In response to the Rev. William J. Allan’s letter Same-sex opposition rooted in the Bible (Nov. 14):
Indeed history does seem to repeat itself. In history, ignorance and bigotry appear pretty regularly too.
After the 2012 election the question is: Are we on the right side of history? Let’s be honest, no American today can wash their hands about same-sex marriage and marriage equality.
Allan incorrectly quotes the Apostle Paul as saying that homosexuality is an abomination. The Hebrew book of Leviticus calls it an abomination. In Romans Paul simply calls it unnatural.
But how confident can we be with Paul on sexuality as an American social issue anyway? As Americans we have to decide: Is Paul a civil authority, a religious guide, or just an out-of-touch source altogether?
Should the Apostle Paul write American social policy? For example, Paul was apparently OK with slavery (wrong side of American history), and he was apparently OK with polygamy (also wrong side of American history). But as for homosexuality, he gave it a thumbs down. For American Christians this should be interesting, to say the least.
Paul calls same-sex passions unnatural. But what did Paul know of what is natural or unnatural anyway? Besides, did Paul really give his letters as law in the first place? Paul himself says we are no longer under Law but under Grace.
So what about Paul’s appeal to spirit over law? According to Paul, the Christian ethic should always take the liberty to disregard any religious law that does not serve the love of Christ. Has anybody read some of the laws in the Bible? The book of Leviticus clearly says that a child should be stoned to death for mouthing off to his parents. Thank God for a Christian spirit ethic, or I wouldn’t be here! But what about homosexuality? Do we side with the Old Testament stone-throwers?
What does the spirit of grace say to America today? Do we reject the liberties and love of gays and lesbians with an ancient Hebrew law? Do we deny their rights with a loose reading of the Apostle Paul? Or do we see that people with same-sex orientation have the same God-given dreams and passions that we all do? Even if one is more hand in hand than hand in glove.
An important issue is weighing on our American conscience. In our history we have already condemned the injustices of kings, slavery, sexism, racism, etc. As Americans we champion liberty and equality, that no government or religion should be able to strip from us our inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I know many, many happy homosexual couples in America who would like to finally share these rights too.
Indeed, what will history tell?
DAVID B. GRIM