The truth is that mainstream religion has moved beyond animal sacrifice, slavery and the host of primitive rituals described in Leviticus centuries ago. Selectively hanging onto these ancient proscriptions for gays and lesbians exclusively is unfair according to anybody’s standard of ethics. We lawyers call it “selective enforcement,” and in civil affairs it’s illegal.
A better reading of Scripture starts with the book of Genesis and the grand pronouncement about the world God created and all those who dwelled in it. “And, the Lord saw that it was good.” If God created us and if everything he created is good, how can a gay person be guilty of being anything more than what God created him or her to be?
Of course the comments following the article are laden with anti-homosexual epithets and neocon talking points. I dare you to count the amount of times “Christians” attempt to cite biblical verse yet end their comments talking about “leftist,” “liberal,” “homosexual agenda,” etc. (The funniest part is where someone misspells “church” as “chruch.” Sounds like crutch. Paging doctor Freud.)
Anyway, check out this comment fragment:
Mr. Thomas you do yourself quite a disservice by showing your complete ignorance of scriptures. First of all, the Old Testament law was given to the Jewish nation and it was never expected that non-Jewish individuals would follow these laws. So for you to say that if I apply the verse in Leviticus 18 and therefore I must therefore keep the whole law shows you incompetence in interpreting and applying scripture. Paul explicitly tells the Gentile converts in New Testament that they were under no obligation to keep the law (see Galatians 2 and 3)of the Old Testament.
Ah. I wish someone had told that to my Sunday school teachers. I would never have bothered to learn the ten commandments. Of course, even those vary depending upon which religious faction of Christianity you belong to, as well. But it occurs to me that in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said something approximate to this:
Think not that I come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.
So according to Paul, we don’t have to obey the Old Testament, but according to Christ, we do?
I think the first thing these commenters need to do is to pick which edition of the Bible they are going to argue from. Of course, the Mormons consider themselves “Christians” as well, (and my one of my best friends is a Mormon, so please be not offended,) yet the Book of Revelation says clearly:
“For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and out of the holy city and from the things written in this book.”
Accordingly, the Mormons didn’t add to the Bible. They wrote a sequel. To the Catholic Church, that’s the highest heresy.
What’s the moral? Merely this: Jesus would weep to know that so many who worship in his name cannot agree on how to love and worship, but they CAN unite in how to judge and hate.
Because, you see, as convincing and, I feel, morally correct as Thomas’ article is, there is no arguing with faith, and as such, it’s not the article itself, but the comments following that have the most potential to open hearts and minds. Because the pure hate spewed forth in some of the supposedly “Christian” comments, repeated over and over again, must inevitably disgust even some of the most hardcore Biblical allusionists. I could comment myself about almost every comment made. Such as this one:
“practicing christianity and NOT going to church is akin to “working” but never going to the office. Find a church to worship, don’t fall into that trap.”
There’s one “Christian” who needs to remember that Jesus called the people who worshiped with him his church. They worshiped everywhere, and it was not until much, much later that “Church” came to mean “That Building.”
Please, please, please go read the USAToday article in full. I’m going to start nailing it to some Church doors.
Cause it’s all about peace & love, y’all. Don’t judge, leave that to God. THAT’s what Jesus taught.