passages marked is found in the book of Corinthians and speaks of a man and his wife and a woman and her husband. Holmes said the passage still did not prove anything to him.

"Anybody could have any interpretation they want of the Bible," he said Thursday, "but that’s not my interpretation."

That is obviously a ridiculous and unsavory way to handle the wager, but let’s clarify just why. Holmes initial claim was that the Bible didn’t dictate that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. He was so sure of this supposed fact that he wagered $700.00 just to make the point. Now in order to make this claim, and in order for the wager to work, he had to be appealing to some common, objective standard of literary interpretation. After all, he was appealing to scripture for vindication of his position and putting money on the fact that his position was correct.

If you are going to appeal to a book for proof of your position or challenge people with monetary rewards to prove you wrong, you have to expect people to be able to interpret that book the same way you do. I assume that would mean some sort of "plain sense" reading of the text – taking the words at face value. You can’t make a wager or support your position based on a floating, subjective standard of interpretation such as the one Mr. Holmes appealed to when confronted with the texts. It destroys the support for your initial proposition and makes the bet ridiculous.

Unfortunately, the gay lobby falls back on this kind of foolishness often. They shouldn’t be able to get away with it. Read this list of texts from David Limbaugh at face value and see if Mr. Holmes shouldn’t be out $700.00.

Don Johnson Evangelistic Ministries