Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oh no! It's a religious one!

Recently, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) decided to allow gay clergy to have monogamous partners. Previously, all unmarried clergy were expected to be celibate. Oh, the uproar heard across Indiana! (And other states I am sure, I just happen to be more tapped into the Indiana Lutheran scene).

Men and women were seen wringing their hands over their ears of fresh Indiana corn wondering what in the world to do. The discussion at church potlucks quickly turned from “Glenda made some lovely chili” to “How do we leave the ELCA?” because the thought of a Christian, a Lutheran no less, having a monogamous relationship was too much to bear.

Well, torch and pitchfork Lutherans, I have some advice for you. Get over it. Unless you are willing to hate everyone that sins according to the Old Testament, and that could potentially include your husband who was ogling the neighbor lady mowing the lawn in shorts a little too short, you may want to rethink your position. I am not going to get into a discussion of what the Bible says or doesn’t say. All I am going to say that is if you are using the Old Testament to rationalize your hate, then you have to embrace the entire Old Testament and hate all divorced people, anyone who covets anything, people who shave their beards, anyone who had sex before marriage and anyone who has dishonored their mother and father. Oh! And no more false idols so say goodbye to that autographed picture of Peyton Manning hanging over the fireplace. Since that would keep you pretty busy and potentially cause you to hate your entire family including yourself, you may want to embrace the New Testament. You know, where the greatest commandment was LOVE. L-O-V-E. LOVE.

Now I don’t claim to know who is right and who is wrong, who is going to heaven and who is going to be left here with Rock of Love and For the Love of Money reruns. But I do know this; love is and will always be a more powerful source for good than hate. And if you are willing to dedicate your life to inspire people to love Jesus and endure all the sacrifices that requires, well, that’s pretty darn good in my book no matter who you monogamously boink in your free time.

1 comment:

  1. Very progressive of them, I say. Having been raised Catholic (but since renounced my faith) I always felt that the expectations placed on priests and nuns to be celibate was completely unrealistic (yeah, and we see how well it's worked out for the Catholic Church so far, but that's an entirely different story). One of my favorite pieces that's been going around the interwebs for years is this letter that was supposedly written to Dr. Laura after she claimed that homosexuals were a "biological error", based on information in the Old Testament. The truth of this background story is dubious, I know, but still, it's a very clever, funny, and incisive letter - whether it was really directed at Dr. Laura, or just someone else making some kind of homophobic statements - and using the Old Testament as backup:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

    Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear prescription glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.