Friday, March 10, 2006

Gays, the Bible, and Hypocrisy

First, check out this story in the Miami Herald:

A teacher [Donna Reddick] who condemned homosexuality as part of a broadcast at Miami Sunset Senior High has come under fire, as have administrators who failed to screen the program.

Then read what the incomparable Leonard Pitts has to say.

An open letter to Donna Reddick:

[…]

Put simply, I’ve had it up to here with the moral hypocrisy and intellectual constipation of Bible literalists.

By which I mean people like you, who dress their homophobia up in Scripture, insisting with sanctimonious sincerity that it’s not homophobia at all, but just a pious determination to live according to what the Bible says.

And never mind that the Bible also says it is “disgraceful” for a woman to speak out in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-36) and that if she has any questions, she should wait till she gets home and ask her husband. Never mind that the Bible says the penalty for going to work on Sunday (Exodus 35:1-3) is death. Never mind that the Bible says the man who rapes a virgin should buy her from her father (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and marry her.

I’m going to speculate that you don’t observe or support those commands. Which says to me that yours is a literalism of convenience, a literalism that is literal only so long as it allows you to condemn what you’d be condemning anyway and takes no skin off your personal backside.

As such, your claim that God sanctions your homophobia is the moral equivalent of Flip Wilson’s old claim that the devil made him do it.

You resemble many of your and my co-religionists, whose faith so often expresses itself in an obsessive focus on one or two hot-button issues — and seemingly nowhere else.

They’re so panicked at the thought that somebody accidentally might treat gay people like people. They run around Chicken Little-like, screaming, “Th’ homosex’shals is comin’! Th’ homosex’shals is comin’!” Meantime, people are ignorant in Appalachia, strung out in Miami, starving in Niger, sex slaves in India, mass-murdered in Darfur. Where is the Christian outrage about that?

[…]

Just once, I’d like to read a headline that said a Christian group was boycotting to feed the hungry. Or marching to house the homeless. Or pushing Congress to provide the poor with healthcare worthy of the name.

Instead, they fixate on keeping the gay in their place. Which makes me question their priorities. And their compassion. And their faith.

If you love me, feed my sheep.

For the record, Ms. Reddick, the Bible says that, too.