Wednesday, April 18, 2012

pondering "The Best Case For the Bible NOT Condemning Homosexuality"

I'm so tired of writing about homosexuality.  More tired than any of you could possibly be of reading about it, I promise.

I'm done.  SO done.  This is a non-issue for me.  Has been for some time.  I love gay people.  Done.  (next question?)

But I can't stop ... not yet, anyway.  Because right now, in my home state of North Carolina, a battle rages on.  Bumper stickers and yard signs and lapel buttons and rallies and press conferences ... it's everywhere.  All because of a proposed amendment to our state constitution, that (if passed) would be one of the strictest DOMA's in the country.  If it does not pass, NC would be the first state to have one of these put to referendum that didn't, and we would (proudly) remain the only state in the south not to have one.

Public sector support for this amendment is poor - in fact, what support did exist is dwindling quickly.  Republicans and Libertarians alike are running as far as they can away from it.  Even Thom Tillis (R), the speaker of the House and one of the drafters of the amendment, has predicted that it will pass only to be reversed in 20 years.  When questioned about his comments later, he reiterated and stood by them.

With all that said, you'd think the amendment would be dead in the water.  But it's not.  Far from it.  Among one group (and one group only), support is growing to a fever pitch - fundamentalist Christians.

Which is why, even though my friends of other faiths (or "no faith") grow frustrated when we make this an argument about the Bible rather than an argument about civil liberties and fair governance, I must continue to appeal to those who believe they must stand in opposition to their gay brothers and sisters in order to stand "for God" and "for the Bible".  I must, because 1) there are a lot of them and 2) I know them, I know that they will never act in opposition to what they believe the Bible dictates.  Those convictions run too deep. There is no other avenue of appeal but the Bible itself.

Finally, I must because 3) I care about them.  I long for their eyes to be opened.  I long for reconciliation.

Not long ago I shared that the book A Time to Embrace was the best source I'd read on this topic, from both theological and historical/political angles.  But I know many won't go buy a book.  Some who do, won't read it.  Some who start, won't finish it.  And even among those who do, it's a lot to digest and retain.  (still, book nerds like me - go read it! and read the footnotes, too!)

So today I share what I believe to be the best concise argument on the matter  (excerpts from the book UNFAIR by John Shore, shared in blog form)  Read it.  Ponder it.  Share it, even.  Have conversations about it.  A snippet,

"Even a sin as heinous as murder we do not judge without first taking into account the context in which it occurred. Self-defense, protection of the innocent, during a war—we recognize that there are times when even taking the life of another is not only not a sin, but a morally justified, and even heroic act.
Christians evaluate the degree of sin, or even whether or not a real sin has occurred, by looking at both the harm caused by the sin, and the intent of the sin’s perpetrator.
They do, that is, for all sins except homosexuality."

If you live in North Carolina, time is running out. Election day is May 8th.  Early voting starts tomorrow.  There's no "I'm in the middle on this issue" bubble to color in on the ballot.  You have to choose.  If you choose not to vote, you're still choosing - you're choosing to let others speak for you.  And those who are passionate about "defending God" will show up to vote, believe me!  So if you remain on the fence, I implore you - do the work.  Think it through.  Fast.  Pray. Ponder.

The rest of you - good news:  here in a couple of weeks I will write about things OTHER than (though still at times including) homosexuality!  Hallelujahs all around!

No comments: