Viewpoint: Don't use religion to argue against same-sex marriage
I WAS extremely disappointed to hear that Martin Vickers MP decided to vote against same-sex marriage.
I wonder if he is aware that, in the past, those who followed Christ used Bible quotes to fight to legitimise slavery, to stop women from owning property or from having the right to vote, and to argue that disabled people deserved their disabilities because they had sinned in their previous lives?
All the above points contradict the message and life of Jesus, which is why, eventually, they were rejected. I'm sure society would agree that these viewpoints are wrong on so many levels, and yet, the stance against same-sex marriage is, to me, in the same calibre as these viewpoints.
I think it needs to be publicised that the Bible was not written in English. It was translated into English. Additionally, the Bible was not originally a whole book; now, as a whole book, it is composed of many different scraps and pieces of writings that have been through a selection process (which has seen other writings not included).
The writings included in the Bible are from varied followers of Jesus, the majority of whom used scribes to revise and edit their thoughts in a written format; these revisions have been subject to the sources' specific creeds, the missing out of lines while copying, using incorrect but similar (sounding) words, as well as other typos. Also, a lot of these writings were written (in some cases, many years) after the life and death of Jesus.
Therefore, these re-translations of the original texts are obviously prone to misunderstandings and mistakes, and also to cultural attitudes of the time.
At these times of translating, there were no traffic lights, no mobile phones or even landline phones, no e-mail addresses, computers, iPods, and iPads (imagine how society would manage without all them); and there were no "homosexuals" as defined by today's society.
Also, an interesting fact, the words "gay" and "lesbian" appear not once in the bible. "Homosexual" was added in 1946 by Christian translators. This is strange when it is considered that there are words for same-sex "activities" in Greek (the language used to write the new testament), yet these do not appear in the original text.
Anybody opposing same-sex marriage, please take a moment and think about this.
The New Testament (Greek scholars point out that there are simply three passages dealing with homosexuality; these are the following: Romans 1:23-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. However, these passages do not deal with "homosexuality" as society defines it today; instead, the focus of these passages is on prostitution and other "sins". But because of very old (and often loved) mistranslations, multiple versions of the bible imply contrarily.
Now, as for the old testament, some Christians cite Leviticus 20:13, which commands death for men who lie with men. But we have to accept that if we took all of the old testament's rules literally, well, then at least 80 per cent of us would not make it to age 30, because of commands which include, but are not limited to, the following: to kill those who commit adultery (Leviticus 20:10), to kill victims of rape (Deuteronomy 22:23-27), to kill rebellious sons who disobey their parents (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), to kill children that curse their parents (Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9), to kill a man who is not circumcised (Genesis 17:14), and to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15).
Jesus never once directly (or indirectly) addressed the subject of homosexuality. However, Jesus did set the example of loving and accepting everyone – especially the oppressed and those whom the religious establishment considered unclean.
Some ill-informed Christians will disagree; they will point out that Jesus said marriage was between a man and a woman.
What they are actually referring to is Mark 10:2-12. This passage states that Jesus disapproved of the practice of men getting rid of inconvenient wives by simply handing them a certificate of divorce. In this passage, Jesus is objecting to a marriage system that excessively castigates women, often causing financial hardship, loss of children and other unjust repercussions.
He was not saying anything about same-sex marriage; how could he – the concept did not exist at the time!
Personally, I feel that using your faith as a hall-pass to discriminate and condemn others is a poor reflection of character. Hence, using religion as a means to argue against same-sex marriage is weak at best (especially when the same politicians fighting against same-sex marriage do not object to taking the lesbian and gay population's tax monies). It is to disguise the fact that the person in question cannot articulate a legitimate argument for themselves.
Love is love; it does not come in different versions; it is neither defined by, nor authorised by, religion. If there are any gays, lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, trisexuals, transsexuals, and interssexuals, reading this, please know that God loves you all (He doesn't make mistakes!); and Jesus loves you all.
And if you love one another – then get married! God will be your witness and He will celebrate your love proudly.
Benjamin Soul, details supplied
Is there a PC agenda?
I AM a secondary school teacher, a Christian, and committed to fair treatment to all in all walks of life.
However, I am also opposed to the concept of same-sex marriage on theological grounds.
Many will disagree with me, and they are entitled to do so.
However, the tone and intolerance of some advocates of homosexual marriages towards those who oppose it is reprehensible and ignorant.
I am most certainly not homophobic, and was in favour of civil partnerships when they were first muted.
This has not stopped me from being accused of wanting to return to the days when homosexuality was an actual crime, a right wing bigot (I have always supported civil and human rights at home and abroad, and always voted Labour), and of wanting to poison my pupils' minds against gays and homosexuals (I have never discussed this matter in any context with any of my pupils at any time).
I fear that many of the advocates of same-sex marriage have a wider PC agenda, which has obscured the real issues in this debate, and have simply resorted to personal vilification and baseless diatribe against those who hold an alternative view.
Name and address supplied.
DO OUR MPs not realise that voting against same-sex marriage will destroy the economy?
They should vote for it because most gay couples like to spend lots of money on their wedding day.
They need to think about how same-sex marriages can help bring more money to businesses and more jobs will be made.
John King, details supplied.
OWEN Parkinson (Gay marriage is a misuse of the word, procedure and ritual, Grimsby Telegraph, February 6) raises an interesting point when he asks if the heir to the throne was part of a same-sex marriage, could we end up with two Kings ruling us?
I would have thought that it would surely be two Queens, whichever sex was involved!
Les Harbord, Clyfton Crescent, Immingham.
The Telegraph Says:
This issue has certainly polarised views, are those likely to be altered by any argument for or against? What is the way forward?