I received a comment to last week's blog, "The Power of Love":
"How can a Christian overcome prejudices, when our prejudices are backed by the Bible? Such as my loathing for gays... when the Bible clearly states it is a sin and an abomination? How do I tolerate what is wrong in the eyes of God? And why SHOULD I tolerate it? I know the Bible also says not to be judgmental, but the Bible ALSO says to NOT surround yourself with people who habitually sin and have no remorse."
Here is my response:
The Bible says many things. The Bible tells us to detest rabbits and pigs, and not to eat their meat. The Bible tells us not to eat shellfish. It tells us to detest shellfish.
The Bible tells us that a woman must not wear men's clothes. The Bible tells us not to eat any meat with the blood still in it. The Bible tells us to not cut our hair at the sides of our head or clip off the edges of our beard.
The Bible tells us not to put tattoo marks on ourselves. The Bible tells us to do no work on Sunday. The Bible tells us, "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native born. Love him as yourself..."
God tells us to obey all of his commandments and that we are sinners if we do not.
What about the commandment, Thou shall not kill? This is not ambiguous. It's not conditional. There are no exceptions or special circumstances.
God doesn't say thou shall not kill unless it's in your best interest to do so. God doesn't say thou shall not kill unless someone is attacking you in which case it's okay to kill them. God doesn't say thou shall not kill unless someone has killed others in which case it's okay to put them to death. God says, Thou shall not kill. End of story.
So I put it to you: Why do you see it as your Biblical, God-inspired responsibility to detest gay people and why do you use the quote in the Bible to justify your detesting of gays when, most likely, you don't detest people who eat rabbit meat, bacon, pork and ham.
Most likely you don't detest people who eat shellfish. Most likely you don't detest women who wear men's clothing. Most likely you don't detest people who eat meat with blood still in it.
Most likely you don't detest men who cut their hair on the sides of their head and clip their beards. Most likely you don't detest people who have tattoos.
Most likely you don't detest people who work on Sunday. Most likely you don't detest people who resent illegal aliens and voice rage at those who want to help illegal immigrants.
Most likely you don't detest people in the military who kill people to keep you safe. Most likely you don't detest people who favor capital punishment and put murderers to death.
All of those people are breaking God's laws. They are sinners. They are detestable. Why do you tolerate all those behaviors that God insists are sins and abominations, and yet choose to be intolerant towards gays?
If you're going to use your devotion to the Bible and to God to justify your judgment and hatred of gay people, you should use that same devotion to the Bible and to God to judge and hate everybody who breaks God's rules, regardless of how ridiculous those rules may seem to be in this day and age.
And if you don't, then you need to look inside yourself and ask why you don't, why you have been so selective in what you hate.
I would suggest to you that it is blasphemy to follow one of God's rules (to detest gay people) but to ignore all his other rules, and that it makes a mockery of your devotion to the Bible and to God.
Perhaps it would be wiser to consider letting go of all your prejudice and judgment, and to follow the principles of forgiveness, acceptance and love that Jesus Christ spoke of in the New Testament.
If Jesus Christ were alive today, he would most likely be consoling the downtrodden, including gays, not condemning them. He would most likely be protesting mass murder that we refer to as war.
Jesus Christ advised us in the New Testament that if we have two coats, we should give one away. That makes me think that if he were alive today he would be in favor of universal health care and would condemn those who have way too much and don't want to share it with others.
People conveniently forget many of the things Jesus Christ preached, favoring the angry, jealous, vengeful God of the Old Testament instead.
What it comes down to is this: It's a mistake to take the Bible literally. It's a mistake to believe everything that is written in it. I say this because there are many inconsistencies, because there are many things that may have had relevance back then when it was written, but don't have relevance today, and (most of all) because it was written by human beings who are fallible and have their own agendas that often have nothing to do with the Will of God.
If I were you I would put aside the Old Testament and put your trust and faith in the Sermon on the Mount. I don't believe Jesus would steer you wrong.
I leave you with one particular oddity in the Old Testament that I find fascinating, which no one has yet, to my knowledge, addressed. In Genesis 1:26, it is written: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." My question to you is: Who's "us"? What's all this about "our" image, "our" likeness? Who's God talking to?
In next week's blog, "In God We Trust," I will discuss the differences between the message of the Old Testament and the message of the New Testament, and how to reconcile them.