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Volume 69, Issue 47, Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Opinion
 

Use the Bible to help understand mankind

Bridger Bell
Guest Columnist

In the guest column, "Love thy neighbors, not their sin," (Opinion, Tuesday) the writer declares that "We are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to understanding homosexuality," and then places fault on homosexuals. He asserts that homosexuality is a sin which should not be tolerated and should not be allowed to continue.

In reality, the fault for the lack of understanding about homosexuality falls on Christians who use the Bible as a substitute for a brain, rather than using it as fuel.

The writer asserts homosexuality is a sin. In the Dark Ages and earlier, man's understanding of the world permitted the view of homosexuality as a choice. According to the Bible, only man, having eaten from the tree of knowledge, can sin because he can choose between good and evil. Animals, lacking that choice, cannot sin. If Christians would observe the world around them, they would see homosexuality exists in most animal species with the same frequency as in humanity, as demonstrated innumerable times in scientific studies and in casual observation. 

If we combine our knowledge with consideration of the Bible, we escape our Dark-Age understanding and see that God made roughly 1 out of 10 individuals homosexual in every animal population. Animals don't have a choice therefore it cannot be a sin. It is the way God made them.

The writer goes on the state that, "with salvation comes (the) responsibility to live as God intended." For homosexuals to choose to act otherwise would be to choose to act contrary to God's will. Wouldn't that be a sin?

He also addresses the current political debate over a proposed constitutional amendment, which defines marriage as only the union between a man and a woman. He rightly asserts that "separation of church and state protects the church from the government, not the other way around." But he fails to see the implication. 

Marriage is a private religious institution, which the government has chosen to recognize. According to the argument in the guest piece, the government has no place dictating how our citizens can define their religious institutions. Therefore, it is a violation of the separation of church and state for the government to selectively -- and unequally -- recognize marriages between two persons based on their gender. It would be no different from the government recognizing Jewish marriages but not Christian ones.

The writer calls on us to create an enlightened society. Enlightenment comes through observation, investigation and careful deliberation, not through fallacious conclusions that result from selective regurgitation from an antiquated text. Doing so only results in insult of self, religion and the holy text. The Bible is an infinitely rich, enlightening work, which, if used, should be directed at elevating humankind in the present, not arresting its development at the turn of the first millennium.

Bell, a senior mathematics major, 
can be reached via dccampus@mail.uh.edu.
 

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