Saturday, January 27, 2007

Rev. Durrell Watkins Debates Homosexuality & the Bible on Jamaican Radio

The Reverend Canon Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div., was interviewed January 24th on “Hot 102 FM” radio in Kingston, Jamaica. The interview took place on a program called “Today” and included a debate with an Anglican priest in Kingston. Both Durrell and his debate opponent spoke by phone to the radio hosts.

The Anglican priest’s view was that homosexuality was disordered and that the Church’s response should be to compassionately call gay and lesbian person to “repentance.” Reverend Watkins, by contrast, supported a liberative interpretation of scripture and an unequivocal affirmation of same-gender love and attraction.

The Kingston priest insisted that homosexual practice could not be supported scripturally and that the bible should be read literally and taken to be authoritative. Durrell’s position was that every person is in fact selective about what she or he considers authoritative in the bible and for him any statement that was oppressive or unjust could not be authoritative. To give an example, Reverend Watkins said, “I disagree with the bible when it says, ‘Slaves obey your masters.’ I also disagree with the few passages that seem to promote homophobia.”

When asked if his was a God of love, Reverend Watkins said, “Absolutely! Love and inclusion.” And his was the last word when he said, “For me, a biblical passage that is authoritative is Jesus’ Golden Rule. He said to treat people the way you would want to be treated is in fact the summation of the ‘Law and the prophets,’ the bible as he knew it. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. No one wants to be treated as a debate issue rather than as a person.”

Sunshine Cathedral remains committed to being a voice of hope, healing, and liberation in support of same-gender loving and gender transgressing communities of faith in Jamaica.

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