Bible is easily used to justify intolerance; some passages
should not be taken literally

To the Daily:

In a letter published in Monday’s Daily regarding a
lecture on Christian values (Speech was misunderstood, but
remained true to the Bible
, 09/02/04), Deborah Wiggins states
that “people have no right to be upset” about the
public promotion of the view that homosexuality is an
“abomination unto God” simply on the principle of the
“freedom of speech and religion.” These freedoms do
grant the right to state publicly that homosexuality is a sin, but
they also grant the right to be strongly offended by such a
statement and the right to disagree publicly.

What many conservative Christians fail to realize is that there
are numerous Biblical passages that, if stated publicly as truth,
would be harshly criticized by the vast majority of Americans.
Would most Americans agree that the proper punishment for a man
gathering sticks on the Sabbath day is being stoned to death
(Numbers 15.35)? Would most Americans agree that a man who marries
a previously divorced woman has committed adultery (Matthew 5.31)?
The Christian response to these questions will generally be,
“No good Christian would agree with those passages. They are
not central to what Christianity is about. Christianity is about
finding a loving relationship with Jesus.” This response begs
the question: Is the passage on the sinfulness of homosexuality
central to Christianity? Or is it just another one of those
passages that really shouldn’t be taken so literally?

Why do people pick and choose which passages to quote publicly
from the Bible and which quotes to defend? Answer: People only cite
the passages that are still somewhat relevant to their broader
society and ignore the rest. Society is an evolving entity and the
Bible is not. Sure, you can quote it publicly and try to base your
life around it, but don’t be surprised when people are
disgusted by people using the Bible to promote intolerance in our
progressive society.

Steve Dannemiller

LSA Senior

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