A friend sent me a link to this article on Facebook and I felt compelled to respond.
To put it bluntly, the Cardinal, despite his clarification is still full of crap, and it’s about time I sit down to write a series of essays on faith, the Bible and homosexuality (AFTER this semester). Lord knows I’ve studied, prayed and agonized over this for long enough to be an expert on the topic (insert mad little laugh here). Even if I were to interpret the Bible as literally as these people do, the Cardinal’s statements would not hold up to fair scrutiny.
For now, let me say regarding the book of Leviticus, eating shrimp and lobster is also an abomination, as is having sex when you are menstruating. And the day that our government starts obeying the Old Testament and begins stoning adulterers to death I’ll consider listening to such arguments against homosexuality.
As for Paul and the New Testament, when I see women keeping their mouths shut in church, and praying only with their heads covered, I will stop calling the Christian Right a den of hypocrites.
The reason Christians recognize some of these commandments but dismiss others is that we interpret the Bible in it’s historical and cultural context, and apply logic and science only to the issues with which we are comfortable, ignoring those considered out of date or silly when applied to ourselves. The truth is most people don’t understand why a woman would love another woman, or a man would wish to have sex with a man. It makes us uncomfortable, so we decide it must be wrong. Interestingly enough Biblical arguments have been used to assuage this same sort of discomfort regarding inter-racial marriage. And not so long ago in our nation’s past we can find seemingly good men supporting from the pulpit the ownership of slaves by upholding Paul’s admonitions to treat them fairly, as implied consent.
Ultimately the Bible, as is made clear in the New Testament, is about love, so when I see the church as a whole start to really make a difference in the world, not of politics so much as charity and daily kindness, I may begin to think that they are onto something at last. As it is, their general behavior indicates that Jesus’ greatest command was not to love one another but to judge one another.
I am a family man, and I am not out to destroy the institution of marriage. To hear such accusations (the words of a divorced minister I know come to mind) is not simply insulting but astounding. To quote my 13-year-old son, “Have these people even looked at the divorce rate in this country? They have been successfully devaluing the institution of marriage without your help for years!”
And finally, for those who think that same sex attraction is a choice, I ask that you share with us a little testimony about the day you chose to be attracted to the opposite sex. If it was a choice for me, it had to be a choice for you. I’ll be writing a lot more on this topic in the future. There are many who will not change their minds, despite facts or logic, but I hope that by addressing the words of those to whom I have been so tired of listening, I might provide a little courage to one or two self-doubting souls to reject the false guilt and judgmentalism that they have suffered because of the innacturate and prejudicial teaching of men like the Cardinal.