Letter to the Editor: To Parse, Perchance to Judge

In Response to “Jesus, Enough with the Chicken.” Responses from the author and editor follow.

Dear Editor,

My name is Leslie Hicks, and as a blogger in the eco-friendly sphere, I have read and enjoyed many of your columns, most recently the piece on AT&T vs. Verizon and their respective environmentally-conscious efforts. Most of the time, I find your columns to be interesting, informative, and I reference them often in my own tweets (@LeslieJHicks). Because I do read your posts often, I felt, as a reader, both qualified and compelled to inform you that the article by Libby Lowe, titled “Jesus, Enough with the Chicken,” is not only inaccurate in several respects, it’s embarrassingly misrepresentative, and reads more as a tantrum, which I’m sure was not Ms. Lowe’s goal.

Firstly, the title of the piece is not only blasphemous in a thoughtless effort to employ a pun, it’s insensitive. I don’t know how much of the Bible or how much about Christianity any of you have actually read with an open mind or with a desire to truly understand what you’re attacking so carelessly, so I’ll explain exactly what I mean. Blasphemy is defined as “1 a: the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God, b: the act of claiming the attributes of deity 2: irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable,” which is exactly what your title does (except for claiming attributes of deity). In case you’re unaware of why exactly invoking Jesus’s name in such a way is blasphemous, and thus, offensive, allow me to direct you to the place in the Bible which clearly spells it out—this site lists the Exodus 20:7 passage in many different translations, which is sure to get the point across. You may want to pay strict attention to the NIV, The Living Bible, and Revised Berkeley translations. The sentiment is paralleled in the New Testament as well (Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 4:6). At the very least, the piece’s title is unfortunately negligent of professionalism, and at worst, blatantly disrespectful to a figure Christians recognize as Lord. Do you want to take that stance as a publication?

A second issue I take with this article is that it grossly misrepresents Christian values. For one thing, the term “Christian values” links to another obviously slanted article on a religiously-themed amusement park, as if to conveniently, albeit ignorantly, sum up Christian values in that post. Could someone please do me the favor of pointing out one Christian value in that article (and I don’t mean what you think or have heard from anti-Christian, misinformed activists are Christian values, I mean values that actually exist, substantiated by Biblical evidence)? Also, no one is “hiding” behind Christian values to fuel “bigotry,” sorry. In fact, most Christians, Christians who adhere to the principles and commands outlined in the New Testament, (as most educated Biblical scholars know to be the standard by which we’re to live our lives, not the Old Testament, which is present and still useful for prophetic examples, for historical records, and useful accounts of actions), will not shy from telling anyone that being homosexual is an abomination (also repeated in the New Testament, not just in Leviticus, as some confused reader argued in a comment).

Since true Christian values appear to be unknown or disregarded by your writers, I’m happy to share some that apply to this column/social conflict: God created us male and female to be husband and wife—Genesis 2: 18-24, Matthew 19: 4-5; engaging in homosexuality is an abomination and gross repudiation of God’s law—Romans 1: 18-32, 1 Timothy 1: 5-11; homosexuality is a sin, yet can be forgiven like any other—Romans 3:23, Acts 26: 17-18; Christians are to love all people (John 13:34-35, Romans 13:8) but to not take part in or support sin (Ephesians 5:11, 1 Timothy 5:22); God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but will not tolerate sinful behavior (see Romans passage). True Christians, on the basis of Biblical doctrine, do not seek to dehumanize or mistreat homosexuals—we love them as fellow human beings, and will be the first to agree that bullying is never acceptable. However, a belief system is not synonymous with bullying. We simply do not accept a homosexual relationship as legitimate or recognizable on the level of marriage. As long as you’re entitled to support same-sex marriage, we’re entitled not to. A truly non-bigoted organization cannot argue that, especially if the organization it opposes is a privately-owned company with the same rights to religious freedom and freedom of speech. Not agreeing with the company’s mission statement is one thing—maligning that company as “bigoted” is entirely another.

Of course, I cannot speak for every individual that claims to be a Christian, I can only speak for myself and for what the Bible says or logically implies. I certainly do not condone each and every group or organization that claims to be Christian or to be upholding Christian values—indeed, some are indisputably racists, child molesters, bigamists, etc. However, an honest and critical thinker will hesitate to apply the word “Christian” to any that eschew Biblical doctrine but instead construct their own religion and ordinances.

