Last Sunday I spoke to an adult Christian education class at John Knox Kirk Presbyterian Church in Kansas City. My talk was designed to explore what, if anything, the Bible says about homosexuality.
You may read a somewhat earlier version of what I said to the folks at the Kirk because I have posted it here on the blog under the "Check this out" headline on the right side of this page. Or you may just click here.
In summary -- based on a belief in the authoritative nature of the Bible but a belief that scripture must always be interpreted to understand what it might mean for us now -- I argue that the Bible says essentially nothing about what today we are beginning to understand as homosexual orientation, though there are times when the Bible seems to condemn some homosexual acts. But these condemnations seem to be aimed at the widespread Greco-Roman cultural practice of pederasty, in which adult men would use young boys for sexual gratification.
It's a practice, in fact, that should have been condemned for many reasons.
Well, I think it's worth listening to people of both heterosexual (my orientation) and homosexual orientations on this issue, but in some ways I think the testimony from gays and lesbians on this may have more credibility than what I as a straight man may have to say.
So I was intrigued to find this excellent presentation on YouTube by a young gay man, Matthew Vines, last month at at church in Wichita, Kan. It is wise and careful and it takes church teaching and the Bible seriously. I commend it to you.
It's long past time for the church to quit standing in the schoolhouse door on this issue, and such speakers as Matthew Vines can help lead the church in the right direction.
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THE ISLAMIC VOTE
Like many immigrant groups before them, Muslims now are becoming more politically important in the U.S. -- and this study suggests they could be a key factor in several swing states in the presidential election. Most politicians want their votes but, sadly, still are reluctant to be too closely identified with them because of prejudice against Muslims among other voters.
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P.S.: My latest National Catholic Reporter column now is online. To read it, click here.
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ANOTHER P.S.: I'll be participating again this year in the annual AIDSWalk Kansas City on April 28 to raise funds for the AIDS Service Foundation. You can help in a click or three by going here. Many thanks.