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viewpoint

Casting stones

| Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In my three years at Notre Dame, I have sat back and read Viewpoint after Viewpoint column concerning various sentiments relating to people who are not straight. I feel as though certain legitimate points have been woefully overlooked with regard to our fellow students and citizens who are not straight. For example, not all people who are not cisgendered or straight are automatically gay.

To name some assertions that have concerned me in the past: To compare the self-giving love of two consenting adults to bestiality or prostitution is horribly inaccurate and sensationalist, and the Catholic sacrament of matrimony that requires unitive and procreative love is not the same as, or even necessarily linked with, the civil marriage the states have control over. Now that those are out of my system, on to more immediate issues.

While Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona vetoed the bill that would have allowed business owners to deny service to certain individuals on the grounds of religious freedom, the sentiment remains that it is permissible to discriminate against non-heterosexual “sinners” when it comes to business and civil rights alike.

That being said, for inexplicable reasons, non-heterosexual people are the only ones our fellow citizens feel called to actively and vocally disapprove of. Yes, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says homosexual acts — not people — are “intrinsically disordered,” but it also says contraception is “intrinsically evil.”

Jesus adamantly condemned divorce (Matthew 19:3-9, Mark 10:2-12), and, as my Intro to New Testament course discussed today, it is dauntingly difficult to find legitimate biblical grounds to justify living a lifestyle where all followers of Christ do not sell all of our possessions and give them away (Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:25, Acts 4:32, and, for dramatic effect, Acts 5:1-11). I am a sinner; you are a sinner; your parents are sinners; your RA is a sinner; your favorite professor is a sinner.

Let’s take a step back from the light topic of how far fallen we all are and discuss Jesus’ actions. He was not a fan of people lording over one another (Matthew 20:25-28), or even the Pharisees, really (Matthew 23:1-12). It was not the righteous Jesus shared meals with; rather, he caused uproar over eating with tax collectors and sinners alike (Matthew 2:15-17).

Should the Christian owner of a restaurant feel deeply in his or her heart that non-heterosexual people really are sinners and truly are breaking from God’s will, then, as a Christian exercising religious freedom, that business owner is called to follow the actions and love of Christ and welcome each and every sinner to dine there.

It is no more righteous or Christian to send away someone who is not straight than it is to send away a divorced mother, a man who uses contraception or a junior who has not sold or given away her extensive scarf collection.

We are all sinners, but we are all one in Christ. So, for the love of the God who loves and redeems each and every one of our sorry souls, let’s just be kind to one another.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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