I’m fully aware that very few people actually consider the Bible to be a true, reliable, and revelatory guide for living, but rather regard it as a simple collection of stories. You’re entitled, as free agents, to believe whatever validates and serves you the best—and, I’m sure, you do. However, it’s not just the Bible that says homosexuality is unnatural—science refutes many of the propagandist claims for its inherent nature and inevitable expression. Of course, the strongly suggestive lack of evidence for genetic inheritance of homosexuality has been largely ignored by the homosexual and advocating community. Please also note in the above article the mention of the inaccurate compound word “homophobia,” which, intended to describe one who is discriminatorily averse to the homosexual lifestyle, literally means an irrational fear of homosexuals, which is not the same as the lack of acceptance based on principle, and is likely nonexistent entirely.

Homophobia is not the only misnomer being employed among the homosexual-rights activist community. So too is “bigot” and “bigotry,” which is specifically used by your own Libby Lowe (and in your publication’s flurry of tweets as well). She describes bigotry as a deplorable mindset against the homosexual community. However, a cursory search of the etymology of the word “bigot” clearly reveals that the word was initially used as a snub of religion by the French. Curiously, that original use and context would in fact put you and anyone else who expresses contempt for and intolerance of religious ideology (“we won’t coddle,” as your tweet says) in the line of fire for being actual bigots. Bigotry isn’t confined to Christianity, as you allege—it applies to anyone who is obstinately devoted to their own prejudices, beliefs, opinions, politics, etc., and intolerant of others’. You could be accused of the same mindset you blindly accuse Christians of. Plus, the earliest English use carried with it the connotation of a religious hypocrite, which also doesn’t apply here, since any sincere, practicing member of the Christian religion which condemns homosexuality is hardly a hypocrite—he or she is a strict adherent.  No one who reads and lives by the Bible can credibly also say that being a homosexual is perfectly acceptable.  Too, bigotry has also been historically applied to those who harbor prejudice against a certain creed or racial/ethnic group—and, since homosexuality is not a religion, race, nor is it inherent, it’s not on par with the preceding categories and thus is (conveniently) misused as a term for the strong conviction that homosexuality is wrong. And let’s not forget that prejudice means the uninformed, preconceived adverse opinion of someone or something. One would be hard pressed in light of another’s Biblical study and scientific knowledge to correctly say that anyone who is opposed to homosexuality is uninformed or ignorant.

The bottom line is Ms. Lowe and whoever else rallies behind her article are fundamentally wrong—the article’s claims are uninformed, unsubstantiated, and lack depth. And, it’s clear that this piece isn’t really about the food chain at all, but rather just another seized opportunity to picket for unquestioning acceptance of a lifestyle just because it’s allegedly widespread (homosexuals make up a very small percentage of the American population, contrary to pop culture portrayal, as the NHSLS found) and popular to do so. The folks who seem the most uncomfortable, actually, are Ms. Lowe and her enablers—uncomfortable with companies that exercise their religious freedom, which Ms. Lowe claims to like, yet…puzzlingly does not like when it allows those who are opposed to homosexuality to promote their beliefs. That’s ironically, inconsistently intolerant if you’re honest with yourselves.

In closing, I’d like to again state that I respect you as columnists, and I will likely continue to enjoy reading some of your articles. If you truly value your readership and are truly non-discriminatory as your attack on “discriminators” would imply you to be, I’m confident you’ll not only respect and honor my arguments, beliefs, and opinions, you’ll have the courage to publish them. Courage is, after all, part of having a heart, isn’t it?

Sincerely,
Leslie Hicks

From the author, Libby Lowe:

Leslie,

I appreciate that you took the time to share your views, but I think you missed the point of my piece. You say that I misrepresented Christian values. I wasn’t trying to represent Christian values, I was representing my values.

I am suspect of anyone stepping up to explain or represent the beliefs of an entire group – be it a religious, political or otherwise collection of like-minded (not single-minded) people – no matter how many quotes you have to try to support your points.

I’m not going to get into a debate with you about homosexuality in the bible or whether sexuality is genetic. I assume agreeing to disagree will be the result of any debate we might have, but I will say that being informed doesn’t get you off the hook. Your statements about homosexuality, no matter how you couch them in niceties about loving them as fellow human beings, make your position clear. Call it intolerance, call it bigotry, use whatever word you like, but homophobia is homophobia and it hurts people.

