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We’re not in Kansas anymore

David Willcutts | Sunday, April 14, 2013

Carter Boyd, I expect this is one of many responses to your column “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” published on Apr. 9. I hope the responses will concern the ideas and opinions you expressed and not you personally. Accordingly, I will limit myself to the following observation: you claim to have spent much time in dialogue and research concerning the gay rights movement. However, nowhere in your response did you directly cite or quote specific Bible verses or show any substantial theological research, and the little paraphrasing of the Bible and Christian doctrine you had did nothing to justify your implicit view of homosexuality as a sin and of bad quality. Moreover, you engaged in offensive and flawed arguments that have engendered ridicule, outrage and incredulity among pro-gay rights individuals. Therefore, I must sincerely question how much critical and constructive dialogue you have engaged these individuals in, as you compared homosexuals to “alcoholics, murderers [and] rapists” by way of analogy, labeled the “gay movement” a fad and stated we must “heal [homosexuals] and change their hearts and lives.”
Marriage is not only a religious covenant between a man and woman, but also a government-recognized institution. This is evidenced by marriage licenses, federal and state laws and regulations concerning marriage and the legal nature of divorce. It is critically important to recognize the separate definitions of religious marriage and civic marriage. Just as other cultures and religions have definitions of marriage different from that of the Catholic Church, so too can the federal and state governments define marriage, as a civil institution, differently from how the Church defines it. In fact, more than a few countries and states do, so contrary to your opinion, gay marriage does very much exist both as a term and an institution.
I also consider myself a Christian and believe in a loving and benevolent God. I further believe loving, intimate homosexual relationships are just as morally good and healthy as their heterosexual counterparts. There are no Bible verses that have convinced me acting upon homosexuality is inherently sinful or that homosexuals should be denied or excluded from marriage. Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13, as well as Mosaic Law in general, were declared to not apply to Gentile Christians by the Council of Jerusalem and the Apostle Paul. The original King James versions of 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10 should not be construed to disapprove of loving homosexual relationships, as the Greek term “arsenokoites” Paul coined does not conclusively refer to homosexual acts in its early context and use. As for Romans 1:26-27, I would refer you to the works of Candace Chellew-Hodge and Matthew Vines on that matter. That is my theological research for why I think being gay, lesbian or undecided is perfectly fine.
Finally, I must object to a few more of your opinions. Comparing homosexuals to alcoholics fundamentally misconstrues the serious addiction alcoholism is and erroneously likens homosexuality to a detrimental addiction. Comparing homosexual behavior to murder, rape and terrorism, as you did, is offensive and illogical. Consenting homosexual behavior is incomparable to an action in which a party is, by definition, unwillingly physically or sexually harmed. Gay marriage is about so much more than the tax code, and “our seemingly important rights, freedoms, and Constitution” are actually immensely important. The idea, “that’s why the human race still exists: because we aren’t gay,” is grossly oversimplified. It suggests a lack of understanding of the complex interactions between genes and their environment which result in the particularly complex natures of human social and sexual behavior. Moreover, homosexuals can, and some do, have biological children. Homosexuality is not a fad, craze, fetish or whatever else you negatively referred to it as. It is a sexual orientation just as legitimate and good as your own. People of all sexual orientations deserve your respect, not your pity. They deserve your acceptance, not your judgment. Above all, they deserve laws that are justified by something besides a religion that isn’t necessarily theirs.

David Willcutts is an off-campus senior studying
biology. He can be contacted at dwillcut@nd.edu
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.