I rarely have anti-gay type folks post comments on my blog, but I was surprised today to find a comment posted on a story about Target and their supposedly neutral stance on same-sex marriage.

While the old testament says to stone folks like you, I am not a perfect Bible reader. I am a Christian and we lean over backwards to forgive. LBGT has had a license to do what they pretty much please in this society for far too long. I believe you have certain rights as defined in the Constitution and no more. Society has given you the world at the expense of God fearing people. It is written that those who sleep (have carnal knowledge) with same sex people are in violation with fundamental laws as given by God. He will be your judge as he is certainly judge of us all. You make your peace and your case with Him. Stay out of my childrens’ school rooms and their heads. If it were “natural” for same sex people to mate, children would be born without both a mother and a father and it wouldn’t be deemed a sin in God’s Word!.

To which I replied:
Actually the Old Testament doesn’t say anything about “folks like you.” What we know as Gay and Lesbians didn’t really exist in the time era covered by the Old Testament. There were individuals who had same-sex affections, and loved members of the same sex. In the Bible, we see these romances illustrated in the stories of Ruth and Naomi and Jonathan and David for example. But there is no hebrew word for gay and lesbian. No hebrew term for homosexual.

Even if there were however, God’s gift in the sacrifice of his Son , the Christ created a new covenant, which rendered Hebrew Law as not applicable any longer. The followers of Christ have struggled with this since the time of Paul and Peter.

One of the cornerstones of our constitution is the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion. So, it is really irrelevant what you claim the Old Testament does or doesn’t say.

The Constitution is also a living document with the ability to be amended, precisely so that the basis of it can continue to be applied to our current and future social needs. Civil Marriage has been labeled as a constitutional right by the Courts, and same-sex couples are simply asking to be treated just like anyone else. You didn’t mention what the Biblical punishment was for adultery, nor divorce, yet divorced people are permitted to marry. Adulterers are permitted to marry. It isn’t the government’s role to force any one religious set of beliefs onto everyone.

In the end, we each face God on our own. I will stand before my Maker as you will stand before your Maker. We will each be held accountable for the way we have lived our own lives, not based on the way we sought to control the lives of others. I have no doubt that God created me in God’s image and that includes my sexual orientation.

Over the centuries, close-minded fearful people who didn’t have real Faith have tried to force their beliefs onto others. Consider how hard the Church worked to hold that the Earth was flat and that the Sun circled around the Earth. But eventually, even the Religious had to accept Science and admit that the Earth circles around the Sun. At another point, left-handedness was seen as a sign of a demon. Eventually, we will understand genetics, and biochemistry and development enough to see that Sexual Orientation is natural, and that for the whole of God’s creation, there is a place for heterosexuals, homosexuals, and bisexuals. It isn’t a matter of one or the other, but all are part of the fullness of God’s creation.

You really have a mixed up and non-Christian idea of Sin! Unless you are reading the original Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic, please do not even begin to tell me what is in “God’s word,” because YOU DON’T REALLY KNOW. According to that same Bible, we are all sinners, and all sin. You are no less a sinner or have no less sin than I. Get to work at taking the log out of your own eye before you worry about the splinter in mine.

Civil Marriage has nothing to do with the Bible or God.

Have a great day.

And from there, several emails followed:

You are right that we are all sinners…the effort should be made in turning away from sin. I will never turn a LGBT person away from any church I attend nor should any sinner be turned from a chance at redemption. I just believe that folks who continue in sin and try not to turn away are tempting God’s wrath and His condemnation. Now, will I stone an  adulteress or an adulterer; the same thought process goes there as goes into other sinners. I have studied with scholars, the old books. Where can you tell me that carnal knowledge of same sex is condoned? I don’t think anywhere. Mind you, I love many people of the same sex as I, yet I will never have carnal knowledge of them. And still the age old question remains…How can two men or two women have children together? Can’t be done. This is the fundamental reason for carnal knowledge. That the act is pleasurable is an added benefit. But, because it is a pleasurable act, multitudes view it as a right of existence and any means to gain that feeling is to be condoned. I don’t believe that sadism and masochism are sane acts, but there are many people that do. I feel sorry for them and pray for them as I pray for you and your ilk. Just because you think it is alright doesn’t make it so. We will have to agree to disagree and while I will preach to you against this act, I will let God and you sort it out, hence my claim not to be a perfect follower of the the Bible. I can no more persecute you than I could persecute the weather. It is what it is.

Email 1:

While this is a very limited discussion, you seem caught up in an Old Testament notion of God but claim to be a Christian. Very interesting.

Fortunately there are many Christians who see things very different from you and treat all as children of God exactly as they are. Accepting one’s sexual orientation does not keep someone from redemption but is the very beginning of redemption. “do not call unclean what the Lord has called clean.”

But civil marriage isn’t connected to religion, so the religious argument is really beside the point.

You are a child of God. But this by itself doesn’t make you immune to His Laws. Christ led us back into his good graces, but did NOT suspercede his laws. Take the 10 Commandments as listed in the Old Books. Just because they are not listed word for word in the New Books, I do NOT choose to ignore them. Once again, I profess my short coming in not following the Book word for word, but I try to adhere to His command and when I sin and realize it, I repent and seek His forgiveness. I do not think that Christ ever gave us leeway to ignore God’s commands. Christ never said that the Old Testament was falsehood. He preached forgiveness and that was God’s great gift to us all. It doesn’t give one license to sin all their life with the assumption of forgiveness on a deathbed. Neither does a life of good deeds earn a place at His feet. To the best of my knowledge, a truly repentent heart earns that. Do I condemn those who sin? No. I DO condemn the sin, not the sinner. You say that accepting someone’s sexual orientation as God given and I say that God gave us free will and we are allowed to make mistakes. Still doesn’t make it right nor once again can you refute that the original reason for carnal knowledge is procreation and a man plus his brother will never procreate nor will a woman and her sister. You will still have to make your peace with our Father. Christ can and will bring you to God, but He is the ultimate Judge.

No no no. The covenant in Christ completely supersedes the Hebrew “laws.” salvation is a gift given freely not earned. Who so ever believeth in him has eternal life.

God’s plan includes all that God created including those God created as gay and lesbian.

There is no such thing as a person who has ever quit being gay because of praying.

In the new covenant there are but two laws. Love God and love others.

Those who seek to hold onto the old laws do so out of a fear and a need to make salvation a reward when it is a freely given gift.

You and I may never agree about sexual orientation, but for me that isn’t a big deal. I know that God made me exactly as I am, and I know my orris ration is a gift of God.

Sexual orientation isn’t a choice no matter how much you wish it were. Remember that at one time the church used the “word of God” to call Galaleo wrong. Over history many have chosen to use those texts as weapons.

People like you fail to grasp that you may not understand the fullness of God’s will and think you have all the answers (sexuality is about procreation/ marriage is about how the “plumbing” fits together. Just as the church in Galileo’s time failed to grasp the way the Universe is a part of a bigger plan.

Civil marriage isn’t about God however. It is about fairness. My partner and I have been together for 14 years. Eventually one of us will die. We own a house together. If I die it isn’t fair that my partner has to pay inheritance tax on 1/2 the house.

For some Christians, gambling is a sin. For some divorce is wrong. For others cutting your hair or dancing is a sin. Our laws (American) are not based on what some Christians thing is wrong or sinful but rather on what is fair.

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