Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal government’s attempt to ban benefits from same sex married couples is a righteous cause for celebration from gay couples but also a rallying cry for those who practice homophobia.
Facebook is filled with posts by locals who decry the court decision. One minister claimed that, next, the court will legalize adultery.
I’m sorry, but I fail to understand the outright fear and self-righteous indignation that exists against gay couples or homosexuality.
Opponents often cite the Bible, saying it declares homosexuality a “sin.” Yes, the Bible does appear to condemn homosexuality in Leviticus, Corinthians and Romans with lines like:
If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.
Strong stuff. But this is the same Bible that says those who work on Sunday shall be put to death:
The Lord then gave these further instructions to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.” (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)
In fact, the Bible advocates killing people for a variety of other reasons: Adultery, not being a virgin or even for being a member of “another religion.”
“The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted,” writer John Blake once wrote on CNN’s Belief blog. “Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches – all types of people – quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.”
I have relatives and good friends who are gay. Some, fortunate enough to live in states that allow marriages between those of the same sex, are happily and content in matrimony. Others, sadly, have to live with repressive laws and even more repressive attitudes towards gays.
The same Bible to so many use to justify hatred or bigotry towards gays and others of different beliefs also preaches tolerance and acceptance of those with differences from our own.
Why not follow that advice?