Dear Mr. Masters:
Thank you for writing in response to my recent column, “The Separation of Gay Church and State.” I have copied your entire email below. Interspersed between each paragraph you will find my responses to your pleas for tolerance and acceptance.
“I was, prior to learning you teach in our system of higher education, proud of calling North Carolina my home. I’m not ashamed that we would employ someone like you as a college professor.”
I want to start by giving you the benefit of a contextual, rather than literal, reading of your missive. Because you have urged me – in the final paragraph of this missive – to move to Africa, I will assume that sentence two of this first paragraph was meant to read “now ashamed” rather than “not ashamed.” It would appear that you just got a little emotional and hit “t” instead of “w”. Everyone makes mistakes. I will now, oops! - I mean, I will not hold you accountable for this one little error. I know context is everything with my postmodern readers.
“I have been a Christian my entire life. I have been Methodist, and I am active in my Methodist Church, even teaching a very challenging Adult Sunday School class. After years of careful study, and learning about some of interpretations and translations of original language, and better understanding the context of the writings, I find NOTHING in scripture that speaks to our modern understanding of homosexuality. Please don’t claim to believe in the Levitical laws, unless you are keeping all of them, including the dietary laws, and those related to the wearing of blended fabrics. It is all or nothing, unless you concede there are interpretative differences between the contextual understanding during the time of the writing of Bible and our understanding today.”
Well, this probably marks the first time I’ve read an email from a homosexual who is familiar with the Old Testament but not the New Testament. Obviously, as my original article states, there are New Testament references to homosexuality as sin. St. Jude is not the only one who condemns it. The Apostle Paul did, too. So it looks like you are in the awkward position of having to throw out the Old and New Testaments in order to justify your lifestyle. Would it not be better to just change your lifestyle?