You say that it’s clear my story isn’t really about the food chain, but “rather another seized opportunity to picket for unquestioning acceptance of a lifestyle.” I say that your letter isn’t really about my story, but a seized opportunity to promote intolerance in a far
more transparent way than a little text on a sandwich wrapper.

Yes, I am uncomfortable with Chick-fil-A’s corporate belief system. But I do believe the organization has every right to put those beliefs out there. In fact, I am glad to know where they stand so that I can make an informed choice as a consumer.

Libby Lowe

From the editor:

Leslie,

The EcoSalon motto, “Have a heart,” does indeed stand for courage, including in the face of discrimination, which is why we would no sooner have a “heart” for homophobia than we would for pollution. Chick-Fil-A’s environmentally negligent fast food business model, coupled with the organization’s activism against civil rights, is a perfect example of the kind of unenlightened, unsustainable activity we find indefensible.

I must take issue with your interpretation of our motto, as if embracing a life lived from the heart – that is, bravely, generously and consciously – would cover all opinions and beliefs simply because they exist, regardless of their validity. EcoSalon is no more obligated to “honor” intolerance of an adult individual’s consenting habits in the bedroom than it would be to honor creationism as a debate, sexism as a precedent, or racism as mere prejudice.

While religious belief is a fundamental right and one we clearly support in this piece, there is simply nothing morally courageous about homophobia, however gently it is applied. Therefore, we appreciate you expressing your views, but remain unapologetic in our criticism.

The heart of EcoSalon beats for progress.

Sara Ost

Have something to say? Speak up! Letters to the editor can be sent to editor@ecosalon.com. Submission is no guarantee of publication. Letters may be copy edited for grammar and clarity.

Last month’s letter: Flowery Feminists

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DISCUSSION

29 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: To Parse, Perchance to Judge

  1. I, too, have known Sam for countless years and I applaud him for his candor. I’m also so proud of Libby for always standing tall for what she believes and doing it with grace.

  2. I’m kinda late to this in Internet-time, but I have to chime in. Full disclosure: I’m a former fundamentalist Baptist, a friend of Libby’s, and way gay.

    These seem to be the main points Ms. Hicks, FHUBaller and others brought up, so I’m going to try to do this quickly point by point:

    Biblical arguments: First off, if you eat shrimp, mix fabrics or talk to menstruating women, you are henceforth barred from using the Old Testament to support your arguments. It’s all or nothing. If you separate the OT from the NT as modern Christians are wont to do, then at least keep in mind the historical context in which those passages were written and societal biases regarding modern translations. Fun fact: there was no term for homosexual or homosexuality in ancient Hebrew, Aramaic or ancient Greek. The term “homosexual” was coined in the 19th century and (omg!) that’s when it starts showing up in our bibles as a sloppy stand-in for the original languages’ words for pederasty, rape, orgies and prostitution.

    The term “homophobia”: “Homophobia” is an improvised word used to encompass many expressions of negativity toward homosexuals from passive intolerance to aggressive assault. The suffix “-phobia,” while rooted in the Greek for “fear,” is also used to refer to a physical or psychological aversion toward something.

    Blasphemy: The piece and its title were irreverent at worst and super funny at best. Accusations of blasphemy are a stretch.

    Biology: A cursory search for “sexual orientation genetic” turns up loads of support for genetic determinants with regards to homosexuality. Another search for “homosexuality in nature” provides yet more instances of same-sex pairings in animals and further study on (or at the very least, implications for) humans. Note: I made careful effort to exclude all agenda-based publications whether they were pro-gay, anti-gay, conservative or liberal.

    “Unnatural” sexuality: Above biological arguments aside, what about modern life is “natural” anymore? A lifetime of monogamy is unnatural. Glasses are unnatural. Standing in line for an iPhone is unnatural. We can revisit this point when you’re living naked in a cave.

    Differing opinions vs. bigotry: Suggesting that we’re all debating valid opinions here implies we’re all able to support our viewpoints using facts and well-reasoned ethics. Bigotry denotes a clutching onto unfounded intolerance. For example (and I’m not being facetious), if I can’t quote from ancient Greek manuscripts regarding what Zeus thought about same sex relationships and expect you to take it into consideration, it stands to reason that arguments from your holy book won’t hold with people who don’t believe in it either.

