Condemnation is baseless
Dan Scime | Thursday, February 24, 2011
I would like to say a few things “inspired” by Allison Kincaid’s letter (“The whole story behind condemnation,” Feb. 23) on the roots of Catholic condemnation of homosexuality. First, citing Genesis 1 as the root of any Christian moral imperative is questionable in and of itself. Credit where credit is due, you do point out that no one in their right mind would take the first chapter of the Bible literally. But still, even to infer the immorality of homosexuality from a benign clause in such a wholly fictional fable — that is, Genesis 1 — is a distant leap in logic. Listen, I get it. I’m Catholic too, and I have been flooded with Catholic social teachings my entire life just like most people at this school. Gays are evil because when they do the dirty, nature doesn’t let them pop out kids nine months later. You can buy that logic if you want to, but in reality it was scraped together by Christians in an effort to justify their preexisting contempt for homosexuality.
You don’t have to reach for meaning deep inside one of the Bible’s most absurd stories to find out that God, or rather, our Jewish and Christian forefathers hated homosexuality. Right there in Leviticus, next to the passage commanding you not to wear clothes of more than two kinds of thread (that’s right, you yourself are living in sin walking around in that comfy Northface jacket), the divinely inspired authors tell us, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. … If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them” (Lev. 18:22, 20:13). Also, in Paul’s letters to both the Romans and the Corinthians, you can find blatant repudiations of homosexuality. He tells us that homosexual acts are shameful, against God’s decree and that they will ultimately prevent one from going to heaven (Rom. 1:26–28 32; 1 Cor. 6:9–10). Ok, I’ll grant that our ancestors, who at the time embraced slavery, engaged in polygamy and generally subjugated women, also had a problem with homosexuals.
What I’m driving at, though, is that clearly there are plenty of passages in the Bible where we are inspired to despise homosexuality. What the Bible doesn’t offer us, however, is any real reason why we should! In my mind, your reasoning is essentially just like the Creation Stories — fabricated. By all means, derive any logic you want to support archaic, bigoted beliefs about homosexuality. But just understand that no central Biblical teaching actually supports your personal disdain for gay people’s private acts of love. If anything, the New Testament’s principal teachings compel us to love all of humankind, including those who are born homosexuals (and who, consequently, are also created in God’s image), regardless of their beliefs and actions. Frankly, I find your interpretation dangerous.
Characterizing any of our brothers and sisters as anything less than worthy of God’s love dehumanizes them and promotes hate. Remember, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16). And for the record, I doubt sincerely that God has any more of a problem with homosexuals expressing love in their own private way than he does when you or I do the same.