Daily Kent Sater

People should not speak for God, the Bible says homosexuality is wrong

Dear Matthew Carroll,

I write this letter to you today as first and foremost a concern and secondly as a desire to clarify some things implicitly said in your article, “God doesn’t do balloon animals,” on Friday, Feb. 11.

I am deeply troubled by the statements you project on the ‘Modern Christian Church.’ I wonder if you understand the true nature of your remarks. It is not my intention to tell you what you should or should not believe; you are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, I do not think that it is appropriate to make gross and indeed inaccurate generalizations and then attribute them to a community of believers where it does not belong.

In your article, you speak with such conviction and matter of factness about an idea that couldn’t be, at its very core, further from such certainty. You speak of homosexuals as being welcome in your church along with “liars, adulterers and thieves.” We have come to understand through our reasoning capacity, as well as appeals to scriptures, that cheating on a loved one or stealing from others is wrong. Doing so is a violation of the commandments, if that makes you more at ease. However, have you uncovered a thirteenth commandment where, “carved in stone,” it states that being a “gay” is the same as being an “adulterer?” If not, what gives you the right to say that homosexuality is in fact a sin?

I have read the same scriptures that you have (or at least hope you have to be making the claims that you do). If your interpretation is so, fine, but please do not speak for God and say that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. Need I remind you that such deep conviction for an interpretation of sacred scripture has lead to genocide, wars and other moral atrocities? You speak of following the word of God; is it your contention that the Bible was delivered to us, at once, complete, as a compass for following God’s word? Do you believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale; that Moses spoke to a burning bush before parting the Red Sea? If you do, then I’m afraid we’re speaking about apples and oranges. If not then I ask you, isn’t it the case that for centuries people have been poring over these scriptures, and interpretations have been made — none of which have been acclaimed as the true meaning?

The Bible was written by the hands of men as morally culpable as you and I. These men were called to interpret the word of God. It is easy to hear others say the Bible says such-and- such, to take that account as the truth and to do the same in turn. I would argue that that is intellectual laziness. I challenge you and others to reflect on what you’re doing — taking the word of others as the truth. It is dangerous. The Bible is a wonderful drama set in a historical context and should be taken as such. My father is a Methodist minister, and I do not want to get into a historical or theological debate, but I do take issue with you casting your opinion as a veil over an entire culture of beliefs.

I, as you, do not think that the message sent by the “Church of Christ” is “just a harmless message of acceptance.” In fact, it is not; it is radical call to those who sit in the seat of self-righteousness and point and shake their fingers at others. It is precisely this sort of close-mindedness that has driven many authentic Christians today to rethink the “institution” they are affiliated with. Our illustrious leader of the “free world” wishes to restrict the freedoms of others based on his own “opinion.” I wonder if you actually think that Jesus would support the cause that you employ.

Furthermore, would you at the gates hold the kind of arrogant steadfastness of bigotry that you employ now? It is a modern time, and we should act accordingly. Instead of wanting to “burn witches,” maybe you should ask why we want to do so. Because things make us uncomfortable, does that make them wrong? In fact, we let women vote now, and blacks can drink out of the same water fountains. When are we going to stop trying to take people’s freedoms away from them? I can only hope that the readers of these pieces remain open to the possibilities of a world in which all races, religions and orientations are welcomed — even the ones we don’t understand — without the desire to change who “God” made them.

Nathan McCullough

Graduate student in philosophy