    Further, there is no ethical support for denouncing consensual, loving relationships since they do not directly or exclusively harm anyone else and, in fact, provide the same stability, fulfillment and joy as do consensual, loving heterosexual relationships.

  3. You’re parsing semantics here but, for clarification, the suffix “-phobia” simply refers to a wide range of negative feelings towards homosexuals. Since it’s colloquialized Greek, its usage as synonymous with bigotry is completely valid.

  4. Technically, the term is makeshift, not proper, Greek and in this case “-phobia” is used to cover a spectrum of negative feelings towards homosexuals.

    And I do absolutely respect your beliefs as long as you’re using the requisite amount of consideration condemning millions of people deserves and not simply relying on blind faith.

  5. Sam has been a hero of mine for a long time – I’m honored to know him and so glad that he chimed in here.

  6. I don’t look down on anyone. Who am I to look down on anyone? I’ve sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, just like any other person. I am no better than any person. So please, quit getting angry and trying to spin every bit of truth a Christian says into some sort of elitist rhetoric. It’s the Bible that contradicts, not me.

    I will always tell the truth according to the Bible, never my own wants, thoughts, or values. As a Christian, the commands of the Bible have to be our values because they are of Christ. How could it be any other way? And the Catholic church does not follow Biblical teaching in it’s entirety. How can it be Christian if it doesn’t?

    Can I call myself perfect when I have sinned? Can I call myself a Civil Rights activist when if I were to hate black people? It’s all or nothing in this case, you can’t pick and chose what you will accept from the commands of Christ and what you won’t accept and call yourself a Christian.

  7. I agree. And as long as we’re talking heroes, I’d include her friend Sam Ritchie (see his comment above).

  8. So Catholics aren’t Christians now?

    I’m struggling to keep up with all the people you look down on.

  9. Revelation 21:8-
    “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

    How is that not condemning to the sexually immoral. Is homosexuality not sexually immoral?

    And let’s not forget the cities of Sodom and Gamorrah! HELLO!

  10. 1 Timothy 1:9-11 (New King James Version)

    9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

    **********

    1 Timothy 1:9-11 (King James Version)

    9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

    10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

    11According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

    **********

    1 Timothy 1:9-11 (New International Version 1984, ©1984)

    9 We also know that law[a] is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

    etc.

  11. 1 Timothy 1:9-11 (New International Version, ©2010)

    9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

    With all do love and respect, how can you justify being a Christian and “understand the Bible” but practice homosexuality in light of the Bible directly condemning it the Old and New Testaments? As we see in the scripture above, it’s referenced as ungodly, sinful, unholy, and contrary to sound doctrine. How can you say it’s okay to be a homosexual AND a Christian when the Gospel says it’s not?

    I appreciate and respect you coming in love, I sincere do and cannot say how much I respect that approach. It is truly a Christian principle (Ephesians 4:15, “speak the truth in love”) and I too shall do the same. Out of love, I say, you do not seem to fully understand the Gospel. The above scripture confirms that.

    And as a side note, just because Jesus didn’t “say” it, as someone who “understands the Bible you’ll understand that Christ is the Word (the Gospel) and thus everything in the Bible is inspired by Him:

    John 1:14 (New International Version, ©2010)

    14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    The Word is Christ. There’s no way around the scriptures: homosexuality is a sin, and you cannot be a faithful Christian while practicing a homosexual lifestyle. I am very sorry, but the scriptures are clear on that. If you’d like to study more, I’d be more than happy to.

    BTW, 1&2 Timothy were written by Paul, an apostle of Christ, whom God chose on the road to Damascus to be an apostle. Do you really think he’d teach something Christ wouldn’t accept as correct? No, Christ too, condemns homosexuality through Him being the Word and through His apostles to teach against it.

  12. I began to compose a response to this “controversy” that was written in anger, but I stopped myself and hit delete. That’s not the truly Christian response. If there is a shred of truth in what Ms. Hicks wrote, it is that we, as Christians, are commanded to love one another as human beings, whatever our differences. As much as I disagree with Ms. Hicks’ other misrepresentations of Christ’s teachings, I absolutely love and respect her as a sister in Christ, and hope that she will come to see the log in her eye, as she points out the specks in others’.

