LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Denying gay rights ‘counter’ to Jesus’ teachings

Recently, a lot of drama has been taking place regarding a county clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, and her alleged “Christian” belief.

I’ve been told many times it is unwise to discuss religion and politics, but in this case, it may be necessary to step on some toes with regard to the former.

What is at stake here are the rights, privileges and benefits for a group of people who have, through the pages of history, been abused, oppressed, cheated, made to suffer through silence, and in many cases, brutally beaten and even murdered. Gays and lesbians deserve the same rights and benefits as any other U.S. citizen, and to deny them of these rights is counter to any of the teachings of Jesus as I, personally, understand them.

With the full understanding that everyone has the right in this great nation to their own religious beliefs, I feel that the Bible, and I am including the Hebrew books as well as the Gospels of Christ, should be known not only as the greatest work of literature in history, but the foundation for our belief in the God of Abraham as well as the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The time has come to closely examine, and in many cases, question with honesty, our interpretation of what the Scriptures say about being gay or lesbian. This necessity has been opened and made public by the Christians (actually, Judeo-Christians) who demonstratively supported county clerk Davis.

In order to honestly conduct this examination of the truths of the Bible, we need to read it with the objective of understanding. You may keep trying to memorize it, but it’s not a multiplication table. If you don’t know the arithmetic operations associated with multiplication, then, memorization is of little use. It’s not Morse code. Manual dexterity is needed to use what you’ve memorized.

Firstly, there is no passage in the Bible that is specific enough to refer to homosexuality. There is a good reason for this. If you were gay during biblical times, you would need a death wish to “come out.” Again, we refer back to how gays and lesbians have suffered through the centuries. Remember who was accomplishing all the biblical translations over the centuries? During medieval times, it was Roman Catholic monks in monasteries, who were translating from Greek to Latin, as one example.

There are so many possibilities for mistakes, it is staggering. The fact that many Greek words have several meanings is just one “red flag.” Then, factor in spelling mistakes, copying mistakes, and how about the fear factor?

If one of those monks had ever copied anything that could have even been misconstrued as support for homosexuality, let alone letting the church know he himself was gay, can you imagine what would have become of him? Execution, medieval style, most likely.

Secondly, if you are going to interpret the Bible literally, you can’t be selective about it. As an example, you can’t use it to bash gays without also using it to justify stoning your neighbor down the street for cheating on his wife, or the neighborhood children for cursing their parents. And would you be ready to “handle the flak” associated with reinstating the institution of slavery?

Thirdly, and most importantly, I find it impossible to reconcile the teachings of Jesus Christ with what Kim Davis and her “Christian” minions are proclaiming in their persecution of gays.
Jesus’ main mission while on earth was to proclaim peace and love. His mission was to heal, and protect and save the poor, and oppressed, the people who were left on the outer fringe of society. He included among his disciples and followers the people who were rejected by the society of his time: tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. He was also the Son of God. Sound like someone who would exclude gays, lesbians?

To Ms. Davis and her followers, do you really want to continue your persecutions? Should people who have had no choice in their lives over sexual preferences continue to be deprived of rights and liberties? Haven’t they suffered enough already? I have much more to say about biblical interpretation, and intend to state more in future letters. I am open to written debate.

Ms. Davis, you have failed in your Christian duty to love one another; you have even failed as a bureaucrat because you refused to obey a direct order from the U.S. Supreme Court. What you succeeded in, with a grade of A+, is … drama queen.

Douglass E. Miller
Dover

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