In a letter to the editor of the Jamaican Observer, an annoyed contributor expressed dismay that MCC's titular head and chief theologian Nancy Wilson, MDiv, recently visited Jamaica as an advocate for gay and lesbians in that country. From the lengthy and venomous letter, I share with you only four quotes and I respond to them. Our work is clearly not done. There is much more to do before all people are afforded equal rights. For the entire letter to the editor, visit http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/html/20070510T230000-0500_122825_OBS_GAYS_SKEWING_THE_WORD_OF_GOD_.asp
JMF writes: "[Rev. Nancy Wilson] might ask us soon to allow a man to marry a pig! Because from a Christian perspective, what would be the difference?"
DW: The difference, to any intelligent person, is that a pig could not consent. Two men or two women or a man and a woman can decide if they are attracted to one another and wish to enter into a physical relationship. That is not the case with a person and an animal. Adults within a species are certainly free to express desire and affection for one another. Now, if and when pigs evolve to the point of being able to speak and find employment and vote and be in every way equal in social-power to humans, then we'll discuss human-swine marriages. Until then, its too ridiculous to even bring up in a serious debate.
JMF writes: "Homosexuals are so bent on enjoying their lifestyle that they now want to skew the Word of God to suit themselves and then, when they cannot, they accuse others of misinterpreting the Word. God hates homosexuality and He does not apologise for it - if it is spoken against one time in the Bible it would be once too many times, but for it to be written against six times is showing God's complete distaste for the act."
DW: And God's ignorance of evolution, "his" [sic] uncritical acceptance of slavery, "his" mistaken notion that the sun travels throughout the sky (as we see when Joshua makes the moving sun stand still), "his" assumption that virgins and 90 year old women can conceive children, "his" tolerance of polygamy, and "his" laws against eating pork and shellfish (which "he" seems to forget later in the book of Acts) all seem OK to this person (I presume). First, that anyone believes God literally composed the contents of the bible continues to astound me. Secondly, that anyone would have the arrogance to state so boldly what God hates also astounds me. Finally, if God can condone slavery but not same-gender love, what use would any of us have for such a god?
JMF writes: "However, as Romans Chapter 1 starting at verse 22 states, 'Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves, who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one towards another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.'"
DW: One, St. Paul, not God, wrote the book of Romans. Two, "For this cause..." that is, in response to their idolatry, God punished the people Paul talks about WITH (not FOR) same-gender attraction. Thirdly, if it is a curse for one to try to change one's nature, wouldn't it be bad for gay people to try to change into straight people? One can certainly disagree with Paul's conclusions, and even if one (inexplicably) agreed with Mr. Paul, that still isn't an argument against a 21st century understanding of sexual orientation.
(Finally), JMF writes: "For the pastors claiming to be Christians who are approving of such churches, I repeat, they are not of God."
DW: Perhaps not of God as this person understands God. Thank God!