    I am Libby’s best friend from high school. I am a Christian, and I am gay. While we were in high school together, I was the head of my church youth group and headed countless work camps, retreats and volunteer nights where dozens of young Christian teenagers built houses for the poor, fed the hungry and cared for the sick, as Jesus commanded. Libby knows this type of Christian, those who follow the teachings of Jesus: to love our neighbors, to care for the poor and to do unto others as we’d have done onto ourselves.

    The truth is, Ms. Hicks, Anne, Cowgirl9542, FHUBaller05, Haylee & Hannah, that Jesus never condemned homosexuals. He did say to judge not, lest you be judged. He did say that what you do to the least of our brethren, you also do to Him. He did say that a rich man has less chance of getting into the kingdom of heaven than a camel has of passing through the eye of a needle. But he never said anything condemning same-sex relationships.

    Given these teachings, I find it perplexing that you speak out against Libby’s criticisms of those who preach hatred in Jesus’ name. Why do you not speak out against a country where millions lie in the cold streets dying of poverty? Why do you not speak out about the world’s hungry, who die by the millions while we enjoy over-abundance, literally throwing food that might sustain the dying into the trash? Why is it that some imagined sin that Jesus never spoke against is what is foremost in your mind? As one of you yourselves said, “How can you claim to be Christian, yet not follow Christ completely?”

    I get that you didn’t love the title, but I think Jesus can take it. What true Christianity cannot take is more faux-Christian interpretation that follows one-off lines from Paul while ignoring the many exhortations from Christ to care for our neighbors. What it cannot take is more quoting of one part of Leviticus which completely ignores the many other parts that are rejected by modern society. What it CANNOT take is so many of us turning a blind eye to the many, many, MANY acts of horrible violence done to gay men and lesbians in the name of a savior who would be horrified by the very idea of it.

    If you can’t understand Libby’s anger on behalf of gay people, ask yourself this: How would you feel if roving bands of gay people were beating Christians to death in the streets? How would you feel if a gay majority denied Christians the opportunity to be at the bedside of their loved ones as they passed away? How would you feel if a gay majority persecuted you to the point where you could be fired from your job, separated from your children and denied a connection to your loved ones, simply because of the religion you CHOOSE to follow. (I do not believe that being gay is a choice, but religion SURELY is, so I’m not sure how choice makes religious intolerance more of an example of bigotry than intolerance against LGBT people.)

    It is fine and good to quote Bible verses, Ms. Hicks. But a faith based solely on that “lacks depth.” I implore you to take some time to understand the lessons and principles behind the verses about the teachings of Christ. Once you do, you will no longer deign to invoke his name in defense of your intolerance. And you may finally understand why Libby’s speaking out against of Chick-fil-A’s oppression of gay people is the truly Christian thing to do.

  13. Mike, you do realize that Christianity wouldn’t exist without Jesus Christ and the Bible, right? And in the Bible, Christ is declared as the head and leader of the church. (Ephesians 5:23)

    Then, it’s logical to conclude that, unless Christ is the head of your church, you’re not really a Christian, right? Why not? Because you’re not completely following “the rules” of Christianity, what’s outlined by Christ in the Bible.

    Nowhere in the Bible will you find the word “Pope” or “Catholic”, and the fact that the Pope is head of the Catholic Church, instead of Christ and his commands, inherently makes Catholicism un-Christian. Why? Because the Pope is not authorized to be the head or the leader of the Christian church described in the Bible. How can you claim to be Christian, yet not follow Christ completely? That’s like saying, “I’m a strict vegetarian, but I still eat steak.” You can’t pick and choose the rules, it’s all or nothing.

    Until you can explain that one to me, there’s really not much you can say that has any substance.

  14. I can respect both view points, this is America where we can say what we want, regardless of the factual validity, but I do take issue with a few things (okay more than that…if it’s too long for you, I’m sorry [not really though]).

    In general:

    “At the very least, the piece’s title is unfortunately negligent of professionalism, and at worst, blatantly disrespectful to a figure Christians recognize as Lord. Do you want to take that stance as a publication?”

