Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christian plea for gay rights

As we approach the new year, an opinion in the Arizona Republic rang true.....more so than anything after setbacks in Arizona, Arkansas, California, and Florida. Regardless of your religion, it all translates the same: "Love your neighbor and live peacefully."

It saddened me when Arizona and other states passed initiatives attacking the GLBT [and I, for intersex] community, an often demonized and misunderstood minority.

As an American, I saw equality for all fall. As a Christian, I saw love held less important than tradition.

Since the passage of these Jim Crow-style initiatives, there has been a backlash against the initiatives' supporters, specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I understand the need to express anger. Surely I would lash out against a law declaring invalid the love between a Protestant and a Catholic.

But I suggest we move away from retribution and toward understanding. As Americans, we must fight for equality for all, and at the same time as Christians, we must help those mired in tradition to understand that Christ commands that love, not tradition, be our guide.

The latter can be achieved only through honest dialogue, not by punishing those who disagree.

Finally, it concerns me that of the triumvirate of intolerance - LDS, Catholic and Christian Fundamentalist churches - the LDS Church is bearing the brunt of the backlash. - James E. Barton II, Phoenix


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