Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


August 28, 2012

Lion and the Lamb: You were born 'that' way

CROSSVILLE — In college I took a class in advanced psychology, early in the morning. The professor remarked: "If you are a parent who has a child who, at an early age, is using their left hand, you must force that child to use their right hand. We live in a right-handed world, and a left-handed child will grow up to be a frustrated adult and will not be normal."

I thought the professor was simply trying to keep students awake. Then I realized he was very serious.

A quick research of some who were or are left-handed reveals: eight presidents, Mark Twain, Leonardo da Vinci, Helen Keller, Albert Schweitzer, Larry Bird, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Phil Mickelson, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, This list could go on and on.

Recalling the professor's non-scientific statement, I believe for some people it is the type of "reasoning" voiced in their comments toward humans who happen to be gay or lesbian.

As a retired clergyperson, I am saddened that some individuals within the Christian faith have taught and preached that "homosexual people choose their lifestyle because they are either mentally sick or morally deprived." At times the "word" from some churches is that homosexuality is "inherently evil."

Some religious people would cite a passage from Leviticus from the Hebrew Bible as the solution to the "problem": "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, they shall be put to death." In Deuteronomy, death by stoning is for both the man and the woman who commit adultery. (Please read again the way Jesus deals with the woman caught in the act of adultery, as described in John 8:3-11).

A bride who is found not to be a virgin is to be stoned to death. Yet male virginity at marriage is never mentioned. The Hebrew Bible allowed a man to have many wives, and did not disapprove of a woman living with a man to whom she was not married. Friends, you can even select passages from both Testaments of the Bible where slavery was normal, and not categorically condemned.

We all can find a passage that would support our particular point of view. However, my view as a Christian is that we are called to apply the love ethic of Jesus to sexual mores in our society.

Americans are obsessed with issues concerning human sexuality. My view toward the issue: "What consenting adults choose to do is their business." Period. It is not the business of family, or neighbor, or employer, or faith communities, or government. Period. Our energy is being sapped by our obsession with gay marriage.

A perspective on this lifestyle was offered by David Horsey, editorial cartoonist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He shows the man of the house spying through binoculars on the next-door neighbors, two men. He says: "First they were gardening, then they cleaned house and now they're sitting at the kitchen table paying bills!" His distraught wife covers their son's eyes and shouts: "Lordy! Those hedonistic homo perverts are pretending to be married! Don't let the children see!"

Another point of view comes from a gay man who, when asked about gay marriage, said, "Well, it's fine with me as long as they don't make it compulsory."

Most in the medical profession have stated that humans are born either homosexual or heterosexual. People no more choose their sexual orientation than they choose to be left-handed. So, what shall we do with those who are gay or lesbian or left-handed? Shall we stone them, or force them to change, or shall we accept them as they are: humans, created in the image of God?

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    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

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    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

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    April 14, 2014

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    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

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    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

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    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

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