    I didn’t read any response to this from Libby or the editor. Either you simply refused to address it or you blatantly ignored it. So is it safe to assume that, as a publication, you’re “unapologetically” okay with such a stance? I’m curious to know.

    __________________________

    “Please also note in the above article the mention of the inaccurate compound word “homophobia,” which, intended to describe one who is discriminatorily averse to the homosexual lifestyle, literally means an irrational fear of homosexuals, which is not the same as the lack of acceptance based on principle, and is likely nonexistent entirely.”

    This is another very valid point point of Leslie’s letter you chose to ignore/not to address. You failed to acknowledge that fact that Leslie isn’t afraid of homosexuals, and you keep using a word (“homophobia”/”homophobic”) to describe someone who simply doesn’t approve of a homosexual lifestyle. “Homophobia” means to be afraid of homosexuals. According to that logic, anybody who doesn’t approve of people cheating on their spouses are “infideliphobic”, or have “infideliphobia?” No, that’s ridiculous, right? Yes it is, because you’re not afraid of people who cheat on their spouses just because you don’t approve of it. You’re blatantly wrong, both logically and grammatically, in the use of “homophobia” and “homophobic.” That’s very bad form for a professional writer and editor. Inherently encouraging others to think that way and toss around such terms in blissful ignorance only compounds that error.

    ____________________________

    “Chick-Fil-A’s environmentally negligent fast food business model, coupled with the organization’s activism against civil rights, is a perfect example of the kind of unenlightened, unsustainable activity we find indefensible.”

    Homosexuality isn’t a civil rights issue, we’re not talking about African Americans or Hispanics in the 60’s and 70’s here. You can scientifically prove that African American’s are indeed born with black skin and, because of that, they have been (and in some cases continue to be) mistreated because of that. You can’t prove with anything, even with modern science, that someone is born as a homosexual. You may want to think that they are, and that’s fine, but you have zero evidence to support such a claim. It’s not right to mistreat ANYONE for ANY reason, and as a faithful Christian, I would never allow, condone, or participate in such mistreatment of a homosexual. Why? Because a) the Bible doesn’t authorize such awful treatment of anybody, regardless of their sexual orientation and b) if it weren’t for Pedro and Chris, two homosexuals that I worked with at a FedEx Kinko’s in San Antonio, I would have been in a world of hurt learning a new job. They knew where I stood in regard to their lifestyles, I knew where they stood in regard to my religion, but never did the word “bigot” or “homophobic” come up. Why? Because I wasn’t afraid of them and I’m not a “bigot”, I just didn’t approve of it. We were all mature enough to be adults about the situation. Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp for so many people?

    ____________________________

    “And let’s not forget that prejudice means the uninformed, preconceived adverse opinion of someone or something. One would be hard pressed in light of another’s Biblical study and scientific knowledge to correctly say that anyone who is opposed to homosexuality is uninformed or ignorant.”

    Again, you didn’t address this point of Leslie’s. What is the depth of your understanding of the Bible? And if you’re making claims about Christianity, you really should understand it first…otherwise, your exercising a prejudice. You can’t pick and choose when to apply your logic; convenience in argument is not a valid reason to do so.

    _____________________________

    For Libby:

    “I’m not going to get into a debate with you about homosexuality in the bible or whether sexuality is genetic. I assume agreeing to disagree will be the result of any debate we might have, but I will say that being informed doesn’t get you off the hook. “

    You’re arguing with no facts to support your claim, of course you won’t enter that debate.

    Get Leslie off the hook from what? Saying that she doesn’t approve of homosexuality? That put her on the hook? What hook?!

    _____________________________

    For Libby:

    “Call it intolerance, call it bigotry, use whatever word you like, but homophobia is homophobia and it hurts people.”

    Please see what I said above about your extremely terrible use of the word homophobia. It doesn’t even mean what you’re saying yet you keep using it? You’re a professional writer, and all beliefs aside how does that even happen? Your purposeful and ignorant ridicule or people’s faith is hurtful, so what’s your answer/defense for that?

    I would sincerely appreciate answers to the above questions. Libby and Sarah chose to pick and choose what to speak on and to blatantly misuse words in their responses. How is that even a solid defense? How can people rally around that?

