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Pick and choose / November 13, 2014

Dear Viewpoint,

I am responding to yet another hysterical, idiotic anti-gay diatribe that has appeared in your paper. I refer specifically to the letter headlined “Take a Stand,” published November 3.

The writer is quite correct when she quotes Genesis 2:24 (KJV). It does indeed state, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

However, is she also aware of Leviticus 25:44? “Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you.” Following the writer’s anti-gay marriage “logic,” therefore, it is incumbent upon us to nullify the Emancipation Proclamation immediately and reinstate slavery. Exactly who the slave owners shall be and who the heathen shall be may present a problem but I am sure we can work it out.

How about Exodus 35:2? “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.” Perhaps we need a constitutional amendment by which the country shuts down on the Sabbath, assuming that we can agree on a day. Saturday, the day on which Jesus observed the Sabbath as a Jew? Or Sunday?

Leviticus 11:7 prohibits the eating of pork. “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.” I assume, therefore, that the writer eschews ham with her eggs.

And on and on and on. Pick a point of view and pick a Bible verse or two — Old Testament or New — to support it. Selective observance of the hundreds of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” in the Bible is a game that human beings have been playing for two millennia now.

Therefore, our Constitution did not specifically define marriage as between a man and a woman, as much as that disappoints the writer, because the Constitution is a civil document, not a religious one. Has she not heard of the separation of church and state? Perhaps some time under Shariah law would help her to understand this need.

“Vote the BIBLE,” the writer encouraged prior to the recent election, yet she also claims that she is “not writing this letter judging others.” Really? The gay baiting that goes on here in the name of Christianity is shocking.

Sadly, however, the Bible was not on the ballot, as far as I could tell. I would have voted for it. As a priest, it is one of my favorite books.

But I learned to look at it from two perspectives. What did it mean for the people alive when it was written? And what does it mean for us today?

Surely any fine, upstanding, bacon-eating citizen who does any work at all on weekends can deduce that the two interpretations are of necessity often quite different.

(Very Rev.) Christopher Ross
South Boston

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