Cumberland Times-News

Letters

October 29, 2012

This is anything but a new argument

Driving around the area, I can see plenty of signs on churches asking people to vote against Question 6. How can we really vote against gay marriage?

As a religious person, one planning on joining the clergy, I see no morally justifiable position to take against the rights of an entire class of people.

Yes it’s true there are several lines of the Bible that speak against homosexual activity (the activity, never the homosexual state), but there are likewise many parts of the Bible which say things no moral person today holds to.

Would we really argue that a rape victim should be required to marry her attacker (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)? People cited the Bible to defend slavery (Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Titus 2:9-10, etc). People cited the Bible to deny the rights of women (multiple references in Genesis III, among many others).

This isn’t a new argument. It keeps coming up because too many people dismiss it, uncomfortable with change, but change we must. We’ve turned the corner on many issues of civil rights.

We know that the scripture was written at particular times and that it reflects the attitudes of those times. We live in a better time. We can do better.

People say that you can’t cherry-pick the Bible. I disagree. I believe you have a moral obligation to do so. If the scripture says I must stone someone to death for working on a Sunday (Deuteronomy again), I have a moral obligation to disagree.

Doing otherwise isn’t faith, it is blind sycophancy, devoid of meaning and morals. It is a perversion of piety. This doesn’t mean we toss out scripture, using it not at all. If we are to do more then simply believe, that is, if we are going to take action, such as passing laws, we must have more justification than chapter and verse.

It simply means that anything, from any source, must have outside confirmation to be acted on. This is particularly the case in a pluralistic society, where laws aren’t based on religious teachings.

And we, as religious people, really don’t want them based on religious teachings. Do you really want your legal religious rights changed every time someone new gets elected?

I have heard some claim that homosexuality is unnatural, but what is natural is what is found in nature. Nearly 1,500 species have been found to display homosexual behavior. Even if that wasn’t the case, this still wouldn’t amount to a valuable objection, because what is moral and what is natural aren’t synonymous.

Open-heart surgery is not at all natural, but if you need it would you really turn it down for that reason? Guns are unnatural, should we ban them? There are so many examples.

What bothers me the most is that people seem to reject the idea of homosexual marriage only because they reject the gay couple, and they seem to reject the gay couple largely on grounds of personal disgust.

By the same reasoning, perhaps we should ban ugly marriage. Alcoholic marriage? People who talk at the theater? Where’s the line if the motivation is disgust?

I’ve heard it said that “We’ll be forced to let them get married in our church.” Nonsense. They can get married in mine. Who gets married where they aren’t welcome?

Michael Siciliano

LaVale

 

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Letters
  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Military veterans have few friends in Washington, D.C.

    Our legislators in Washington must stop playing politics with our veterans, this is  especially true of Vietnam war veterans. Will the game playing carry over to our veterans of present day wars? Will they too become pawns? Veterans have few friends in Washington. Just like the Vietnam veterans, today’s veterans will face
    what we are up against, little to no support.

    April 13, 2014

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014

  • New policies will grow better streamside buffers

    Well-functioning forest buffers along streams are perhaps the most effective and least costly best management practice we have to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

    April 10, 2014

  • City has changed, but it’s still a great place

    Is it better to be positive or negative? I have been reading postings about Growing Up in Cumberland, other Facebook pages, and from many of my Facebook friends. Talk about food and many people have positive comments. I love Coney Island hot dogs as much as anyone and have some every time I am in Cumberland.

    April 9, 2014

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