Re "The Bible on gays," Postscript, Dec. 15
C.S. Pearce rightly mocks some of the nonsense in Leviticus. It does not support her claim that the Bible may not be as virulently anti-gay as it seems, but it does bring into question why anyone should care. She also quotes a cleric who refers to the Bible's "core values of compassion, justice and peace." I don't know where she sees these core values in the Hebrew Bible; I see a lot of genocidal smiting.
These ancient writings have nothing useful to say to us today, except as warnings to ignore the proclamations of those who claim to speak with divine authority. If you want guidance on the morality of gay marriage, look at the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Pearce makes big claims about what the Bible does or doesn't say about homosexual practice. Pearce is not a Bible scholar; her background is in reporting. None of her arguments has anything to do with the correct reading of the biblical text in its literary and historical context.
In 1 Corinthians Chapter 6, two words are used in reference to homosexual acts. The first is used to describe the passive participant. It is often translated as "effeminate." The second word describes an active participant, or sodomy. Taken together, these words clearly indicate homosexual acts. Paul's views work for any time, not just his own.
The teaching of Jesus in Mark Chapter 19 clearly delineates marriage as between one man and one woman. The best indicator of Jesus' stance on homosexuality is found here, as Jesus restates the Genesis 2:21-25 account of God's ordination of the marital union.
Mark C. Salvaggio
Pearce has an interesting approach to religion: If there are parts of the Bible you don't like, just don't take them literally.
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