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Religion And Gay Rights Essay

1455 words - 6 pages

Since the beginning of time there has been homosexuality and that has always led to a debate of opinions. But in the last 20 years this topic has jumped to the top of the religious/political controversy list. This topic is important to all Americans because so many different groups have a stakeholder position in this issue. Adoption agencies, health services, insurance companies and the wedding industry just to name a few. Many believe legalizing marriage for same-sex couples would not only change the meaning of marriage, but change society all together. On the matter of religion, homosexuality is a very sensitive topic and has been throughout history.
Every religion has their own opinions and beliefs for homosexuality and same-sex marriage based on their interpretation of their sacred text. The members of these churches and congregations then have their own beliefs and way of thinking. Ultimately, the issue from a religious standpoint is should homosexuality and same-sex couples have equal rights as heterosexual couples and individuals? Also, how should religion play a role in this deep controversy? Should the religious leaders be judging homosexuals for their wrong doing or supporting them with compassion and kindness?
Peter J. Gomes, author of “Homophobic? Re-Read Your Bible”, gives his more liberal views on homosexuality from a preacher’s point-of-view against the more conservative beliefs. He starts off by saying how homosexuals are hated and not respected by so many people. He gives an example of this by quoting Pat Buchanan, “Homosexuality is a litmus test of moral purity.” This is in complete opposition with Gomes’s beliefs. In his article, he states where in the Bible it talks about homosexuality and how these verses have been contorted to fit the argument against homosexuality. He then shows that people take it out of context and form the Bible around their views. He says that fundamentalist and literalist fear that a different interpretation of the Bible than their interpretation will separate them from their values. That would bring to light that their views are not based on scripture like they try to convey, but are opinion-based. As Gomes says, “It is through the lens of their own prejudices and personal value that they “read” scripture.” He then goes into detail why religious fundamentalist is dangerous because it cannot accept ambiguity and diversity and that will ultimately lead to intolerance. It is also dangerous, Gomes points out, because it encourages ordinary good people to act upon fears rather than virtues. People may no fully understand homosexuality and instead of educating themselves that assume it is bad or “unnatural.” He sums up this article by giving his main point that people cannot use their religious right to take away the freedom of others (Gomes).
The extreme opposite of Gomes’s liberal views would have to be the views of the Catholic Church, which is very conservative. The...

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