Friday, October 22, 2004

A Christian perspective on Issue 3

Your voice: Jim Edgy

Much is in the news about Issue 3 and about gay marriage. Although there is little connection between these two, they have been combined by the opponents to Issue 3 who mainly cite the Bible as their basis of opposition.

The supporters of Issue 3 stress the legal and fairness issues. I will discuss Issue 3 from a Christian perspective.

Opponents' objection is that the Bible (mainly Leviticus) states homosexuality is an abomination. It does.

But it also gives many other laws that we constantly ignore, i.e. (1) sex laws; (2) laws prohibiting interest on loans; (3) a law that all loans to the poor are to be forgiven if not paid by year's end; (4) you must not make a profit on goods sold to the poor; (5) support of slavery and animal sacrifice.

Can you imagine following these rules? And if you curse your parents, commit adultery, have sex with your daughter-in-law or an animal, you should be put to death. (If you don't believe this, read Leviticus.)

Why don't Phil Burress et al. enforce these laws too? Could it be that those laws might affect them, whereas the one about homosexuality doesn't?

If you believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, then you must practice all of it, not just those passages that support your personal bias.

For Christians, these laws were replaced by Christ when he gave the two great commandments, "Thou shall love the Lord with all thy heart, soul, and mind; and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself; upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:34-46 - note it does not say "except for gays").

A very wise priest said, "The essence of Christianity is to love God and neighbor, and do as you please, so long as what you please doesn't come between you and your love of God and neighbor."

This makes sense to me. And being gay certainly doesn't come between one's love of one's God and/or neighbor.

To use the Bible as the basis to discriminate against lesbians and gays goes counter to Christ's commandment.

I hope all will follow the words of Christ Himself, not some interpreter, and show their love of their neighbor by supporting Issue 3 and helping stamp out discrimination.

Jim Edgy is a retired arts administrator who is the organist at Grace Episcopal Church and The Church of the Good Samaritan.

Letters to the editor
Four endorsements for Congress
A Christian perspective on Issue 3