How Would Jesus Vote On the Virginia Marriage Amendment?


Perhaps at some future Judgment Day, we will be called on to answer for our actions and perhaps then we will not be able to justify those actions as being the way we were taught or told – the clear message of unconditional love and non-judgmental behavior may overrule. Perhaps the ability God gave humans to independently think, reason, and question, is both a way we are related to God; and the use of that gift, the criteria on which we will be judged.

We are privy to the lessons of history and to the evolution of civilizations – and the lessons we might learn about how peoples have been misled by religious zealots and fundamentalists are many. In a lifetime in America we have witnessed substantial change in attitudes about black Americans, about women, and about the mentally ill. And, much earlier in time, issues such as whether the Earth is flat, whether the Earth is the center of the universe, and whether scientifically proven evolution is to even be considered, have been disputed – against the rhetoric and beliefs of fundamentalists.

The Bible is not the exclusive property of fundamentalists – and their interpretation is not necessarily the interpretation God intended. And when fundamentalists seize on a few scattered somewhat ambiguous verses out of context and possibly out of character of the overriding message of Jesus, then this is particularly suspect.

Scientific study accepts that perhaps five percent of the population – or one out of twenty – is exclusively homosexual. These people have been with us though this journey of civilization. They are our brothers and sisters, our children, our friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances – often without us even knowing. This large population is subject to bias, discrimination, and prejudice, at least, and violence at worst. And as science now accepts, these people did not choose their sexual orientation any more than they did their other characteristics of chance – these are the varieties and variations that God created.

After slavery was abolished, most people came to realize how bad it had been. As women were given equality with men, most people came to realize how bad it had been. As mentally ill were treated humanely, most people came to realize how bad it had been. But the heroes to me were those who saw the evil when it was in place and took a stand against it then. Those are the ones in favor in my eyes and I would imagine in God’s. I think there will be a time in the future when two adults in a loving committed relationship will be celebrated whether that be a traditional husband-wife or a same sex couple. Enlightened peoples, enlightened countries, and in America, enlightened states and religions, are today seeing the truth to this.

From many American Protestant pulpits exhortations justifying slavery, deriding the equality of women, condemning interracial marriage – have been a mainstay until community good sense prevailed. And today many American pulpits decry homosexuality.

As an independent thinker, and as someone who questions that homosexuality is a sin, and as someone who sees the condemnation of homosexuals by fundamentalists as a conflict with my inner sense of God’s message, I have turned to the Bible to look at what it says on the matter. The following is extracted from Internet research but is largely attributed to the contribution of Dr. Rembert S. Truluck - Doctor of Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, 1968. Southern Baptist Pastor from 1953 to 1973, Professor of Religion at Baptist College of Charleston, SC, 1973-1981.

“This incorrect rendering of malakoi and arsenokoites as references to gender orientation has been disastrous for millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual people. This mistaken translation has enlisted a mighty army of ignorant religious fanatics against homosexual people and has turned many Lesbians and Gays against the Bible, which holds for them as for all people the good news of God's love in Christ.

Three of the passages: Genesis 19:5; I Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10 are incorrectly translated. The other three: Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27 are taken out of their original setting of condemning idolatrous religious practices and wrongly used to judge and condemn people of the same sex who love each other. None of these passages refer to people of the same sex who love each other. None originally were aimed at homosexuals.”

Comments

rwryburn said…
Great post! It's too bad it won't matter on 7 November. Fear is the mind killer.
Thad Williamson said…
This is a splendid post. Especially powerful is the point that if same sex orientation is a variation of nature, it is an offense against respect for God's creation to exhibit hate or intolerance towards gays and lesbians.

Whatever happens on November 7, those committed to equality must not lose heart. In the long run I truly believe equality, tolerance, and ultimately loving respect will carry the day.

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