Monday, January 30, 2012

It's bigotry if church discriminates against homosexuals (Observer Letter) .....

Dear Editor,

As a devout churchman I fail to appreciate the concern that many of my church folk have about the buggery law. The practice of faith, the last time I checked in my church, was based on the teachings of the Bible, not on the legislature. The church does not need the support of the state in order to practise its beliefs. If it does, then we must worry. But what would be the legal implications if the buggery laws were repealed in Jamaica?

It seems to me that it would come down to a question of whether the right to choose one's sexual expression isn't one that can be surrendered to the dictates of a religious body to which one belongs - meaning that one's belief and practice of one's sexual expressions are subjected to the authority of the church. If choosing one's sexuality is an inalienable right, then the church would be practising its belief in violation of the law. But if it is not an inalienable right, then legally the church is within its right to maintain its position that homosexuality is wrong.

I agree with those who are convinced that the issue is not about homosexuality as it is about rights, which is a discussion that must take place well beyond the parameters of one's sexual orientation. God made man with the power of choice, and unless in the exercise - in particular instances - infringes on another's right, then those choices should be between God and the individuals.

Granted, as God's servants whose understanding would place the burden on us to appeal to those who are leading an objectionable lifestyle, we are obliged to publish our beliefs - not in a manner as to condemn, but to persuade those we are concerned about that it would be in their best interest to follow God's recommended way to live. And we do this with the full knowledge that there is an extensive list of unholy practices that would separate us from God. We therefore do not discriminate against homosexuals. That would be bigotry.

I would take exception to any individual or group who would, without the support of scripture, want to redefine the belief system of my church. With the many religious options there are in the world today, among which are sympathisers to the homosexual way of life, coupled with the fact that church membership is not an inalienable right, why would an individual or a group want to take a church to court? If it were me, I would find one where I am accepted, or create my own. You need your space to live as you believe, please allow me mine. But if you won't, the Bible rules.

Charles Evans


Pity the church was not named which makes the authenticity of the letter questionable but if it is so according to the writer the separation of church and state seems unclear to the writer when in the end the subtle suggestion of the Bible being the end all for LGBT people to follow.

But locally the moral authority and their motives of the religious community comes into serious question when the groups and the Council of Churches find time to aggressively and publicly block the newly instituted Sunday racing yesterday crying fowl and the gambling issue distorting the moral fibre of society, 

also see the Gleaner's: Church Livid

yet hypocritically Saturday racing has had no major opposition all these many years not even from the powerful Seventh Day Adventists who worship on a Saturday or Friday racing where the Sabbath starts for some on that evening. Some critics go as far to say that the complaints from the church are due to the possibly loss of income in tithes and offerings with the prosperity gospel line some denominations take. The head of the Council of Churches Reverend Harriot in a radio interview said the church has always been opposed to gambling as it is poor people's money who are used to enrich rich, when questioned about the right of persons to choose he said that while they are not forced they are subtly made to gamble. He continued that families get destroyed etc but doesn't stigmatising lgbt people and bashing them also damage families when we see displacement, estranged loved ones and churches who openly read out perceived LGBT people? Other leaders in the grouping have said that racing can take place without the gambling component present and the opening of the betting shops. 

Why does the church feel it must impose its will over freedom of choice of the sinner? this seems like a kind of absolute monarchy wanting to rule every aspect of life.

The thousands of missing children as I have referred to in previous posts and the daily Ananda alerts in the newspapers also does not get the attention and coordinated aggressive responses from the church as homosexuality does and this perception that the gay lobby is trying to impose same on the society when all that is asked for is the right for consenting adults to practice a form of sex associated with male homosexuality, not all same gender loving men or men who dabble in anal or male to male play are homosexual either, a fact that has been left out of the discourse from most sides.

Time and money are found for those with information coming to the fore for recent anti gay public education campaigns with multi million dollar full paged print ads but not for rehabilitation of things and societal ills right before our eyes, we have a long way to go it seems. What about the homeless or destitute and aren't there churches and related folks wealthy too?

Do you agree with the letter writer ??

Peace and tolerance

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