  15. I have an aunt who is both homosexual and alcoholic. I don’t agree with either of those behaviors since I derive my morals from the Bible, but I am in no way afraid of my aunt. I love her treat her the same as i do the rest of my family. Sara, Libby and everyone else, stop mis-using the word homophobic!!! What a narrow-minded, bigoted label. Can you really not see the difference between being afraid of something and believing something is a sin?

  16. You say that Leslie “turned Christianity into a religion that can’t work in the modern world.” That’s exactly what Christianity is! We are followers of Christ and we try our best to be in the world, but not of the world.

    Believe it or not, but there is nothing new under the sun. Everything in this world that goes on today went on during Biblical times. Homosexuality was wrong then (not only by God, but it was a disgrace to EVERYONE), and it is wrong now, and it will be wrong forever!

  17. I just have one question for Libby and Sara: Did you even READ Leslie’s letter?

  18. Libby, homophobia is the fear of homosexuals. I can say very clearly, as a Christian, I am not scared of homosexuals. I lived with one in college, with her girlfriend, for three years. And am still in contact with her, and love her dearly. So please, PLEASE DO NOT lump every.single.Christian you meet into a homophobic category.

    I believe homosexuality is a sin just as much as anger, gluttony, lust, etc. are all sins. I believe WE are ALL sinners. You, me, Leslie, the next person. And those who chose are saved by Grace. The point is, Christians not looking to condemn, (some are, but I can tell you that I, and fairly certain, Leslie, are not), but ask that you respect our belief system and NOT call us homophobic.. I respect you, I respect your opinions, but all I ask is that in the future, you please think twice before bashing Christians for being closed minded when you yourself are the one that may not know the whole picture..

    And so, the disagreement lies, you believe it’s a lifestyle, not a choice, etc. I believe it’s a sin.

    Hopefully you, and everyone else who doesn’t believe this, will be open minded enough to at least respect the fact that I believe this way. Since everyone seems to be so disgusted by it, I can only hope that they would return some of the respect I give to them in believing what they do.

    Annnd let the name calling begin:

  19. Way to go, Leslie, for calling out a publication who is obviously rude and unprofessional. Too bad they couldn’t take the time to actually read and understand your letter before trying to defend themselves, though.

  20. I just got back from a trip to New Zealand where they pride themselves on being friends with God and not using it as an excuse for bigotry. I love ya USA but…..sigh.

  21. was I actually supposed to be able to read through this entire letter to the editor without throwing up a little in my mouth? If so, I failed.

  22. Dear Leslie Hicks,

    1. Fine. Let’s call it anti-homosexuality. Whatever.

    2. The real lasting power of the Bible and of Christianity and indeed of any established religion is that of ongoing tolerance, acceptance and forethought. People acting in such a way form the durable core of religions, and this is how religions survive. This is how they truly *work*, by not remaining so inflexible as to be utterly irrevelent in a changing society.

    You’re arguing a point of view that patently won’t work. Putting aside that it’s breathtakingly arrogant to suggest that all, *all* true Christians are anti-homosexual…you’re advocating a course of action for your beliefs that renders them so socially marginalizing that they become socially irrelevant. You turn Christianity into a religion that can’t work in the modern world.

    This is why the Pope has in recent years stated that Darwinism is compatible with Christian faith (without equating the two by any means), and that the world actually isn’t flat, and why many astrophysicists believe in God even as they study the first billionths of a second of the primordial Universe. This is healthy, relevant Christianity in action, staying relevant by asking questions and digging deep into the answers. *This* is Christianity. You do it a disservice by blanket-assuming your intolerant, bigoted interpretation of the Bible’s message is the bottom line.

    3. Words change meaning. Citing ancient definitions of modern-context words such as “bigot” is really feeble. The ancient definition of cynicism is “virtue and moral freedom in liberation from desire”. As you can see, that meaning has changed somewhat. And so on. What matters is what it means right now, and right now, “bigot” means closed-minded intolerance.

    Best wishes now.

  23. Good job Libby and Sara. I barely made it through the letter, but your responses were well worth it. The problem is, the writer actually believes what she writes… and there is not rationalizing with the irrational.

  24. Pingback: Tweets that mention Letter to the Editor: To Parse, Perchance to Judge | EcoSalon | Conscious Culture and Fashion -- Topsy.com

  25. Bravo to Libby and Sara! Brilliant responses to a verbose and tiresome letter.

 

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