There are a lot of things in politics that I believe but don’t feel too strongly about. But one thing that makes absolutely no sense to me is trying to ban gay marriage. North Carolina has become the latest state to put forth a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
So first of all, the concept of amending the constitution to take away a right is unfathomably misguided. Even if gay people were actually some sort of menace to society, the constitution is what gives rights.
But here’s what’s always bugged me. I’m a Christian. I went to Catholic school. But this is one of the reasons I don’t go to church anymore. What the church teaches and does are so wildly incongruous from what the Bible says. True, you can find verses that reference homosexuality being a sin. But alongside them, you’ll find verses that use equally-harsh language against fish “that do not have fins or scales.” No one argues that we should amend the Constitution to ban eating shellfish.
What I took away from the Bible wasn’t a handful of verses. But I can sum it up in a couple.
First, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Unlike most of the Bible, this is actually a quote from Jesus. (And, in fact, in Mark 12:31, Jesus states that, between this and that there is only one God and Savior, “There is none other commandment greater than these.”) Besides the fact that Jesus appears to make a rather big deal of this point, it seems to me like it’s also one of the over-arching concepts that Jesus tried to get us to understand.
Second, when Jesus happened across an adulterous woman — a sin punishable by death in the Bible — Jesus left us with some more pretty clear guidance: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Elsewhere, there’s further indication that we should leave the castigation and judgment of others to God, and focus on trying to lead righteous lives ourselves.
If I were to attempt to summarize the Bible in a paragraph, I think both of these verses would make their way in. These are perhaps the most well-known verses on the two subjects, but there are countless other times the same concepts are expressed in the Bible. To me, they’re fundamental to what Jesus taught.
So it boggles my mind that someone who read the same book as me could come away and say, “This book is all about how we should amend our constitution to take rights away from gay people.” Maybe the version I read was a misprint?