Volume 91, Issue 54

Wednesday, December 3, 1997

Jack Frosh


OPINIONS
 

A truly religious perspective

Re: Interpretational ambiguity, Oct.15 and Modest proposal about immodest acts, Oct.9

To the Editor:

I realize this commentary is late, yet I felt that I had to include my two cents on this issue because I felt the articles being written were, on the whole, a sad display completely missing the satiric point of Prof. Carroll's article. They were also close-minded and defensive, caught up in thinking they know what God would say if he were to respond. I'm reminded of something I read in chapter two of Paul's letter to the Romans. He is busy bashing the Jews of the time for being self-righteous, judging others and even specifically states God is not happy when you do this and earn him a bad reputation in the material world. But as I read the responses by Christians, this is exactly what I see happening today. As Christians, Jesus calls us to love. To love everyone. To go out and free the oppressed, heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless and basically spend our lives in the service of others. We are also called to love God with our whole mind, which I don't see happening in the Christian community today. I see some Christians suppressing their own doubts and questions, being afraid of finding grey areas and uncertainty and having to face that maybe they can't know everything. I also attempted to resolve my views on social issues such as abortion, homosexuality, capitol punishment, euthanasia, etc. On the way, I discovered partial answers in each of these areas involved. I've come to accept that on many of these issues, the Bible and I disagree. I have come to believe in God and to love him and I'll never stop my search for truth.

As for the issue of homosexuality, I do know that I'm called to love and serve homosexuals and that's the bottom line in determining my interactions with them. When I think about it, I can't see how my loving, compassionate God could condemn a constructive, positive and loving relationship between two people; on the basis of their sexual orientation. Yes, the Bible seems to say homosexuality is wrong, but when it goes against the principle of love, I will not even pretend to be certain enough of God's views to go around judging and condemning the actions of others. When I read Prof. Carroll's article, I was immediately struck by the simple brilliance of the satire involved. Also, I thought it was an excellent exercise to show Christians the other perspective, to show what it might feel like to be judged so harshly by others (especially in the name of God). To show Christians how it hurts and that they should be more careful.

The main point I'm trying to make is that I'm afraid the articles published on this issue will easily propagate and reinforce a negative stereotype of Christianity. Let me say there is as much a spectrum of views on issues inside Christianity as there is outside. And there are many who do not think the world is black and white, that everyone else is doomed to hell, or basically, that we hold more answers than we really do. I'm sure much of what I have said here is open to debate and I would be quite happy to engage in that, but I just wanted to show another side of Christianity, perhaps that may be more palatable to the outsider. Finally, let me say that I would never want to compromise my faith in order to make it easier to swallow, as I suspect that I may be charged with doing by some of my fellow Christians.

Arik Theijsmeijer
Psychology III


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Copyright The Gazette 1997